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Different DrummersRhythm and Race in the Americas$
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Martin Munro

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520262829

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520262829.001.0001

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Beating Back Darkness

Beating Back Darkness

Rhythm and Revolution in Haiti

(p.24) 1 Beating Back Darkness
Different Drummers

Munro Martin

University of California Press

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

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