Mahaney Arts Center 221
72 Porter Field Road
Middlebury, VT 05753
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Open to the Public

photo of the speaker standing outside

Fela Anikulapo Kuti remains the most critical politically focused artist in African music history. This presentation will examine Kuti’s 1977 album, Sorrow, Tears and Blood, which serves as a focal point for his musical and political development. With Nigeria on the verge of a historic presidential election, this presentation takes stock of the conditions under which everyday Nigerians live through the soundscape and messages of the album. 

This event is immediately followed by “The Huddle and The Higher Ground” (see separate listing).

Stephanie Shonekan is professor of ethnomusicology and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland. Shonekan earned a doctorate in ethnomusicology and folklore with a minor in African American studies in 2003 from Indiana University. Her dual heritage combining West Africa with the West Indies allows her to straddle the Black world comfortably. She has published articles and book chapters on afrobeat, Fela Kuti, Nigerian and African American hip-hop, soul music and country music. Her publications explore the nexus where identity, history, culture and music meet. Her books include The Life of Camilla Williams: African American Classical Singer and Opera Diva (2011), Soul, Country, and the USA: Race and Identity in American Music Culture (2015), Black Lives Matter & Music (2018) and Black Resistance in the Americas (2018). She also wrote and produced a short film based on the mother of Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Lioness of Lisabi. The film was awarded first prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival in 2010 and by the Girls Inc. Film Festival in 2012. 

Sponsored by:

Contact Organizer

Chabot, Anne C.