Pilgrimage Tourism of Diaspora Africans to Ghana (Hardback) book cover

Pilgrimage Tourism of Diaspora Africans to Ghana

By Ann Reed

© 2014 – Routledge

220 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9781138060210
pub: 2017-04-13
Hardback: 9780415885027
pub: 2014-09-16
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Processes of globalization have led to diasporic groups longing for their homelands. One such group includes descendants from African ancestors displaced by the trans-Atlantic slave trade, who may be uncertain about their families' exact origins. Traveling home often means visiting African sites associated with the slave trade, journeys full of expectations. The remembrance of the slave trade and pilgrimages to these heritage sites bear resemblance to other diasporic travels that center on trauma, identification, and redemption. Based on over two years of ethnographic fieldwork with both diaspora Africans and Ghanaians, this book explores why and how Ghana has been cast as a pilgrimage destination for people of African descent, especially African Americans. Grounding her research in Ghana’s Central Region where slavery heritage tourism and political ideas promoting incorporation into one African family are prominent, Reed also discusses the perspectives of ordinary Ghanaians, tourism stakeholders, and diasporan "repatriates." Providing ethnographic insight into the transnational networks of people and ideas entangled in Ghana’s pilgrimage tourism, this book also contributes to better understanding the broader global phenomenon of diasporic travel to homeland centers.


“Through seven wonderfully crafted chapters, anthropologist Reed begins to explain the emerging phenomenon of slavery heritage tourism among visitors to Ghana. Using case studies and field-based research, the author does an excellent job of balancing qualitative and quantitative data to tell the story of residents and tourists involved with the phenomenon. Readers cannot help but feel they are part of the story told in Cape Coast, Ghana, as the words on the page come to life through numerous somber vignettes. This text would be ideal for libraries with a collection specializing in cultural heritage tourism and anthropology. Summing Up: Highly recommended.” -K. M. Woosnam, Texas A&M University in CHOICE

“In addressing issues of identity, belonging, memory, and history in the heritage industry in Ghana, Ann Reed’s Pilgrimage Tourism of Diaspora Africans to Ghana makes a substantial contribution to current academic debates about diaspora, globalization, heritage tourism, and memory. This is an important book that deserves to be widely read.” - Mattia Fumanti, University of St. Andrews, in American Anthropologist

Table of Contents

1. Slavery Heritage and the Call to Home: Diasporan Travel to Ghana 2. The Development of Ghana’s Heritage Tourism 3. Culture Brokers at the Front Lines: Tour Guides at Cape Coast and Elmina Castles Interpret the Slave Story 4. Visitors’ Perspectives at Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle: Slave Trade Memoryscapes and Ideoscapes 5. The Performance of Public Discourse: Slavery Heritage and One Africa Ideoscapes Produced by Locals 6. Foreigner or Family? Ghanaian Interpretations of the One Africa Ideoscape 7. Slavery Heritage Tourism, the African Family, and the Politics of Memory

About the Author

Ann Reed is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Iowa State University.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on African and Black Diaspora

Routledge  Studies  on  African  and  Black  Diaspora is  designed  as  a  forum  that confronts established  academic  boundaries  in  the  study  of  social,  cultural  and political history of people  of  African  descent  while  at  the  same  time  exploring  the  contours  of  knowledge production and  understanding about Africa and its diaspora through rigorous and critical scrutiny.

The series marks a critical development in publishing theoretically and historically significant works   on   the   lived   experiences   of   people   of   African   descent   in   all  parts  of  the world. The  series publishes original works of the highest    quality   from  across  the broad  disciplinary  fields  of  social  sciences  and  humanities  with  a  strong  emphasis  on theoretically informed  and  empirically  grounded  texts.  Focus  issues  include  the centrality of power  and resistance, knowledge production, gendered cartographies, memory, race, class and  other aspects of social identity   in exploring   different dimensions (cultural, geographic, political, social and psychological)  through which people  of  the  African  descent have  moved in  the context  of globalized and transnational spaces.

The editors welcome book proposals as well as manuscripts that address issues related to  African and Black  Diaspora. Single authored manuscripts as well as thematically coherent  edited  volumes will  be considered.  Inquiries should be directed to the Series Editors or the Routledge editor:

Fassil Demissie,
DePaul University, (fdemissi@depaul.edu)

Sandra Jackson,
DePaul University (sjackson@depaul.edu)

Leanne Hinves

Routledge Books (Leanne.hinves@tandf.co.uk)

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural