Associate Professor David F. Garcia’s new book Listening for Africa: Freedom, Modernity, and the Logic of Black Music’s African Origins (Duke University Press) explores how a diverse group of musicians, dancers, academics, and activists engaged with the idea of black music and dance’s African origins between the 1930s and 1950s, and traces how attempts to link black music and dance to Africa unintentionally reinforced the binary relationships between the West and Africa, white and black, the modern and the primitive, science and magic, and rural and urban.
“David F. Garcia’s deftly argued study brings to light how black music and dance became a defining factor during the high years of Afro-modernism, 1930s to 1950s. Because it emerged from conscious artistic intent, black dance ‘made’ many things: myths of origins, race’s content, and even modernism itself. Garcia treats black dance as a community theater that staged the scramble for an African Diaspora, a movement that was international and with multiple roots and aspirations. Black dance, Garcia teaches us, was more than just a lot of shaking and jumping. It made a world.” —Guthrie P. Ramsey Jr, author of The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History, and the Challenge of Bebop
For more information, and to order the paperback at a 30 percent discount, please visit dukeupress.edu/listening-for-africa and enter coupon code E17LISTN during checkout.