African Studies Review

Description: African Studies Review, a multi-disciplinary scholarly journal, publishes original research and analyses of Africa and book reviews three times annually. It encourages scholarly debates across disciplines. The editing of the African Studies Review is supported by Five Colleges, Inc., a consortium representing Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts.

Coverage: 1970-2011 (Vol. 13, No. 1 – Vol. 54, No. 3)

The “moving wall” represents the time period between the last issue available in JSTOR and the most recently published issue of a journal. Moving walls are generally represented in years. In rare instances, a publisher has elected to have a “zero” moving wall, so their current issues are available in JSTOR shortly after publication. Note: In calculating the moving wall, the current year is not counted. For example, if the current year is 2008 and a journal has a 5 year moving wall, articles from the year 2002 are available.

ISSN: 00020206

EISSN: 15552462

Subjects: African Studies, Area Studies

Excerpt from:
Unfinished Migrations: Diaspora – JSTOR

Written on November 5th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

Conference Theme: “African Diaspora Circularities: Forging Communities, Cultures, and Politics”

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ASWAD extends its condolences to the families of those massacred at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church on June 17, 2015 in a criminal act of domestic terrorism. We share in the pain of all who are suffering, but also in the outrage that anti-black violence continues to erupt in societies that continue to cling to the ideologies of racial supremacy, inequality, and ignorance that constituted the very foundations on which they were built. We condemn the institutions and policies that sanction that violence. We recognize that the suffering of the city of Charleston is not isolated. On the same day as the shooting, the Dominican Republic imposed a deadline on hundreds of thousands of Dominicans alleged to be of Haitian origin, threatening them with deportation in a climate reminiscent of the countrys 1937 massacre of Haitian-Dominicans. And violence to black bodies, mind, and spirit continues around the world.ASWAD exists in recognition of the interconnectedness of African peoples, a collective spirit which has been critical to our struggle. We cannot, and will not, allow each other to stand alone. We will take up this issue at our Charleston conference, and we encourage you to respond both personally and collectively as we continue the work of those who came before us and make a safer world for the coming generations to live and flourish.

ASWAD plans to take a collection at the conference to present as a collective donation to the Mother Emanuel AME Church fund for the families of the shooting victims. For those who will not be able to participate at that time, donations may be made at any time to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund established by the City of Charleston:


ASWAD is pleased to announce our co-sponsorship of the Journal of Africana Religions, the world’s first and only English-language journal to examine black religions in global perspective, beginning with its debut in January 2013. ASWAD members will receive a free subscription. Read more….

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Written on November 1st, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

The Armenian diaspora refers to the communities of Armenians outside the Republic of Armenia including the self-proclaimed de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Since antiquity, Armenians have established communities in many regions throughout the world. However, the modern Armenian diaspora was largely formed as a result of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, when the Armenians living in their ancestral homeland in eastern Turkeyknown as Western Armenia to Armenianswere systematically exterminated by the Ottoman government.[1]

In Armenian, the diaspora is referred to as spyurk (pronounced[spjurk]), spelled in classical orthography and in reformed orthography.[2][3] In the past, the word gaghut ( pronounced[ut]) was mostly used to refer to the Armenian communities outside the Armenian homeland. It is borrowed from the Aramaic (Classical Syriac) cognate[4] of Hebrew galut ().[5][6]

The Armenian diaspora has been present for over seventeen hundred years.[7] The modern Armenian diaspora was formed largely after the World War I as a result of the Armenian Genocide. According to Randall Hansen, “Both in the past and today, the Armenian communities around the world have developed in significantly different ways within the constraints and opportunities found in varied host cultures and countries.”[1]

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Turkish nationalists led by Mustafa Kemal Atatrk took the region of Western Armenia. As a result of the genocide, Armenians were forced to flee to different parts of the world (approximately half a million in number) and created new Armenian communities far from their native land. Through marriage and procreation, the number of Armenians in the diaspora who trace their lineage to those Armenians who survived and fled Western Armenia is now several million. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, approximately one million Armenians have joined the diaspora largely as a result of difficult economic conditions in Armenia. Jivan Tabibian, an Armenian scholar and former diplomat in Armenia said, Armenians “are not place bound, but… are intensely place-conscious.”[8]

