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9781509548330

Black is the Journey, Africana the Name

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9781509548330

  • ISBN10:

    1509548335

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-12-06
  • Publisher: Polity
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Summary

In this highly original book, Maboula Soumahoro explores the cultural and political vastness of the Black Atlantic, where Africa, Europe and the Americas were tied together by the brutal realities of the slave trade and colonialism. Each of these spaces has its own way of reading the black body and the black experience, and its own modes of visibility, invisibility, silence and amplification of black life. Maboula Soumahoro brings historical, intellectual, artistic, political and personal archives from the three continents into conversation. By weaving together her personal history with that of France and its abiding myth of color-blindness, she highlights the banality and persistence of structural racism in France today and shows that freedom will be found in the journey and movement between the sites of the Atlantic triangle. Africana is the name of that freedom.

How can we build and reflect on a collective diasporic identity through a personal journey?  What are the limits and possibilities of this endeavor, when the personal journey is that of oft-erased bodies and stories, de-humanized lives and when Black populations in Africa, the Americas and Europe identify and misidentify with each other, their sensibilities shaped by the particular locales in which their lives unfold?

This book makes an important intellectual contribution to contemporary public conversations and theoretical inquiry into race, racism, blackness, and identity today, as it probes and questions the academic methodologies that have functioned as structures of exclusion.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Translator’s Note

Foreword – Saidiya Hartman


Introduction. Black speech / Speaking blackness

      On diaspora

      What is this “I”?


The Triangle

      Chronotope

      Scholarly and personal implications

      An intellectual tradition

      The question of return


University Trajectory

      Black orbit

      Studying in France

      Studying overseas


The Hexagon

      “For the great MCs, on behalf of a grateful ‘hood’”

      2005: “Right the wrong, by any means necessary”

      Public discourse

      Black History Month (BHM) / Africana Days

      To be done with the burden of race


Conclusion. The Orbs are Black, or, what beauty owes to chaos

Notes

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