Afro-American and African Diaspora Studies | Black Migration
A590 | 27700 | Trica Keaton

Department of African American & African Diaspora Studies Fall 2005

A387 & A590 - TR 01:30P-03:30P
The Politics of Black Migration:  Identity, Solidarity, & Tensions
in the African Diaspora

Professor Trica Keaton

Until recently, the experiences of African descent peoples have been
under-explored in relation to America's traditions of migration and
immigration in comparison to other groups.  There is, however, an
extraordinary diversity of New and Old World peoples of the African
Diaspora gathered today in the United States and elsewhere.  This
includes Africans, African Americans, Afro-Caribbeans, Central
Americans and South Americans of African descent, as well as Afro-
Europeans.  While peoples identified with these groups have their
own rich ways of being and sense of identity, the notions of
Blackness (often reified and uninterrogated), Black solidarity, and
Black community are generally assumed to bind all together,
irrespective of ethno-national origins.

There are, however, clear tensions and antagonisms, as well as
solidarity, between peoples raced “black” and included as Black in
the United States that beg several critical questions undertaken in
this course.  For example: What factors explain the presence of
populations identified as the “New African Diaspora” in the U.S.?
How are inter-group relations between Old and New World peoples of
African descent?  How has life in the U.S. (and elsewhere) shaped
self and group perceptions in this context, especially for the
second+ generation?  Is it accurate to identify all African descent
peoples in the U.S. (or elsewhere) as Black?  What are the tensions
between groups, what accounts for them, and how have they been
bridged?  Is Black solidarity a fallacy and/or reality in light of
such tremendous diversity?  Are these issues only in the United

In this course, we will explore these and other questions in
relation to the politics of Black migration—the power-interest
dynamics, causes, and consequences of the movement and settlement of
African descent peoples to the U.S. and beyond.  This course will
draw from a broad spectrum of fields, including African Studies,
African American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, American
studies, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, and Historyin order to
examine and explore interdisciplinary issues and questions about
what is referred to as Black Migration.

For more information, contact Trica Keaton (AAADS & American