Pan Africanism Afrocentric And Eurocentric Conceptions Cultural Studies Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

There are two approaches to Pan-Africanism, Afrocentric and Eurocentric conceptions. The Afrocentric conception is to explained and evaluate the position that struggle in Africa in the era before Christ. The Eurocentric position explained Pan-Africanism as a direct response to European slavery and colonialism. Pan-Africanism is difficult to define because it is not refer to a single political ideology or a clearly discernible philosophical tradition, various conceptions of Pan-Africanism have been used with political and theoretical positions. Pan-Africanist cultural, intellectual, and political movements tend to view all Africans as to a single race and sharing cultural unity, it disposes a sense of a shared historical fate for Africans in the Americas, west Indies and the European imperialism. Pan-Africanists have fought against racial discrimination and for the political rights of Africans and descendants of Africans. The growth of Pan-African in the late 1900s can be seen as both a reaction to the limit of emancipation for former slaves and a continuation of pan-nationalist in the European colonial expansion in Africa and the diaspora. Back-to-Africa movements were establish of Sierra Leone by the British and Liberia by the American Colonization Society contributed to the emergence of Pan-Africanism.

Many scholars recognized the Harlem Renaissance as having discovered between the 1920 to mid 1930s. Jazz musicians like Monk, Abdul-Malik, Ellington, Weston carried many of the concepts developed during the Renaissance on through the 1940s. During a struggle for civil rights, and a time of political unrest, African Americans created a renewed interest in their African cultural roots, and a similar movement to the Harlem Renaissance began to bloom. The movement, "known collectively as the black Arts Movement... was a nationalistic, Pan-African cultural awakening that was nurtures by a belief in the positive value of blackness' became acceptable, respectable, even expected, for African Americans to seek out, believe in, and display their mythological roots". An important element of the Black Arts Movement was Jazz musicians and their music, they play an major role in American perspectives on African traditional music, reconnected with African cultural roots. Randy Weston is best known in the jazz community for his use of African traditional material in both written compositions and improvisation, he was not born or raised in Africa, his African musical works was from his own research on African music and literature under the guidance of his parents. The Harlem Renaissance period had a huge impact on his musical development; Randy Weston began composing and performing professionally during the Black Arts movement, he recorded and composed an extended composition supporting civil rights and celebrating paces that had been made at a time. Weston compositions were dedicated to the strides and struggles of Africans throughout the diaspora, different than other jazz artists that focused on the political struggles in America. This show that Weston was heavily influenced by Pan-Africanism, "an ideological movement that advocates the unity of African and African descended people worldwide", the Pan-African unity, was based on the meaning "that black people all over the world share an origin and a heritage, that the welfare of black people everywhere is inexorably linked, and that the cultural products of blacks everywhere should express their particular fundamental beliefs". African nations were slowly getting their independence from European Colonialism as the Civil Rights struggle happened in the United States. At 1960, seventeen African nations had gained independence, this was a source of joy and inspiration for Weston and he thought that this was also the inspiration for nations that were still struggling under oppression. Uhuru translate from Swahili for "freedom", when Weston recorded Uhuru Afrika, he had not yet been to Africa, his idea of connecting African people, no matter of their location throughout the diaspora influenced his extended work, and it was one of Weston first efforts to employ African music in a composition. For choosing the musicians for it, he chose specifically all best African musicians that best fit to his composition; at the end, he was able to bring together African, Caribbean and African American musicians from different cultures and used their common roots to express the Pan-African musical style. The use of musicians from Africa and the African diaspora make Uhuru Afrika important during the Black Arts Movement, the encouragement of freedom from it made South African government to ban the composition in 1964. The cultural environment in America between the Harlem Renaissance and the Civil Rights movement made African Americans sought out to connect with their African roots. Till modern days, Pan-Africanism in my opinion is affecting the hip hop culture, from the artists to the lyrics, they all have something in common that is they trying to show that African Americans are united and unique, can be smart, can earn a lot of money just like everybody else, and not like what people thought about them back to right after civil right movements.

The Black Art Movement is the aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept, the arts that can speak directly to the needs and inspirations of Africans in America. Both of the movements relate to the African Americans desire for self-determination and nationhood. The artists duty is to speak to the spiritual and cultural needs of Black people, so the main push of these new upraising writers is to confront the contradictions arising out of the Black man's experience in the racist West. The Black Arts Movement is an ethical movement, that is from the viewpoint of the oppressed, the term" Black Arts was first used in a positive way by LeRoi Jones:

We are unfair

And unfair

We are black magicians

Black arts we make

In the black labs of the heart

The fair are fair

And deathly white

The day will not save them

And we own the night

Work of the Black Arts era and hip hop both provide a distinct and conscious connection between artistic expression and the frustration of African existing in America and the world. Artists in the Black Arts and hip-hop era have overcome the negative effects commodification has on cultural production. "The struggles facing hip-hop artists today is the lessening influence of the fundamental aesthetic considerations to which all poetry ascribes- fresh language, vivid imagery,...- versus the rising influence of commercial rewards attached to record sales and crossover success", hip-hop is a cultural music of which Busta Rhymes operates within a Black Arts Aesthetic, it is a music of his everyday life, rhymes through designation of the field of hip-hop music. Hip-hop has been misunderstood, many criticisms that it has endured have been uninformed observations of a mode of cultural expression. Hip hop is the cultural expression, the model of today African Americans youth, it is not an art that formed itself, rather a form that shares connections with the Black Arts Movement.