The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities

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Isidore Okpewho, Carole Boyce Davies, Ali AlʼAmin Mazrui
Indiana University Press, 1999 - History - 566 pages
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The purpose of this book is to contribute to the debate between those who believe that the African origin of blacks in western society is central to their identity and those who deny that proposition. How did Africans manage to create a viable life for themselves after they got here? How were they able to negotiate the social, political, cultural, and other space they encountered?
 

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Contents

The Ontological Project
3
Cultural Reconfigurations in the African Caribbean
19
The Restoration of African Identity for a New Millennium
28
Slaves or Serfs? A Comparative Study of Slavery and Serfdom
49
Modernity Memory Martinique
76
Kinship and State in African and African American Histories
89
Jobs and Homeownership among Black
115
The Significance of CognitiveLinguistic Orientation
139
The AfroEsmeraldian
290
Ellison and Cruz e Souza
315
Africa in Walcotts Dream on Monkey
332
The Impact of Islamigration
344
New World Metaphysical
350
Diasporacentricism and Black Aural Texts
367
The Reinterpretation of African Musical Instruments in
379
The Concept of Modernity in Contemporary African Art
391

The Relationship between Place of Birth and Health Status
153
Images of Africa and the Haiti Revolution in American
167
The Politics of Race in Cuba
178
The Role of Music in the Emergence of AfroCuban Culture
197
Art Gender and African American
204
Jorge Amado and the Myth of
227
African Immigrant
234
Horned Ancestral Masks Shakespearean Actor Boys
254
The Route from Roots in
275
Persistence of Lan Gin6e in Haiti
428
Representing JeanMichel Basquiat
439
Implied Texts and the Colors of Photography
452
Caribbean Cinema or Cinema in the Caribbean?
469
The Emergence of Bilateral Diaspora Ethnicity among Cape
485
Alice Walker and the Legacy of African American Discourse
525
Connecting Africa to
538
Contributors
555
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About the author (1999)

A novelist, poet, and oral literary scholar, Isidore Okpewho is currently a professor of African-American Studies and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Born at Asaba in the Delta State of Nigeria, he was educated at St. Patrick's College, Asaba, and later at the University of Ibadan, where he earned a first class Honors B.A. degree. For six years after his graduation, he worked as an editor for Longman publishers, but he then opted for an academic career. After obtaining his Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of Colorado in 1974, he joined the University of Ibadan, where he rose to the rank of full professor. As a scholar, Okpewho is well known for challenging and demolishing, through forceful arguments backed by textual and contextual evidence, several Eurocentric preconceptions about oral literature in Africa. His first book, Epic in Africa (1979), effectively ended the Eurocentric view that the epic does not exist in Africa. In his second book, Myth in Africa (1982), he offers incisive, aesthetically grounded, redefinitions of "myth" against the prevailing ritual-based definitions of the old European schools of anthropological inquiry. His radical redirections of perspective have culminated in his most recent book, African Oral Literature: Backgrounds, Character and Continuity (1992). Okpewho has also published a collection of poetry, Heritage of African Poetry, and a collection of essays, Oral Performance in Africa (1990). His creative output includes several poems published in Okike and other literary journals and three novels. His first novel, The Victims (1970), is a tragedy of domestic conflicts. His Second, The Last Duty (1976), set in the Nigerian civil war, won the African Arts Prize for Literature. His third novel, Tides, is his most recent publication.

Davies is Director of African-New World Studies and Professor of English at Florida International University.

Born in Kenya, A. A. Mazrui is Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at the State University of New York, Binghamton. He is the author of over 20 books including "The Africans: A Triple Heritage, " which was a PBS series.

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