Reggae, Rasta and the role of the deejay in the Black British experience

Henry, William Anthony (2015) Reggae, Rasta and the role of the deejay in the Black British experience. In: Youth Culture, Popular Music and the End of 'Consensus'. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 91-109. ISBN 9781138799929

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Abstract

This article explores the role of Reggae music and Rastafari in the creation of alternative public arenas that served as spaces of resistance and sites of transcendental edification in post-war Britain. The approach suggests that wherever there were significant African Caribbean communities in the UK, Sound System deejays used the Reggae dancehall arena as an alternate site of learning. Significantly it was the practiced use of 'oral skills' in Creolised languages, couched in Rastafarian and Garveyite sensibilities, that underpinned and ensured the perpetuation of these politically driven, vernacular cultures. It is argued that expressive musical cultures opened access to an alternative world view which, in turn, provided a space where the African diaspora thought themselves into being in a more conscious manner than has been previously recognised. The suggestion is that black music often spoke to the lived experiences of the disenfranchised in a racist society, and thus furnished a site for various types of inter/intra-cultural exchanges to take place, enabling them to debate and discuss their own 'problem' status in a language owned and controlled by them. At no point was this more apparent than during the perceived collapse of the post-war 'consensus' in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Youth Culture, Popular Music and the End of 'Consensus' (2015), available online: https://www.routledge.com/Youth-Culture-Popular-Music-and-the-End-of-Consensus/The-Subcultures-Network/p/book/9781138799929.
Subjects: Social sciences > Communication and culture
Depositing User: William Anthony Henry
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2017 07:27
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2017 07:58
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3386

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