The Voice of (Which?) Africa: Miriam Makeba in America

  title={The Voice of (Which?) Africa: Miriam Makeba in America},
  author={April Sizemore-Barber},
  pages={251 - 276}
Throughout her time as a concert singer in 1960s America Miriam Makeba was promoted as the embodied voice of a sonic, imagined Africa. Where her white audiences were attracted to the complete ‘‘otherness’’ of her African blackness, her black American audiences saw themselves – or imagined versions of themselves – put on stage, and built solidarities between their own struggle and the struggle against apartheid. In this essay, I argue that the discourses that followed Makeba’s voice and body… 

Fashioning Resistance: The Unsung Fashions of Miriam ‘Mama Africa’ Makeba

  • K. MchunuB. Memela
  • Political Science
    Alternation: Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa
  • 2019
Miriam Makeba, known as ‘Mama Africa’, employed various rhetorical strategies in her activism to fight the oppressive apartheid regime. Unlike the many women who experienced apartheid whilst living

Decolonizing the Mind Through Song

For post-colonial African musicians, decolonization became an imperative. Singing in one’s native language was not creative expression alone, but also a reclamation of indigenous culture and

The Blue Notes: South African jazz and the limits of avant-garde solidarities in late 1960s London

ABSTRACT For the Blue Notes, an ensemble comprised of South African jazz musicians living in Britain, 1968 was pivotal. After 3 years on the margins of the London jazz scene, their debut album Very

Playing the backbeat in Conakry: Miriam Makeba and the cultural politics of Sékou Touré’s Guinea, 1968–1986

Abstract This article revisits the cultural history of Guinea in the three decades following independence through focusing on the musical activity of Miriam Makeba, the exiled South African singer

“Miriam’s Place”: South African jazz, conviviality and exile

Abstract Michael Titlestad has suggested that jazz serves “to mediate, manage and contest” what he terms a “staggered, but also cruel and unusual South African modernity.” His volume Making the

Guinea Unbound: Performing Pan-African Cultural Citizenship between Algiers 1969 and the Guinean National Festivals*

This article seeks to reassess the role of pan-Africanism within the national imagination of postcolonial Guinea under the presidency of Ahmed Sékou Touré. By focusing on the interplay between

National Mothers: Singing a Queer Family Romance for the New South Africa

“Wait, so you mean that South Africa has two mothers?” Suzanne’s eyebrow was arched, and her head was tilted in the manner that told me we’d stumbled onto something important. We were untangling one

Black Lives Matter! Nigerian Lives Matter!: Language and Why Black Performance Matters

This essay explores performance as a language by looking at its appropriation by other cultures, and the associated history of the crafted phrases that are borrowed along. I start by noting that to

Glitter, Shine, Glow

This article explores the ways in which patina is deployed in gendered celebrity culture, specifically through forms of visual communication in relation to luxury. The article is framed by

Restless Itineraries

DOI 10.1215/01642472-6917766 © 2018 Duke University Press This article charts the itineraries set in motion by a word and an idea, apartheid, whose material purchase shaped the history of South



Kwaito versus Crossed-over: Music and Identity during South Africa's Rainbow Years, 1994–99

This article investigates the complexities of identity reformulation necessitated by the advent of democracy in South Afri ca as negotiated through two musical genres patronized by the urban black

Nightsong. Performance, Power, and Practice in South Africa

Popularized by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Paul Simon, the "a cappella" music known as "isicathamiya" has become celebrated as one of South Africa's most vibrant and distinct performance traditions.

Shakira as the Idealized, Transnational Citizen: A case study of Colombianidad in Transition

Within the contemporary transnational context, the internationally known singer/songwriter Shakira emerges as a primary example of a public persona who at times occupies the interstices between the

Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War

At the height of the ideological antagonism of the Cold War, the U.S. State Department unleashed an unexpected tool in its battle against Communism: jazz. From 1956 through the late 1970s, America

The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism

The second volume in a ground-breaking trilogy on Afro-American literature, The Signifying Monkey explores the relationships between the African and Afro-American vernacular traditions and black

The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters

If The Cultural Cold War had been published in the 1960s or 1970s, it most likely would have caused a sensation and been a best seller. It would have provoked anguished editorials in major Western

“Restorying” the Maternal Myth of Origin in Zami and Makeba: My Story

Myths are particularly important sources of alternative history for groups denied a place in mainstream culture.1 1 Humm, Practising Feminist Criticism. I have, throughout my private war, been a she,

The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness

"Whilst others scarcely put a toe in the water, in The Black Atlantic Gilroy goes in deep and returns with riches." Guardian Afrocentrism, Eurocentrism, Caribbean Studies. To the forces of cultural

Africa Civilized, Africa Uncivilized

The author examines two episodes in the production of music in South Africa: the South African Choir's tour to England and North America in 1891-1992, and the making of Paul Simon's “Graceland.”

Paul Simon's Graceland, South Africa, and the Mediation of Musical Meaning

The presence of style indicates strong community, an intense sociability that has been given shape through time, an assertion of control over collective feelings so powerful that any expressive