By Katharina Schramm
African americans 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 vital 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 identification that mirror the complexity and a number of reverberations of those cultural encounters past the sector of roots tourism.
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Extra info for African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and Contested Heritage (Critical Cultural Heritage)
The motto under which UNIA was to gain its fame was “One God! One Aim! ” For Garvey and his adherents, the destiny of the Black race lay in Africa. The continent was the legitimate (and only) home of Black people; it was the Promised Land, the destination of a spiritual as well as a physical return movement. Just as the Jewish people cried for Palestine, “Negroes are raising the cry of ‘africa for the africans,’ those at home and abroad” (Garvey 1969 : 34, emphasis in the original). Taking up the ideas of Blyden, Garvey urged Black people to acknowledge their African heritage.
Approaches to the Field In 1995, I had my first encounter with the rhetoric of the African family in Ghana. It was in February during Black History Month, when I watched a performance of the dance drama “The Slave Trade” on the university campus at Legon and listened to the various speeches that emphasized African brotherand sisterhood and the commonality of a shared heritage on which to build a joint future. ” In the same year, the UNESCO/WTO (World Tourism Organization) Programme for Cultural Tourism on the Slave Route in Africa (Accra Declaration 1995) was launched in Accra and boasted investment in and consequently heritage tourism to the slave sites.
Their search, however, leads to disappointment as the full welcoming embrace is denied to them. In my study I trace a different story line, arguing that the inherent ambiguity of homecoming should not lead to the assumption of total incommensurability between Ghanaian and diasporan positions. First, both groups are extremely heterogeneous, and there are many unexpected areas of overlap between the different positions. Moreover, these positions are never static but in constant flux. Second, the oppositional view ignores the larger historical and political dynamics underlying the homecoming phenomenon by reducing it to a matter of tourism alone.
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