Accepted Paper:

Beneficial or detrimental; a retrospective overview of the effect o transatlantic slave trade on Yoruba Popular Music  


Adebayo Ogunyemi (Mountain Top University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper interrogates how those elements of American cultural practices that infiltrated the shores of Nigeria in the early 20th century influenced the emergence and development of Yoruba Popular music. The paper prolongs discussion on identity formation by extending it Yoruba music development.

Paper long abstract:

300 years of trans-Atlantic slave trade left some imprints on the shores of Africa. The most discussed of these imprints are the negatives. Beyond the adverse are several encouraging trends which have not enjoyed the patronages of most discussants of this topic. Today, dotting the streets of Lagos are remnants of European architecture. Lagosians still bear names Salvardor, Pedro, Salvage that are rooted in their transatlantic experiences. Communities of slaves in Lagos still replicate the Brazillian culture of street carnivals. The name, Lagos itself is a derivative of this experience from the Portuguese who named the island, Lago-de-Curamo. This paper, therefore, interrogates how elements of America-cultural practices that infiltrated the shores of Nigeria in the early 20th century influenced the emergence of Yoruba popular music. These practices imported to Nigeria by returning slaves helped in forming a musical identity that eventually shaped the history of music development in Yoruba land. Genres of music like Highlife, Juju in Yoruba land owed their birth to this trans Atlantic experiences. This genre of popular music, now facing a decline in Nigeria are constituting a part of what is now reffered to in Americà as world music. This implies that these music, originally sourced from America are making a stylistic return to America under a new nomenclature. The paper prolongs discussions on identity formation beyond African-American to how The American experience of African slaves returnees have shaped their identity.

Panel Art04
Yorùbá culture and music as connections, identity formation and disruptions among African Americans