Where is the Way: Song and Struggle in South Africa

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9780140128956: Where is the Way: Song and Struggle in South Africa

Describes the role of Christianity and African tradition in the popular music of Black South Africans, and shows how the music is used to resist the apartheid system

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From Publishers Weekly:

Kivnick, an ethnomusicologist and psychologist ( The Meaning of Grandparenthood ), presents an overview of black South African music, with compelling anecdotes drawn from her three-month stay in the country in 1984. Quoting some of the powerful lyrics she heard ("Freedom shines before us / Freedom is in our hand") and introducing determined, gifted musicians (such as Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the group that performed on Paul Simon's Grace land album), the author conveys the passion of their love songs, their religious music and their songs of protest. She probes the social as well as political meanings of music to these people, although her style is sometimes overwrought (singing is "a way of being together today and moving ahead, together, toward tomorrow"). Her narrative is also marred by her need to remind the reader that she is white ("my white, city feet" and "my white American ears"). The book offers a guide to South African recordings available from U.S. record stores and mail-order suppliers, including two records coproduced by Kivnick and her husband. Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Even with today's blurring of the lines that once divided, for example, musicology/ethnomusicology, politics/religion/sociology, folk/pop, black/white, and us/them, one may be surprised at finding a white American academic writing a low-priced paperback on black South African music, a footnoted book with a solid bibliography and discography that is presented as a heartfelt personal narrative. Kivnick's research includes songs sung in church and in everyday life, urban popular songs, and protest songs. She describes the place of music in each context and often quotes (in English) from the songs. One hopes the paperbound format will withstand the interest readers may take in this subject; one very much hopes that any library buying the book can supply some of the recorded music discussed, for it needs a soundtrack to be most effective.
- Bonnie Jo Dopp, District of Columbia P.L.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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