Mississippi Masala

There was a question on the exam dealing with sound and how Mira Nair portrayed African-American and African aspects. I thought one great part in the movie where she showed some auditory connection in the movie was in the beginning credits.It was the scene where we were on a map of the world, traveling from Africa to Mississippi. When we were in the Africa region of the map, there was traditional music playing in the background; but when we began to edge closer to Mississippi, the music changed to a blues/jazz melody. It seemed that Nair was trying to make a connection between the two cultures, stating that they are not as distinct as we thought. It was as if she was showing us the “original” culture (Africa) that traveled to America and was tweaked in certain ways. However, even though it was tweaked, we can still extract similar melodies. It reminded me of a quote from one of the readings for the exam which basically stated that culture is continuous even though there can still be changes; it is the foundation that stays the same. 

Also, I wrote down a quote from the movie that Okelo said that I found striking: “Africa is for Africans, black Africans.” Even though he was trying to save his friend, Okelo was stating a fact that was believed by Idi Amin (and probably a majority of the population), especially since he did that whole let’s kick African Indians out of Africa.

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One Response

  1. Nice observation! Your point intersects nicely with Appiah’s argument, especially when he talks about the lack of homogeneity of culture because cultures ‘borrow’ from each other. The borrowed result (blues music, for example) is not necessarily unique.

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