Event Title

Back to Africa? Revisiting Historical and Contemporary African Return Movements

Event Type

Presentation

Location

EHFA 137

Start Date

6-3-2020 1:45 PM

End Date

6-3-2020 3:15 PM

Description

In 1878, over 200 African Americans set sail from Charleston, South Carolina heading to Africa in search of a better life. Although the 'Liberian Exodus' was a disaster (mismanaged journey with high loss of life and unfulfilled promises), it is only one of scores of 'Back to Africa' movements. Generations of the African diaspora have engaged in return migration including the founding of Liberia and Sierra Leone, Garveyism, Rastafarianism, and Ghana's contemporary 'Right of Abode' program. An analysis of these movements reveals the emerging of similar patterns, such as the inability to reconcile expectation and reality as well as diasporic returnees becoming the new elites. Similarly, an exploration of creative fiction and non-fiction works by authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maya Angelou, Florence Onyebuchi Emecheta, Yaa Gyasi, and Lawrence Hill, encapsulate the dissonance that diasporic and contemporary returnees experience. Girma's talk scrutinizes the desire, history, select literary expressions, pitfalls and potentials of back-to-Africa movements.

Comments

Theme: Diasporic Movement; Moderator: Shari Orisich, Coastal Carolina University

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Mar 6th, 1:45 PM Mar 6th, 3:15 PM

Back to Africa? Revisiting Historical and Contemporary African Return Movements

EHFA 137

In 1878, over 200 African Americans set sail from Charleston, South Carolina heading to Africa in search of a better life. Although the 'Liberian Exodus' was a disaster (mismanaged journey with high loss of life and unfulfilled promises), it is only one of scores of 'Back to Africa' movements. Generations of the African diaspora have engaged in return migration including the founding of Liberia and Sierra Leone, Garveyism, Rastafarianism, and Ghana's contemporary 'Right of Abode' program. An analysis of these movements reveals the emerging of similar patterns, such as the inability to reconcile expectation and reality as well as diasporic returnees becoming the new elites. Similarly, an exploration of creative fiction and non-fiction works by authors such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Maya Angelou, Florence Onyebuchi Emecheta, Yaa Gyasi, and Lawrence Hill, encapsulate the dissonance that diasporic and contemporary returnees experience. Girma's talk scrutinizes the desire, history, select literary expressions, pitfalls and potentials of back-to-Africa movements.