In the fourth century, Armenian communities already existed outside of Greater Armenia. Diasporic Armenian communities emerged in the Sassanid and Persian empires, and also to defend eastern and northern borders of the Byzantine Empire.[9] In order to populate the less populated areas of Byzantium, Armenians were relocated to those regions. Some Armenians converted to Greek Orthodoxy while retaining Armenian as their language, whereas others stubbornly clung on to remain in the Armenian Church despite pressure from official authorities. A growing number of Armenians voluntarily migrated or were compelled to move to Cilicia during the course of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. After the fall of the kingdom to the Mamelukes and loss of Armenian statehood in 1375, up to 150,000 went to Cyprus, the Balkans, and Italy.[9] Although an Armenian diaspora existed during Antiquity and the Middle Ages, it grew in size due to emigration from the Ottoman Empire, Iran, Russia, and the Caucasus.

The Armenian diaspora is divided into two communities those from Ottoman Armenia (or Western Armenian) and those who are from the former Soviet Union, the independent Republic of Armenia and Iran. (or Eastern Armenian)

Armenians of the modern Republic of Turkey do not consider themselves as part of the Armenian Diaspora, since they believe that they continue residing in their historical homeland.[citation needed]

The Armenian diaspora grew considerably during and after the First World War due to dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.[10] Although many Armenians perished during the Armenian Genocide, some of the Armenians managed to escape, and established themselves in various parts of the world.

Today, the Armenian diaspora refers to communities of Armenians living outside the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh, since these regions form part of Armenians’ indigenous homeland. The total Armenian population living worldwide is estimated to be 11,000,000.

Of those, approximately 3 million live in Armenia, 130,000 in the unrecognized de facto independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and 120,000 in the region of Javakhk in neighboring Georgia. This leaves approximately 7,000,000 in diaspora (with the largest populations in Russia, the United States, France, Argentina, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Turkey, Canada, Ukraine, Greece, and Australia).[11]

Less than one third of the world’s Armenian population lives in Armenia. Their pre-World War I population area was six times larger than that of present-day Armenia, including the eastern regions of Turkey, northern part of Iran, southern part of Georgia, Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan regions of Azerbaijan.[12]

The table below lists countries and territories where at least a few Armenians live, with their number according to official data and estimates by various organizations and media.

Estimates may vary greatly, because no reliable data are available for some countries. In France, Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Germany and many other countries, ethnicity was never enumerated during population censuses and it is virtually impossible to determine the actual number of Armenians living there. Data on people of foreign origin (born abroad or having a foreign citizenship) is available for most European Union countries, but doesn’t present the whole picture and can hardly be taken as a source for the number of Armenians, because in many countries, most prominently France, most Armenians aren’t from the Republic of Armenia and they don’t have any legal connection with their ancestral homeland. Also, not all Armenian citizens and people born in Armenia are ethnic Armenians, but the overwhelming majority of them are, as about 97.9% of the country’s population is Armenian.[13]

For other countries, such as Russia, the official number of Armenians is believed, by many, to have been underrated, because many migrant workers live in the country.

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Armenian diaspora – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on October 28th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

The late Rebo Kairu Ngure, who was promoted to glory on October 17th 2015 after being severely attacked by thugs at his home in Kenya, will be buried on Friday. Family sources have said.

He was husband to Terry Wairimu Kairu, father to Kairu Rebo (Baltimore, Maryla…

Cytonn Diaspora requests the pleasure of your company at an Investment Forum which will take place in Towson, Maryland on Sunday, October 25th, 2015 from 3pm to 8pm.

Come learn about Investment opportunities in East Africa.

The Investment Forum will take pla…

Cytonn Diaspora requests the pleasure of your company for a Dinner Event in Towson, Maryland on Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 7pm to 9:30pm.

Come learn about Investment opportunities in East Africa over dinner, which is being sponsored by Cytonn Diaspora.

Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Was Left Speechless On Tuesday (20oct15) As She Was Honoured With Her Own Day In Harlem, New York.

The 12 Years A Slave beauty is currently in the Big Apple for her Off Broadway play Eclipsed, and she was invited to discuss her life and…

The 2015 Mashujaa Awards Gala was held on Saturday, October 17th in Houston, Texas. The annual event recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Kenyans both in the Homeland Kenya and the entire Diaspora at large.

Here is the list of winners of the-just concluded…

A high-ranking Sheppard Pratt employee and her husband pleaded guilty Friday to fraud charges based on invoices from 2007 to 2014 totaling more than $2.7 million, according to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland.

