"The task of decolonization must be taken to the metropolis itself; the imperial mythology has to be confronted on its home ground" --Simon Gikandi
The Editors of African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal announce the Call for Papers on African Diaspora and the Metropolis to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the seminal publication, Presence Africaine by Allioune Diop. The publication of Presence Africaine was an expression of the African and Black Diaspora intellectual movement that resulted in a series of important congresses held in the metropolis between 1900 -1956 to recenter Africa in the collective imagination of its diaspora and galvanize political support against colonial rule in the continent and elsewhere. Presence Africaine activated the existing social and intellectual networks among African and Black Diaspora intellectuals, artists, musicians, cultural workers, migrants and trade unionists that began to gather momentum since the first Pan African Congress held in London in 1900.
The Editors are seeking papers that examine the intersection between the African Diaspora and the metropolis. African Diaspora migrants and intellectuals traversed the ‘middle passage’ from the Caribbean, United States and other parts of the Americas in the opposite direction from the forced journey undertaken by their abducted and enslaved ancestors. Later, they were joined by a small but growing number of Africans from the continent in London, Paris, Brussels, Lisbon, Madrid, New York and other places by planes and steam ships and were actors in the larger history of empire from which the imperatives of forces migration, displacement and exile has arisen. In the process, African descendant men and women invented dynamic and trans-imperial cultures despite the efforts to deny them citizenship. As they began to settle in the metropolis, carve out a social and material world for themselves and families, their presence like other colonial subjects became its most visible constitutive features of the metropolis. Stuart Hall like many other Caribbean immigrants to Britain commented in the following way. “People like me who came to England in the 1950s have been there for centuries; symbolically, we have been there for centuries. I was coming home. I am the sugar at the bottom of the English cup of tea. I am the sweet tooth, the sugar plantation that rotted generations of English children’s teeth. There are thousands of others beside me that are, you know, the cup of tea itself. Because they don’t grow it in Lancashire, you know... There is no English history without that other history.” 1
We are seeking papers that examine the development of African Diaspora networks in the metropolis and how these networks were activated, nurtured and conveyed transnational dialogue among people of the African and Black Diaspora. In what ways have these networks both real and imagined become spaces of knowledge and memory? In what ways did the metropolis became both a site and an object of diasporic resistance? As diasporic peoples negotiated their identities in the metropolis, between what Gilroy calls “the tension between roots and routes” (Gilroy, 1993), how was the metropolis as a dwelling place negotiated? What cultural resources and practices were deployed to ‘improvising new lives…creating new possibilities… and decolonizing…” 2 the metropolis.
Contributors are encouraged to explore African diaspora networks in the metropolis through literature, music, performance, photography and visual art, religious congregations, carnivals and festivals, cultural clubs, dance halls, burial associations, etc…
African and Black Diaspora: An International Journal is devoted to a critical interrogation of the trans/national movements, locations and intersections of subjectivity within the African Diaspora in the context of globalization as well as in different discourses, political, social and cultural. The journal maps and navigates the theoretical and political set in motion by the nation-state and provides a counter-narrative of subject positions regarding resistance, negotiation and creativity by African descendant populations.
The aim of the journal is to advance the analytical and interrogative discourses that constitute the distinctive interdisciplinary field of African and Black Diaspora Studies in the production of knowledge about the deterritorialised and transnational nature of the African and Black Diaspora. Moving beyond essentialist modes of theorizing, the journal situates the movement of African descended populations (geographic, cultural, social, political and psychological) in the context of globalized and transnational spaces by emphasizing the centrality of African and Black Diaspora as a unit of analysis as well as the development of diasporic identities across time and space.
Three complete copies of each manuscript should be submitted, along with an abstract of no more than 150 words. Manuscripts should be typed on one side of the paper, double spaced, with one inch margins, and bear the title of the article. All pages should be numbered. Only Endnotes should be used and no Footnoting. The name(s) of the author(s), along with complete contact information should be included on a separate page. along with a copy on 3.5 inch disk or CD in ASCII text, WordPerfect, , Microsoft Word format. The full postal address, telephone number, fax and e-mail address of the author who will check proofs and receive correspondence should also be included. For additional details regarding manuscript submission, please visit the journal’s web site:
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