A film by Thomas Roebers and Floris Leeuwenberg

For the record, “Africa” is too hopelessly vague a word to be useful to describe reality.

This is clear when you think about how we conceive other continents. There is really no one “African” culture any more any more than there is one European or one Asian culture. There are dozens and, in Africa’s case, many hundreds.

Even in the US, there’s a big noticeable difference between someone raised in New York City vs. someone raised in say rural South Dakota or suburban Florida.

The culture highlighted in this video is Mandinka, the descendants of a sophisticated empire – The Mali – in West Africa from the 13th though 16th centuries.

This is not THE African culture. It is one of many, many shimmering cultural heritages that can be found on the African continent.

One of the things that makes Cuba such a potent cultural force is that people from all over Africa came together in one relatively small geographical area to create a supercharged fusion of the gifts they brought with them from their homelands. The Mandinka were part of the mix.

Great news!

You can now watch this video – and all Spanish language videos – with English subtitles. It’s free!

Click here for instructions on how to turn on English subtitles.

– Ken McCarthy
Jazz on the Tube

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