I'll be throwing this book out and it's rare that I throw out books, extremely lol, always be careful with White writers writing about anything AFRICAN lol. I've had this book for a long time and I guess there was a reason I never truly read it until now. The authors here seem to think that retention and survival mean wholly intact and that change or response in any cultural pattern due to slavery somehow isn't a retention. Strangely enough even when there is clear evidence of African ties, they deny it as simply pure independent work with no African ties whatsoever. They suggest that and I quote, "... this distinctive art form [Suriname Maroon Art]...was forged in the 19th century [despite it having] striking formal similarities with West Africa [and] are quite recent innovations. More generally, such research urges upon us a reorientation of our focus, from trying to explain similarities of form considered in isolation[,] to comparing broad aesthetic ideas, the implicit "grammatical" principles which generate these forms. The very real formal similarities between the art of the Maroons and that of some West African peoples are not, then, mere evidence of static "retentions" or "survivals," but rather products of independent development and innovation, within historically related and overlapping sets of broad aesthetic ideas."
In other words, they popped up outta nowhere and are simply broad ideas that coincidentally share the same ideas as those of West Africa. Somehow they manage to admit that it is a retention without stating it's a retention: "The wood-carving of the Maroons, like their naming, cicatrization, and other aesthetic systems, then appears to be highly creative and to be "African" more in terms of deep-level cultural rules or principles than in terms of formal continuities: in short, a highly adaptive subsystem, responsive to the changing social environments of the artists and critics who continue to carry it forward."
*formal continuity = something passed down
Some continuities/Africanisms are like this, and we don't know it, others are more unconscious in nature and arise out of collective memory and/or genetic memory.
1.) Africans are naturally highly creative
2.) deep-level cultural rules and/or principles are retentions/africanisms...oops lol
3.) transmutations within cultures is common, African culture is highly fluid and is interdependent, needing stimulation of various members that makes the culture what it is. It is highly adaptable and the beauty of it, is that it continues to be AFRICAN or of African origin even with changes. That's how we're able to create what we create. Transmutations don't gut the CORE of a culture, meaning the core remains intact, but you'll see surface changes/differences. For instance, how R&B/Soul/Gospel and Jazz is the CORE of hip-hop. How JAZZ dances (which come from old African dances) are the core for breakdance moves.
This book needs to be burned lol.
Please do yourself a favor and purchase these books with actual credibility and SENSE:
Africanisms in America
The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America
Black Culture and Black Consciousness
Just start there
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: BEACON PRESS (1 September 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0807009172
- ISBN-13: 978-0807009178
- Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 68 g
- Customer Reviews: 7 customer ratings