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Entangled Belongings: Reimagining Transnational Biographies of Black and Global African Diasporic Kinship

Contested Belonging: Spaces, Practices, Biographies

ISBN: 978-1-78743-207-9, eISBN: 978-1-78743-206-2

Publication date: 29 May 2018

Abstract

Purpose – Based on auto/biographical and ethnographic narratives and conceptual theories, this chapter explores the Global African Diaspora as a racialized space of belonging for African diasporas in the United States, the United Kingdom and – more recently – the clandestine migration zones from Africa to southern Europe

Methodology/Approach – Both auto/biographical as well as conceptual theoretical approaches are used to illustrate the author’s roots, routes and detours interpretive paradigm highlighting the interconnectedness across time and space of differential African diasporas. This methodology also illuminates shifting conceptions of blackness as forms of transnational kinship and solidarity.

Findings – This analysis reveals the messiness of complex racialized conceptualizations of belonging in the specific diasporic spaces of England, the United States and the clandestine migration zones of southern Europe. At the same time, the chapter highlights transnational modalities of black and Global African Diasporic kinship, consciousness and solidarity engendered by shared lived experiences of institutionalized racism, structural inequalities and violence.

Originality/Value – Using the author’s interpretive framework entitled roots/routes/detours, this chapter moves away from prior theoretical simplifications of the Global African Diaspora towards an engagement with its conceptual complexities. In particular, this chapter critically explores social, political and historical formations of African diasporas in the United States, the United Kingdom and the more recent clandestine migration zones between continental Africa and southern Europe as their formulations collide with shifting conceptions of blackness as forms of transnational kinship and solidarity.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the coeditors of this important and exciting collection. Thank you to Kathy Davis, in particular, as well as to the other members of the organizing committee at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Their kind invitation to deliver a keynote address at an international conference on ‘Biographies of Belonging’ was the initial inspiration for this chapter. My critical thinking and the conceptual development of this chapter have been greatly enriched by face-to-face and virtual dialogue with colleagues/fellow conference participants as well as by my exchanges with those in attendance at the public lecture I delivered at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam. Finally, I extend my thanks to the two anonymous reviewers, who provided such insightful and instructive feedback.

Citation

Ifekwunigwe, J.O. (2018), "Entangled Belongings: Reimagining Transnational Biographies of Black and Global African Diasporic Kinship", Davis, K., Ghorashi, H. and Smets, P. (Ed.) Contested Belonging: Spaces, Practices, Biographies, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 19-41. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78743-206-220181002

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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