Lyneth Nyabiosi was the director of healt…

Pay your taxes and rates, follow-up on your documents, Obtain Information, Purchase Gifts, Groceries, and Stationery, Distribute Cards for your Events and such other things. Call Zissou – your reliable Courier and Errands Services Provider in Kenya.

5 Q…

Authorities in Brandenburg, Germany, are looking for relatives of a Kenyan man who died two weeks ago in the Northern German town of Hohenleipisch.

The body of Moses Sirma was discovered inside his house in Hohenleipisch on October 3, 2015 and has been lying in the…

The Nairobi Chamber Chorus is in the USA marketing Kenya as a safe place to visit.

The choir has been touring the southern states of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, using their songs to highlight the integration and peace in their home country.


Kitten Diaspora requests the pleasure of your company for a Dinner Event on Sunday, October 18, 2015 from 7pm to 9pm at Africa Fusion restaurant in Dallas, Texas.

Come learn about Investment opportunities in East Africa over dinner, which is being sponsored by Cyto…

Theatre critics are virtually unanimous in praising Lupita Nyongos stage debut in an Africa-focused play that opened in New York on Wednesday.

The New York Times hailed Ms Nyongos tremendously accomplished performance in the drama, titled Eclipsed, that is se…

When most people leave the country to study abroad, they usually do so with the hopes that it would make finding a job once they return much easier.

And so, armed with their certificates some of them from worlds highly regarded universities they re…

An American national sobbed in a Nairobi court on Thursday as he narrated how his Kenyan wife, with whom they have two children, fleeced him.

Mr John Eugene Bennet, with a pitched voice stated: I have limited funds. All my accounts are in the name of my Kenyan wif…

King County officials have suspended the license of a nursing assistant after he was charged with raping a blind, deaf and mentally disabled person in his care.

Washington state Department of Health officials say Samuel K. Njuguna was charged with second-degree rap…

When an employment agent approached 23-year-old Rosebella Akoth one year ago with an offer for a job paying Sh30,000 per month, among other benefits, she couldnt resist it.

She packed her bags in July 2014 and left for Saudi Arabia with the hopes that her new job…

A Kenyan diplomat was attacked during a home invasion in Queens, sources said.

Evans Maturu, 48, told police he was on the first floor of his Kew Gardens Hills home, on 73rd Ave. near 147th St., about 8 p.m. on Saturday when he heard a loud noise on the second floo…

Ever dream of starting a major business or bringing a top-rated franchise back to your motherland, but you are hamstrung by lack of capital or technical support? If so, a major investment forum in Boston next week (October 13-14) is your answer.

President Uhuru Kenyattas frequent foreign trips cost taxpayers more than Sh1 billion in the financial year ended June, adding to the national budget strain that has seen public servants wages and allowances eat deeply into development expenditure.

The Controller…

DJ Simple Simon was the sole Kenyan winner at the 2015 African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA), which took place Saturday night in Dallas, Texas. Simple Simon won in the Best DJ (US) category, in which fellow Kenyan Deejay Shinski was also a nominee.

AFRICA is the…

It seems like yesterday Lupita Nyong’o won an Oscar for her breakthrough role in 12 Years a Slave, but that wasn’t the only big moment for the Nyong’o family that night. Her little brother, Peter, also made history by joining in Ellen DeGeneres’s break-the-Internet group…

A Kenyan who unsuccessfully vied for a political seat in the UK has blamed Kenyan authorities for manufacturing criminal lies against him.

Mr Daniel Munyambu who, this year, failed in a bid to be elected to the House of Commons is fighting extradition from the Un…

The Kiambu county government has secured a direct market for their coffee in the US in a deal that will enable farmers increase their production with a view to capitalising on the same.

Governor William Kabogo who made the disclosure after a tour of the US challeng…

On Saturday November the 28th, New Jersey will be set aflame as Africa’s Top comedian Anne Kansiime comes to New Jersey for a single Tri-state family oriented show. The Ugandan comedian and star host of Dont mess with Kansiime on Maisha Magic Channel 161 has won…

Africans have the highest educational attainment rates of any immigrant group in the United States with higher levels of completion than the stereotyped Asian American model minority. It is not only the first generation that does well, as estimates indicate that a highly…

A third person charged in connection to the murder of a man at a Roanoke hotel in June is now in custody, police say.

Brea Ann Belcher, 20, of North Carolina, is currently being held in the Roanoke City Jail without bond.

