Left Mourns Loss of Revolutionary Voice: Mariam Makeba Dies

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9 thoughts on “Left Mourns Loss of Revolutionary Voice: Mariam Makeba Dies

  1. I.m very sorry to the people of South Africa as well as African people to loose a very essentialy and agifted MAMA.I CAN SAY THAT MARIAM MAKEBA tried to play her role as mama of Africa to fighit for fredom until the last point when Boerers set South Africa free through songs and dramar its avery hard tusk to use song and drammer as a wipon in granting independence BUT MAMAAFRICA MANEGED TO DO SO.
    GOD BLESS YOU MAMA FOr WHAT YOU HAVE DONE S.AFRICAN PEOPLE

  2. Granted this is the first time I’ve heard of her, but how was she a revolutionary? Her ex, Stokely Carmichael, seemed a hell of a lot more of a revolutionary from the tiny amount of reading I just did.

  3. Well Todd,

    You see any artist that can take the stage and convey to some the problems and deprivations of others is a revolutionary in my books. She made music which both served to heighten the consciousness of those who were the victims and perpetrators of an unjust system. She did so with conviction, thought and respect for her people. And at the same time she gave us all (me included) the very serious advice that even in the darkest days we must celebrate life and its creativity: why else would I be a revolutionary my dear comrade?

  4. Like I said: I’ve never heard of her or her music, so I’ll find some and listen.

    A revolutionary, to me, is someone genuinely interested in revolution, as in a complete overturning of society from the roots up to make it into something better. Someone who is interested in big, progressive changes (but not revolutionary ones) in society need not be a revolutionary as far as I’m concerned.

    At this point, I can’t really say if what she did was “good enough for me” or not; just, upon first encountering her being described as a revolutionary, I was a bit curious about the appelation given how mainstream (liberal) society is eulogizing her.

  5. Well part of the reason for the eulogizing by liberals is no doubt the degree to which she avoided the question of the ANCs political direction after 1994.

    However I do think that the end of apartheid was revolutionary and that her music along with a host of other South African artists played a large role in political communication and solidarity. I more see her as having been a revolutionary within an overall division of revolutionary labour.

    Many inside the liberation struggle thought (it seems wrongly) that 1994 was just the beginning of social transformation and not an end in itself. But this is a different generations problem and historical task which is in desperate need of the kind of political communication and solidarity that Mariam made in the revolutionary struggle against apartheid

  6. there is a great essay written about miriam written on the kenya imagine website. You can find the link on my facebook page. you should link to it–for all the ignorant people who still like to speak…

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