Beating Back Darkness

Munro Martin

in Different Drummers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262829
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947405 | DOI:
Beating Back Darkness

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This chapter reviews the repression and denigration of rhythm, music, and dance in the New World, which has not always been figured around dualistic blackwhite conceptions of race and culture. It explores the paradox as to how the fabled first black republic in the New World has long neglected and repressed the “blackest” parts of its culture, chiefly its religion and associated rhythmic music and dance. It argues that social class and color divisions were constructed around cultural prejudices inherited from colonial times, thus tracking the evolution of Haitian elite culture and popular culture from the early post-revolution period to the 1940s. This evolution can be figured around changing notions and representations of rhythm in the literature, music, and ethnographic discourse.

Keywords: rhythm; first black republic; New World; Haitian culture; ethnographic discourse; post-revolution period

Chapter.  25434 words. 

Subjects: Ethnomusicology

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