Online court records show Belcher is…

Money sent home by Kenyans living abroad rose by 3.2 percent in the month of August, to $132.9 million, from the same month last year, the central bank said on Monday.

Known as remittances, the cash is a major source of foreign exchange for east Africa’s biggest ec…

Every year, thousands of Kenyans pass through Jomo Kenyatta international airport either on their way out of the country or as they come back home from foreign trips.

And although there is general consensus that a lot at the airport has changed for the better in re…

Registration for the US Green Card Lottery for FY 2017 (DV-2017) begins today, Thursday October 1st at 12noon EDT.

The Diversity Visa Program is administered annually by the Department of State and provides for a class of immigrants known as diversity immigrants…

Kenyans living in the Diaspora are being offered a penalty waiver of 80% on loans they owe the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB). The waiver period runs through October 31, 2015, says HELB officials.

A Kenyan child pornography producer was sentenced late Monday to life in prison for participating in the Dreamboard child sexual exploitation website, said United State Attorney Stephanie A. Finley and Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Departmen…

Oscar winner, Lupita Nyongo, has revealed that she is under pressure from her mother to get married soon.

During a recent interview with Vogue Magazine the Best Supporting Actress from the motion picture 12 Years a Slave said her mom has been silently hinting at…

The man who donated the much-hyped Hummer to Raila Odinga during his 2007 General Election campaigns has been cooling his heels at Kongolea Prison since April, 2013.

Controversial businessman, Don Bosco Gichana, who is also wanted by the US over alleged money laund…

Kenyans living in the United States will now enjoy an 80 per cent penalty waiver on their Helb university loans if they pay what they owe in a lump sum within the next one month.

The extension was communicated to Kenyans living in the US by Helb chief executive off…

Kenyan Afro-pop all-boy band Sauti Sol will share the same stage with some of the biggest international names, including American music star Beyonce Knowles at the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday, September 26, 2015 in New York.

According a tweet on the award w…

President Uhuru Kenyatta has a tight schedule as he attends the 70th session of the United nations General Assembly in New York.

Mr Kenyatta, who arrived in New York on Friday morning and was received by Kenyas envoy to the UN Macharia Kamau, was scheduled to deli…

Three Kenyans were killed and one seriously injured on Thursday in a stampede during a Hajj pilgrimage near the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Foreign Affairs Ministry has confirmed.

Karanja Kibicho, the ministrys Principal Secretary, has said that not all…

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Written on October 24th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

Diaspora,( Greek: Dispersion)Hebrew Galut (Exile), TorahBBC Hulton Picture Librarythe dispersion of Jews among the Gentiles after the Babylonian Exile; or the aggregate of Jews or Jewish communities scattered in exile outside Palestine or present-day Israel. Although the term refers to the physical dispersal of Jews throughout the world, it also carries religious, philosophical, political, and eschatological connotations, inasmuch as the Jews perceive a special relationship between the land of Israel and themselves. Interpretations of this relationship range from the messianic hope of traditional Judaism for the eventual ingathering of the exiles to the view of Reform Judaism that the dispersal of the Jews was providentially arranged by God to foster pure monotheism throughout the world.

The first significant Jewish Diaspora was the result of the Babylonian Exile of 586 bc. After the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah, part of the Jewish population was deported into slavery. Although Cyrus the Great, the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, permitted the Jews to return to their homeland in 538 bc, part of the Jewish community voluntarily remained behind.

The largest, most significant, and culturally most creative Jewish Diaspora in early Jewish history flourished in Alexandria, where, in the 1st century bc, 40 percent of the population was Jewish. Around the 1st century ad, an estimated 5,000,000 Jews lived outside Palestine, about four-fifths of them within the Roman Empire, but they looked to Palestine as the centre of their religious and cultural life. Diaspora Jews thus far outnumbered the Jews in Palestine even before the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70. Thereafter, the chief centres of Judaism shifted from country to country (e.g., Babylonia, Persia, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the United States), and Jewish communities gradually adopted distinctive languages, rituals, and cultures, some submerging themselves in non-Jewish environments more completely than others. While some lived in peace, others became victims of violent anti-Semitism.

Jews hold widely divergent views about the role of Diaspora Jewry and the desirability and significance of maintaining a national identity. While the vast majority of Orthodox Jews support the Zionist movement (the return of Jews to Israel), some Orthodox Jews go so far as to oppose the modern nation of Israel as a godless and secular state, defying Gods will to send his Messiah at the time he has preordained.

