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 family members is produced between African hosts and Diasporan returnees and while 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 focus on 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 sector of roots tourism.
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Extra resources for African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and Contested Heritage (Critical Cultural Heritage)
Blyden exerted great influence, on his contemporaries as well as on twentieth century Pan-Africanists. Many of his thoughts were taken up by continental Africans who were involved in the anticolonial struggle—on a cultural as well as on a political front. ” Among Afrocentric scholars, both in America and Africa, references to a Black cultural essence as well as to the great heritage of Egypt and the ancient African empires are very common. Repatriation, again, has also become an option for quite a few diasporans who do not feel at home in the racist societies in which they were born.
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. This monument is reached through a pathway, La Route des Esclaves, that combines references to the history of the slave trade with evocations of Vodun through sculptures and shrines (cf.
I show the multifarious character of the encounter between African diaspora and homeland by opening up a specter of perspectives, ranging from the Ghanaian state and its bureaucracy to diasporan repatriates. Other actors include Ghanaian intellectuals, youths, and traditional authorities, as well as African-American tourists. Voices from the past are made audible through the recourse to historical accounts, archival material, letters, visitors’ books, and the like. Films, photographs, and advertising brochures and the fleeting moments of performances and the distinct rhetoric of public discourse have all been part of the mosaic that I have attempted to fit together in this study on the politics of heritage and homecoming in Ghana.