African Diaspora and the Metropolis

Reading the African, African American and Caribbean Experience

Edited by Fassil Demissie

© 2010 – Routledge

118 pages

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About the Book

At the end of the 19th and at the beginning of the 20th century, a number of African American and Caribbean intellectuals and immigrants of the African Diaspora with all their apprehensions set out in steamships en route and carried with them a certain presence to the metropoleis of Europe and North America. These individuals traversed the "middle passage" in the opposite direction from the forced journey undertaken by their enslaved ancestors. Later they began to arrive in large numbers as free men and women in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid, Brussels, Lisbon, New York, and other places in the metropolis by steam ships and later by planes, and were actors in the larger history of empire from which the imperatives of forced migration, uprooting, displacement, and exile had arisen.

The texts selected offer critical examination of a broad range of African Diaspora experiences in the metropole drawn from Senegal, the Caribbean, United States, Britain, Nigeria and France. Bringing together comparative and diasporic perspectives, the book explores the complex roles that race, gender, sexuality and history have played in the formation of African Diaspora identities in the metropole since the 19th century.

This book was published as a special issue of African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal.

Table of Contents

1. African Diaspora and the Metropolis: An Introduction Fassil Demissie, DePaul University, USA

2. Sam Selvon’s The Lonely Londoners and the Structure of Black Metropolitan Life Mpalive-Hangson Msiska, Birkbeck College, University of London , UK

3. Richard Wright and African francophone Intellectuals: A reassessment of the 1956 Congress of Black Writers in Paris Babacar M’baye, Kent State University, USA

4. American Philanthropy and African Education: African Students in the Metropolis in the 1960s Zine Magubane, Boston College, USA

5. "In My Senegalese Quality and as a Compatriot": Senegalese Students in the Metropole and the language of Affinity 1880-1890. Kelly Duke Bryant, John Hopkins University, USA

6. Paradox of Diaspora, Global Identity and Human Rights: The Deportation of Nigerians in Ireland Elisa Joy White, University of Hawaii, USA

7. Pulling the Coat: Postcolonial Performance in Black British Women’s drama Kinka Batra, Texas Tech University, USA

8. From Mirage to Image: Africa on Film in the Metropolis (1955-1975). Dominic Thomas, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

About the Editor

Fassil Demissie is Associate Professor at the Department of Public Policy, DePaul University. He has previously edited Postcolonial African Cities and has served as co-editor of African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal, both published by Routledge. He co-edited The Black Body, Imagining, Writing and (Re)Reading (University of South Africa Press). His new current project is Colonial Architecture and Urbanism in Africa: Intertwined and Contested Histories (forthcoming, Ashgate).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC001000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
SOC002010
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOC020000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Minority Studies
SOC026000
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General