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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 relations is produced between African hosts and Diasporan returnees and while contested in perform. She examines the various interpretations and appropriations of important 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 replicate the complexity and a number of reverberations of those cultural encounters past the field of roots tourism.

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The journey of African Americans to the slave sites (and, for that matter, diasporic homecoming in general) has often been described as a pilgrimage. In Chapter Six, I develop a theoretical framework of pilgrimage tourism in order to better grasp the dynamics of that movement. To point out its specificity, I€correlate the emic notion of pilgrimage with the aspect of commercial movement and explore the structural conditions as well as imaginary potentials that enable this kind of travel. In Chapter Seven, I concentrate on a particular event, Emancipation Day 1998, when the pilgrimage metaphor was explicitly employed.

During his reign, cooperation and solidarity with the diaspora were actively sought, and many diasporans, including Du Bois, came to Ghana to offer assistance in the project of nation-building. Chapter Three therefore explores the development of Pan-Africanism from idea to movement and looks into the early manifestations of diasporan return to Ghana and its reverberations in the return wave of the 1990s. While these early connections are definitely an important factor for the prominence of Ghana as a destination of homecoming, most African Americans come to Ghana because of the many slave forts and castles that are located along its coast and speak of the violent diasporic dispersal.

One of the most striking biblical references to suffering is the exodus of the ancient Israelites from Egypt—a crucial narrative that has been appropriated widely in Black movements from early Pan-Africanism to the Rastafarians and the Black Hebrew Israelites. Here, the biblical story becomes associated with the African destiny, and the mythical Exodus finds its parallel in the transatlantic slave trade and subsequent bondage. If we follow this logic, we see that the male New World Negro embodied Blyden’s concept of the African Personality in its purest form.

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