Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Books of Interest

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Books of Interest

Article excerpt

The Creole Experiment: Utopian Space in Kamau Brathwaite's "Video-style" Works (Africa World Press 2009) by Melanie Otto engages the utopian aspect of Kamau Brathwaite's major video-style works in conjunction with the concepts of Heimat (homeland) and concrete utopia developed by philosopher Ernst Bloch in The Principle of Hope. As part of the utopian dimension of his writing project, Brathwaite interrogates and reinterprets the conventions of magical realism, and unlike mainstream Latin American magical realism, his work is radical in both form and content as it develops a distinctly creole aesthetics. Brathwaite's vision of the magical reality of the creole cosmos questions the conventional meaning of utopian. His vision of a creole cosmos does not refer to an ideal place, but is concrete in its reference to an often dismal day-to-day existence.

Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America by Thabiti Lewis (Third World Press, 2010) explains contemporary athletes and the public response to them, it asks readers to consider the role of race in sports, and challenges the well-worn narrative of sport as America's most significant site of racial progress by scrutinizing the true role of sport in mobilizing and shaping definitions, social relations, and public life as it (sport culture) performs and propagates rituals, symbols, and expressions of fear and difference that sustain racism, and notions of racial supremacy and block bridges to racial progress. And furthermore, the text encourages a restructuring of the power of the racial subtexts in sports and mindsets and hearts of spectators via the racial contract, to provide impetus for readers to emerge with more truthful narratives, and more honest dialogue that can hopefully introduce a new vision of sports culture in America.

In Myth Performance in the African Diasporas: Ritual, Theatre, and Dance, (Scarecrow Press, 2013) the authors contend that performance traditions across artistic disciplines reveal a shared-if sometimes varied-journey among diasporic artists to reconnect with their African ancestors. The volume begins with a historical and aesthetic overview of how dramatists, choreographers, and performance artists have approached the task of interpreting African myth. The individual chapters reveal how specific artists, dramatists, and choreographers have interpreted African myth and what performative approaches and traditions they have used. Focusing on theatre practitioners from the nineteenth century through the present, the authors examine performative traditions from Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Drawing upon research in theatre, dance, and literary texts, the book should be of to academics interested in African performance viewed through the prism of myth making and spiritual/ritualistic stagings.

Revolutionary Black women have evoked strong reaction throughout American history. Magazines, political campaigns, music, television, and movies have relied upon deep-seated archetypes and habitually cast strong, countercultural black women as mammies and sexual objects. In Iconic: Decoding Images of the Revolutionary Black Woman by Lakesia D. Johnson (Baylor University Press, 2012) explores how this belittling imagery is imposed by American media, revealing an immense cultural fear of Black women's power and potential. Thus, she chronicles how strong Black women-truly revolutionary Black women-have nonetheless taken control of their own imaging despite consistent negative characterizations, and demonstrates how the revolutionary Black woman in many public forums has been-and continues to be a central figure in challenging long- standing social injustices.

In Black Power TV (Duke University Press, 2013), Devorah Heitner chronicles the emergence of Black public affairs television starting in 1968. She examines two local shows, New York's Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant and Boston's Say Brother, and the national programs Soul! …

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