Listening to New World History
Racism is indeed a discourse of power “that thinks with its eyes,” and is a product of history and not nature that sets human difference in visual terms. The book focuses on the Caribbean, situating it within a broader New World frame and then shifting the focus to the United States. It explores some of the often hidden connections between African American and Caribbean experience. The most fundamental point made by auditory historians is that sound and subjectivity are closely linked and serve as “an index for identity.” The historic cultures, musics, and sounds in the Americas have engendered debates over the nature of civilization, humanity, and culture. Therefore, in focusing on four circum-Caribbean contexts and on one element of sound that is rhythm, it considers the ways in which sounds have shaped history, identities, and cultures.
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