Spoken Word from the North: Contesting Nation, Politics, and Identity

Karen Flynn, Evelyn Marrast

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An examination of the relationship of performers from Canada's black Caribbean diaspora to such black musical forms as reggae, dance hall, jazz, dub, calypso, & hip-hop argues that these artists participate in border crossing by borrowing from other black artistic forms to create a hybridized mix that reveals certain continuities related to broader diasporic concerns. Their work introduces new cultural forms that represent their unique position as black Canadians. Cultural & feminist theories are drawn upon in an attempt to position these artists within scholarly debates about the larger black diaspora. Information was obtained from participant observation of various performances as well as in-depth interviews with performers like Boateng, Morgan, nth digri, & Motion. It is concluded that the younger generation of Caribbean artists is striving to inhabit a place in Canadian society; however, they understand the complexity of Canadian national identity & accept their position as hybridized subjects in a hybridized nation as demonstrated by its policies of official bilingualism & multiculturalism. Numerous lyrics & excerpts from the interviews are included. References. J. Lindroth
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-24
Number of pages22
JournalWadabagei: A Journal of the Caribbean and Its Diaspora
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008


Dive into the research topics of 'Spoken Word from the North: Contesting Nation, Politics, and Identity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this