From the Blog

Pigs At Work by Pigs At Work

October 22, 2020

When much of the human world was in lockdown this spring, the animal world seemed to come out of its own kind of quarantine. Dolphins had a holiday in the Bosphorus. Mountain goats cruised through Llandudno. Wild boar munched their way through Haifa. These stories were so addictive that they were followed by many false reports, then many excellent parodies, then critiques of the mix of fear and boredom and anxious optimism that fueled all this publicity in the first place. Our media teemed with animals even more than our cities did.

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Cultural Exchanges and Trans-Atlantic Bonds: African Music and the Evolution of Blues and Jazz by Toyin Falola and Raphael Chiji

October 21, 2020

The subject of Black music and its African cultural roots is arguably one of the most engaging topics in contemporary Africana studies, cultural anthropology, and ethnomusicology. It is compelling because the record of successes attained by Black music artists across the world is one of the best testaments of African genius. Music and dance in the African world constitute a unique cultural invention that racial prejudice and oppression cannot smother. Rather than destroying it, American plantation slavery and its culture of despoliation strengthened Black music. Under slavery, music was not just a coping mechanism amid coercion; it was also a repertoire of knowledge, an intellectual tradition, and an outlet for those suppressed thoughts and emotions that found alternative expressive outlets in the forms of blues and jazz.

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