Rock the City: Rephrasing the History of New Orleans
Having prepared the ground with Cuba and Its Music, Ned Sublette’s new monograph The World that Made New Orleans uses the same musicological approach, here focused on the history of cultural transfers, that is to say, on rhythm, sound and dance, and extended in scope to New Orleans, Saint Domingue and subsaharan Africa. Taking Louisiana’s early colonisation as a starting point, Sublette suggests that New Orleans had already developed a genuine character by the time of its statehood and argues that it tells "an alternative American history all in itself" (p. 4). Critically processing his own argumentation, Sublette emphasizes that to conceptualize this sort of ‘alternative history’ always means to (re-)consider a history of repression, resistance and revolt, too; or, in other words: a history of slavery.
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