Africa In Stereo examines the role that African American music has played in the pan-Africanist imagination since the end of the nineteenth century. Throughout, Jaji marshals a wide array of critical, archival, literary, visual, and sonic sources to craft an argument centered on the stereophonic echoes between three sites on the African continent emblematic of pan-Africanism (Ghana, Senegal, and South Africa) and black musical cultures in the US (as well as few other places on the diasporic landscape). Rather than take a purely musical tack that traces the influence of African American music on musical repertoires from Ghana, Senegal, and South Africa, Africa In Stereo beautifully shows how a US black popular musical genres inspired a host of writers and filmmakers such as Ousmane Sembene, John Akomfrah, Sol Plaatje, Leopold Senghor, K. Anyidoho, Charlotte Maxeke, Ken Bugul, as well as the glossy visual languages found in the early magazines Bingo (Senegal) and Zonk! (South Africa
Tsitsi Ella Jaji is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.