01-08 Mambomania, Birthworkers, and Onomastics: Activating Cultural Memory

Thursday, November 02, 8:30 am–10:00 am
Forum Suite

This live event will not be recorded.

Sponsored by the African American Folklore Section

Chair: Jerrilyn McGregory (Florida State University)

8:30 am
Mambomania!: Perez Prado and Pan-Diasporic Dialogues on Africanity in the 1950s
Amy Ongiri (University of Portland)

9:00 am
Black Birthworkers as Ritual Leaders
Efia Nomalanga Dalili (BBPenda Baltimore Birthing Project, retired)

9:30 am
Aareck to Zsaneka: The Politics of Why “Black” Names Matter
Jerrilyn McGregory (Florida State University)

This panel deploys alternative frameworks for formulating theories and critiques of the popularizing of mambo, birthworkers as ritual leaders, and the decolonization of African American birth names. It aims to encourage a conversation clarifying subaltern border thinking, acts activating cultural memory, and present-day nominal decolonization. The presenters will speak to the ongoing challenge of toppling elite historiography, Western normativity, and aesthetic injustice. Each presentation is particularly interested in endarkening the African diasporic cultural memory. Endarkening speaks to one way of showing we are serious and dedicated enough to make space for other ways of thinking, knowing, and representing our work.