Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2013




This essay explores how Emmanuel Dongala’s story “Jazz and Palm Wine” (1970) rewrites Imiri Baraka’s story “Answers in Progress” (1967). Baraka’s story calls for a black revolution based in furturist thinking and diaspora consciousness embodied in jazz. In rewriting Baraka, Dongala resists discourses of coherent and stable identity through a recasting of the aesthetic functions of futurism and jazz. Dongala’s intertextual use of, and emendations to, Baraka’s story suggest his discomfort with articulations of diaspora identity that, in the late 60s, were increasingly defined by cultural symbols. In transposing Baraka’s futurist fable of the revolution to the African continent, Dongala stresses that while aesthetic objects, even ones as universally appealing as jazz, can be equally affective in different contexts, those contexts generate dramatically different effects.


This article was originally published in Research in African Literatures, volume 44, issue 3, © Indiana University Press, 2013.

Original Publication Information

Willey, A. "A Bridge over Troubled Waters: Jazz, Diaspora Discourse, and E. B. Dongala’s “Jazz and Palm Wine” as Response to Amiri Baraka’s “Answers in Progress”." 2013. Research in African Literatures, 44(3): 138-151.