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Abstract

This paper tries to show that black nationalist movements have been pervasively influential on the music and visual culture of the world. In particular, it focuses on the Marcus Garvey movement and some of its religious expressions or extensions - Rastafarianism and the Nation of Gods and Earths - and on reggae and hip hop music. This is also an illustration of a wider conceptual point: that political ideologies are not only constellations of texts and doctrines but multi-media aesthetic environments. Race itself is articulated in aesthetic categories, not only in terms of body appearance and color, but in cultural productions such as music and visual arts, while questions about what art is, or what are the data of aesthetics, cannot be answered in isolation from racial or other social/economic/political categories.

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