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

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 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 mirror the complexity and a number of reverberations of those cultural encounters past the field of roots tourism.

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Yet these achievements belonged to a distant past and had not much to do with contemporary Africa. He claimed the culture of Ancient Egypt and the pompous representations of the Pharaohs as his own heritage and did not mention that this greatness rested on the labor of slaves (cf. Gilroy 1993: 207). However, it was precisely the glory of suffering and the biblical power of endurance that distinguished the African Personality from the character of other races. He pointed out that Black slaves had made great contributions to the sustaining and enrichment of Europe and the Americas; yet he argued that they had no place in those respective countries.

In this way, such narratives are a rich source of connections, associations, and suggested relationships for shaping multisited objects of research. : 109) In my case, however, it was not the (Ghanaian) state alone that produced hegemonic versions of the past, since its narratives were, on the one hand, formulated in opposition to a dominant Western tradition, and, on the other hand, they had to compete with those of diasporan actors who were sometimes actively enforcing a particular rhetoric of truth onto the homecomingdiscourse.

Such an intricate practice could not be localized in one particular, enclosed research site (cf. Gupta & Ferguson 1997). Because of that I favored a more �multisited ethnography (Marcus 1995) in my fieldwork. This meant to �incorporate different localities that played a crucial role in homecoming. 11 In addition, I looked at a variety of institutions (the National Commission on Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Du Bois Centre for Pan-African Culture, the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, and so on) and events (local and national festivals, events with a specifically Pan-African outlook, such as PANAFEST and Emancipation Day, colloquia, conferences, and so forth) that had an impact on the evolution of the homecoming-discourse and its rendering into practice.

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