This essay takes its cue from Louis Chude-Sokei’s The Sound of Culture: Diaspora and Black Technopoetics. Chude-Sokei’s specific Caribbean matrix of technologically oriented poetics of the human is extended to African and African American texts, illustrating how blackness registers across distinctive histories. Following Chude-Sokei’s engagement with Sylvia Wynter, the essay begins with the centrality of women’s engagements with technologies for mobility featured in African popular print magazines in the era of independence. Turning to a contemporaneous publication, Langston Hughes’s Ask Your Mama, the essay then examines media and transportation technologies as vehicles for transnational black solidarity and its attendant static, a form of Glissantian opacity. The essay closes with a comparative reading of Aimé Césaire and Gwendolyn Brooks, proposing parallels in the way their poetics of blackness formed a “miraculous weapon.” The essay demonstrates that solidarity and dissent need not be mutually exclusive and that poetics maintains space for complexity.
Tsitsi Ella Jaji; Within Earshot of Africa—Meditations on The Sound of Culture. Small Axe 1 March 2018; 22 (1 (55)): 159–171. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-4379032
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