Afro-American Music and the African Identity: A historical and contemporary analysis

Posted: September 17, 2011 in E. Austin, Slavery period, The Colour Line

Author : Emielu Austin

Source :


Department Of The Performing Arts,
University of Ilorin, Ilorin,Nigeria.

“The use of the term ‘Afro American music’ to describe Black musical traditions implies that Negro music making in the United States of America has an essentially African core. Though stripped naked and forcibly taken away to a new world, African slaves took with them memories of a rich African culture and tradition including music. Today, several centuries after the abolition of slavery, most of American popular music is deeply rooted in Black musical traditions. This paper takes a look at the origin of Black American music, the search for identity in the Diaspora, survival
and retention of black musical traditions and the cross-fertilization of musical ideas between the homeland and the Diaspora in contemporary times, with a view to highlighting the African identity.”



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