African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and Contested by Katharina Schramm

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 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 replicate the complexity and a number of reverberations of those cultural encounters past the sector of roots tourism.

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Additional info for African Homecoming: Pan-African Ideology and Contested Heritage (Critical Cultural Heritage)

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Through such performances in the present, the historical significance of Ouidah and the Route des Esclaves gets authorized and authenticated. Another famous memorial is the Maison des Esclaves on the island of Gorée in Senegal (cf. ; Katchka 2004; Nicholls 2004). Even though its relevance as a major slave port has been contested (see Austen 2001), Gorée unquestionably serves as an important memorial icon for all kinds of visitors who wish to address the slave trade and its aftermaths— from Pope John Paul II to Hillary Clinton and numerous diasporan travelers.

Chapter Three therefore explores the development of Pan-Africanism from idea to movement and looks into the early manifestations of diasporan return to Ghana and its reverberations in the return wave of the 1990s. While these early connections are definitely an important factor for the prominence of Ghana as a destination of homecoming, most African Americans come to Ghana because of the many slave forts and castles that are located along its coast and speak of the violent diasporic dispersal. These structures embody many things at once: they are viewed as relics of different historical periods, as gravesites and memorials of the slave trade, but also as valuable tourism assets—a constellation that has caused a number of conflicts over adequate historical representation.

Brempong Osei-Tutu (2002, 2007) highlights the tensions between commemoration and commercialization in the representation of the slave trade, as does Cheryl Finley (2001, 2004). Elizabeth Macgonagle (2006) shifts the attention away from the large structures at Elmina and Cape Coast to the smaller forts and their everyday local usage, which, according to her, stands in sharp contrast to the official discourse and its concern with the African diaspora and the emotional needs of African Americans.

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