A few weeks ago, we discussed Afro-pessimism and its manifestation in photography, music videos, and clips from short films by artists from West Africa. Specifically, we watched music videos by rappers who have taken inspiration from Childish Gambino’s “This is America” (2018), which broaches controversial subjects such as discrimination, racism, and gun violence in the United States.
For this paper, choose one of the music videos (links below): Falz’s “This is Nigeria”; Xzu B’s “This is Sierra Leone”; or Keddi’s “This is Africa (Ghana)”. Then, answer the following question:
How do you think your chosen music video contributes to and / or helps to dismantle Afro-pessimism?
To respond to the prompt successfully, your paper must include a thesis statement (argument) that answers the question and must reference specific lyrics and visual evidence to support your argument. Moreover, successful papers will discuss what Afro-pessimism is and will utilize evidence from Okwui Enwezor’s “The Uses of Afro-Pessimism” (2006). You must cite your chosen music video and Enwezor’s essay using footnotes. In your discussion, you might consider:
- Enwezor’s definitions of Afro-pessimism
- Enwezor’s descriptions of the role of Western media
- Enwezor’s discussion of what the role of artists and intellectuals should be in responding to Afro-pessimism
- The cultural, social, and political issues mentioned in your music video
- Your own positionality in viewing the music video
Falz’s “This is Nigeria”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW_xEqCWrm0
Xzu B’s “This is Sierra Leone”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VChKR1RmtcA
Keddi’s “This is Africa (Ghana)”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6tYg2AO1bg
Okwui Enwezor’s “The Uses of Afro-pessimism” (2006)
*Use Chicago Manual Style footnotes