Pilgrimage Tourism of Diaspora Africans to Ghana

By Ann Reed

© 2014 – Routledge

220 pages | 20 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415885027
pub: 2014-09-16
US Dollars$145.00

About the Book

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

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

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Subject Categories

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