ABSTRACT ~ This article supports scholarly findings that Bantu traditions are among the strongest civilizing forces in the United States. Positing pop music as a paradigm of proof, the author argues for a cultural decolonization and corrective understanding of this expression as a manifestation of Africa’s oral traditions and the global agency of the continent’s cultural custodians. The Euro-patriarchal episteme that has formalized the language of music appreciation has, through its inherent incapacity or lack of political will to grant proper academic status to these mature modes of human discourse, promoted a diminished regard of oral tradition and its pop music formats as low-brow fodder for entertainment industry exploitation. Recognizing that such north–south circumscriptions have served to disenfranchise humanity as a whole, the author reasons that ubuntu has nonetheless extended its humanizing reach into the pan-African and global village by captivating and cultivating the popular imagination through effective, Africa-centered modes of oral communication. A culturally congruent theoretical framework is advanced to illuminate the transformational art-for-life’s-sake mission of an epic African odyssey.
Malaika Mutere, Ph.D. is author of Towards an Africa-centered and pan-African theory of communication: Ubuntu and the Oral Aesthetic perspective.To access the article, click on the following link: Communicatio 38 (2) 2012: 147-163
As Danie du Plessis states in the Introduction, in keeping with its “African communication/media theory” theme, articles in this special issue of Communicatio attempt to address questions such as:
“How do we understand and define African and Africanisation?
Are there uniquely African perspectives on communication as a phenomenon that are so different from existing theoretical foundations that they warrant the development of an African theory of communication?
Alternatively, how do uniquely African circumstances and contexts provide new theoretical insights that can extend the broad body of knowledge in our discipline?”