“Satta Massagana” (The Abyssinians)

Afrofuturism derives, in part, from a nineteenth-century discourse of Ethiopianism that, according to Wilson Jeremiah Moses, situates the West as in decline and Africa (and “Ethiopia” in particular) as in the ascendant. Let’s note, however, the distance between the actually existing Ethiopia (Selassie, who had died the year before this trax, and such) and the far country described in this song. For the Abyssinians, Ethiopia is both utopian and deeply distant or “critical” (an opti-pessimistic “far far away”). On the other hand, the use of the Amharic language at the end of the song (“Satta massagana Ahamlack ulaghize,” meaning, “to give thanks to God continually”) is a recognizable marker of coloniality, as is the disturbingly heliocentric vision of the future: “there’s no night, there’s only day.” In this way, the promised land remains embedded in what Derrida calls “white mythology.”



Read more "“Satta Massagana” (The Abyssinians)"