Always Elsewhere: Travels of the Black Atlantic

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Alasdair Pettinger
Cassell, Jan 1, 1998 - Social Science - 300 pages
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This book, the first-ever truly international collection of travel writings by black authors, includes material from the late eighteenth century to the present day. A narratives of the 'middle passage' to the observations of the modern tourist, this anthology includes the testimony of slaves, economic migrants, political activists, musicians, sailors, missionaries, students, foreign correspondents and wartime personnel. Some fifty extracts -- drawn from autobiographies, diaries, letters, fiction, essays, drama, poetry, as well as travel literature more conventionally defined -- indicate the bewildering variety of journeys which took place between Africa, Europe and the Americas in all directions and which have made the African diaspora what it is today. It is hard to find accounts which do not follow (however apologetically or ironically) the itineraries of colonial explorers or administrators. Travellers of the black Atlantic -- like those of other diasporas -- offer a vital corrective. However, their narratives do not simply reverse the usual direction of travel: they demand that we rethink the very category of travel literature and the certainties of home which it so often takes for granted.

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Always elsewhere: travels of the Black Atlantic

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This anthology of 50 travel pieces by African American, Caribbean, and African writers spans the the last three centuries. Among the writers included are Frederick Douglass, Richard Wright, Phillis ... Read full review


Part Two Strangers in a Strange land
Part Three Ethnography in Reverse
Part Four Tours of Duty

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About the author (1998)

Pettinger works at the Scottish Music Information Centre, Glasgow.

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