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slave ship background image with title overlay: Middle Passages: Gendered Diasporas
Musical Journey through the Black Diaspora
Mapping the Body Embodying the Map

Art by Mariah Dahl
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Welcome to Our Musical Journey

Music is a tool through which women in the Black Diaspora express their hopes and dreams. It is important to celebrate the agency that women have in their struggles through appreciation of their creative expression. In this project, we have selected several literary and musical pieces which we felt properly epitomized these women. This site also includes a map outlining the origins of the music played and narratives of women's journeys along that route.

The slideshow is a visual representation of our radio show, Rebels with a Cause, which aired on Monday, April 20, 2009, on University at Albany's campus radio station, WCDB 90.9 FM. We have also included the music playlist featured on the show. When we envision a woman of the Diaspora, we do not see a victim, we see a warrior, and we see a figure that embodies the pinnacle of strength. Women of the Diaspora were rebels who achieved the ultimate freedom through escape from mental slavery, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate these amazing women through music, spoken word, and art.


Rebels with a Cause Radio Show on WCDB 90.9 FM
Source: Internet Archive

Chisara and Mariah

Chisara Nicholls and Mariah "DJ M. Rose" Dahl


Literary Excerpts

"A Litany for Survival" by Audre Lorde
The Hanging of Angelique by Afua Cooper
"The Miracle of Black Poetry, or Something Like a Sonnet for Phillis" by June Jordan
Erzulie's Skirt by Ana Maurine Lara

Musical Playlist

Sunshowers - M.I.A.
Four Women - Nina Simone
India - Zap Mama
Rebel Woman - Chiwoniso
Mali Denou (children of Mali) - Amadou and Mariam
Cuban Drum and Brazilian Samba Music - Drums of the World
Senamou - Angelique Kidjo
I Believe - Sounds of Blackness
Stand Up - Blue King Brown
Somebody Prayed Over Me - Sweet Honey in the Rock
Yaafa N'ma - Rokia Traore
Nibari - Umalali

Project Authors:
Mariah Rose Dahl and Chisara Nicholls