African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and Contested by Katharina Schramm

By Katharina Schramm

African american citizens and others within the African diaspora have more and more “come domestic” to Africa to go to the websites at which their ancestors have been enslaved and shipped. during this nuanced research of homecoming, Katharina Schramm analyzes how a shared rhetoric of the (Pan-)African kinfolk is produced between African hosts and Diasporan returnees and even as contested in perform. She examines the various interpretations and appropriations of important websites (e.g. the slave forts), occasions (e.g. Emancipation Day) and discourses (e.g. repatriation) in Ghana to spotlight those dynamics. From this, she develops her notions of diaspora, domestic, homecoming, reminiscence and id that mirror the complexity and a number of reverberations of those cultural encounters past the field of roots tourism.

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Fictive kinship ties as well as religious affiliations are employed in a vision of the future that fixes diasporans in the role of philanthropic tourists. The memory of the slaves’ suffering thereby gets pushed to the background. Whereas the festival reconstructs Ouidah as a sacred center of Vodun culture, the town’s importance as a large slaving port (Law 2004) gets symbolized in a newly designated, UNESCO-sponsored monument of The Door of No Return (La Porte de Non-Retour)—an Arc de Triomphe-like structure that symbolizes a circular diasporic movement, incorporating the return of the slaves’ descendants.

And England to build up and rehabilitate their bankrupt nations and civilization out of the wealth and resources of our country? They have no room for us in their countries, and surely we have absolutely no room for them in our country. (1969 [1925]: 68) Garvey’s publications, especially his weekly newspaper The New Negro, were prohibited throughout West Africa, and their possession was in some cases punished with lifetime imprisonment (Esedebe 1982: 78; Padmore 1971 [1956]: 74). For that reason, the European colonialists warned Liberia to stay away from the Garvey movement.

It withdrew its support (Geiss 1968: 211). Unquestionably, Garvey’s militant radicalism and racialist rhetoric had contributed in no small way to the mistrust, even enmity of those who opposed him. Open contempt against Garvey was not only expressed by White colonialists who feared his “Black rage,” but it also came from members of the Black/colored intellectual elite in the United States. The controversy escalated into an open campaign against Garvey and his movement that led to his arrest (Geiss 1968: 211).

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