African World view in Blues : A Prefatory Analysis

Posted: October 13, 2012 in Afrocentricity, Definitions, Eddie S. Meadows

Author: Eddie S. Meadows

Source: Blues Unlimited – winter 1987 – n° 148/149

(with sincere thanks to Stefan Wirz for the careful OCR scanning –


“MORE RECENT research in Black culture has recognised the need to be ‘afrocentric’ rather than ethnocentric.  Thus more documentation has occurred which covers a wider spectrum of African influence than mere mention of call-response patterns. To begin, understanding the meaning behind communication and musical patterns of a culture requires extensive comprehension of the world view involved. The understanding
of blues semantics can be enhanced if one relies on knowledge of African world view, because the use of certain vocabulary items and categories in blues lyrics can be explained in terms of African sources. In
particular, I am concerned with explaining the categories of sex and conjure which are so frequently present in blues lyrics, because the tendency of many researchers, in the past, has been to define blues subjectmatter as a socioeconomic phenomenon rather than African world view.”


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