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Redefining the African Diaspora: Expressive Cultures and Politics from Slavery to Ind ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Redefining the African Diaspora:


From Fela! to Feminism

Culture, Community, and Change in Africa

Toyin Falola and Danielle Sanchez

From soukous to mournas, Bakongo high status caps to Dutch wax prints, and Arugba to Viva Riva!, expressive culture is a vibrant and exciting space to explore the meanings of identities and conceptualizations of membership within Africa and the African diaspora. Furthermore, as the world moves into this increasingly transnational and global age, it is more and more evident that homelands and identities are profound spaces for social, political, cultural, and academic engagement in Africa and beyond. While it is easy to argue for the value of the internet and social media platforms as spaces to amplify the presence of African cultures and voices on a global stage, it is naïve to argue that this is an unprecedented moment in world history. For doing so would profoundly neglect the fact that African voices and bodies have been a prominent part of discussions about the past, present, and future centuries before the advent of Facebook or Twitter. This moment in world history allows individuals to rapidly retweet celebrity musings on water scarcity in Africa, briefly become “aware” of human rights violations in Uganda