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Forging DiasporaAfro-Cubans and African Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow$
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Frank Andre Guridy

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807833612

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807895979_guridy

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Blues and Son from Harlem to Havana

Blues and Son from Harlem to Havana

(p.107) Chapter Three Blues and Son from Harlem to Havana
Forging Diaspora

Frank Andre Guridy

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter continues the theme of cross-cultural interaction by underscoring the role of promoters and audiences in the forging of the connections between the Harlem Renaissance and the afrocubanismo movement. It notes that writers, musicians, and artists took up previously denigrated cultural forms, in both Cuba and the United States, such as the blues, spirituals, rumba, and the son, to create a new diasporic cultural aesthetic. The chapter interprets the immense traffic between these cultural movements as evidence of diasporization, rather than as mere background information for two distinct national movements. It notes that even when the writers and artists themselves denied or downplayed these cultural exchanges, the audiences and promoters of their work actively linked the two movements together. The chapter observes that the interactions between promoters, audiences, and artists inaugurated new understandings of Afro-diasporic cultures that celebrated, rather than rejected, the expressive cultures of the black working classes in both countries.

Keywords:   Harlem Renaissance, afrocubanismo, blues, spirituals, rumba, son, aesthetic, diasporization

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