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CHIMURENGA RENAISSANCE: DOUBLE DOUBLENESS IN THE DIASPORIC MUSIC OF TENDAI MARAIRE

Austin Thomas Richey

Abstract


Over the past decade, emerging Seattle-based artist Tendai Maraire, the Americanborn son of Zimbabwean teacher, performer, and ethnomusicologist, Dumisani Maraire, has crafted a unique musical position by marshaling multiple diasporic strands in his music. These include both the centuries-old African-American diaspora that took shape through the “Black Atlantic,” as well as an emerging diaspora that is specifically Zimbabwean in nature. In this article, it is argued that the layering of these distinct diasporic histories has fostered a type of “doubled doubleness” in Tendai Maraire’s music, extending DuBois’ original conception of “double consciousness” to encompass multiple sites of identity location: the American superculture, the Shona culture of his parents, the old African diaspora, and the new Zimbabwean diaspora. It is further argued that Maraire has articulated this “doubled doubleness” musically through his relationships to musical styles associated with both old and new African diasporas, most notably North American hip-hop and Zimbabwean chimurenga, a genre that has historically functioned as a form of resistance to colonial rule.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21504/amj.v10i2.2043

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