According to the theory of shelilat ha-galut (denial of the exile), espoused by many Israelis, Jewish life and culture are doomed in the Diaspora because of assimilation and acculturation, and only those Jews who migrate to Israel have hope for continued existence as Jews. It should be noted that neither this position nor any other favourable to Israel holds that Israel is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy regarding the coming of the messianic era.

Although Reform Jews still commonly maintain that the Diaspora in the United States and elsewhere is a valid expression of Gods will, the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1937 officially abrogated the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, which declared that Jews should no longer look forward to a return to Israel. This new policy actively encouraged Jews to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland. On the other hand, the American Council for Judaism, founded in 1943 but now moribund, declared that Jews are Jews in a religious sense only and any support given to a Jewish homeland in Palestine would be an act of disloyalty to their countries of residence.

Support for a national Jewish state was notably greater after the wholesale annihilation of Jews during World War II. Of the estimated 14 million Jews in the world today, about 4 million reside in Israel, about 4.5 million in the United States, and about 2.2 million in Russia, Ukraine, and other republics formerly of the Soviet Union.

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Diaspora | Judaism |

Written on October 21st, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

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Ethio Diaspora poetry Night

Kate Fisher reports on protests in American capital against xenophobia

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman meets Dr. Tedros Adhanom.

Ethio Diaspora Radio with Diacon Tibebu Mamo

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Written on October 11th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

The Jewish state comes to an end in 70 AD, when the Romans begin to actively drive Jews from the home they had lived in for over a millennium. But the Jewish Diaspora (“diaspora” =”dispersion, scattering”) had begun long before the Romans had even dreamed of Judaea. When the Assyrians conquered Israel in 722, the Hebrew inhabitants were scattered all over the Middle East; these early victims of the dispersion disappeared utterly from the pages of history. However, when Nebuchadnezzar deported the Judaeans in 597 and 586 BC, he allowed them to remain in a unified community in Babylon. Another group of Judaeans fled to Egypt, where they settled in the Nile delta. So from 597 onwards, there were three distinct groups of Hebrews: a group in Babylon and other parts of the Middle East, a group in Judaea, and another group in Egypt. Thus, 597 is considered the beginning date of the Jewish Diaspora. While Cyrus the Persian allowed the Judaeans to return to their homeland in 538 BC, most chose to remain in Babylon. A large number of Jews in Egypt became mercenaries in Upper Egypt on an island called the Elephantine. All of these Jews retained their religion, identity, and social customs; both under the Persians and the Greeks, they were allowed to run their lives under their own laws. Some converted to other religions; still others combined the Yahweh cult with local cults; but the majority clung to the Hebraic religion and its new-found core document, the Torah.

In 63 BC, Judaea became a protectorate of Rome. Coming under the administration of a governor, Judaea was allowed a king; the governor’s business was to regulate trade and maximize tax revenue. While the Jews despised the Greeks, the Romans were a nightmare. Governorships were bought at high prices; the governors would attempt to squeeze as much revenue as possible from their regions and pocket as much as they could. Even with a Jewish king, the Judaeans revolted in 70 AD, a desperate revolt that ended tragically. In 73 AD, the last of the revolutionaries were holed up in a mountain fort called Masada; the Romans had besieged the fort for two years, and the 1,000 men, women, and children inside were beginning to starve. In desperation, the Jewish revolutionaries killed themselves rather than surrender to the Romans. The Romans then destroyed Jerusalem, annexed Judaea as a Roman province, and systematically drove the Jews from Palestine. After 73 AD, Hebrew history would only be the history of the Diaspora as the Jews and their world view spread over Africa, Asia, and Europe.

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The Diaspora | Jewish Virtual Library

Written on October 5th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

Africa And The Africans In The Age Of The Atlantic Slave Trade Author: Stearns, Peter N.;Adas, Michael;Schwartz, Stuart B. Date: 1992

The African Diaspora

The slave trade was the means by which the history of the Americas and Africa became linked and a principal way in which African societies were drawn into the world economy. The import into Africa of European firearms, Indian textiles, Indonesian cowrie shells, and American tobacco in return for African ivory, gold, and especially slaves demonstrated Africa’s integration into the mercantile structure of the world. Africans involved in the trade learned to deal effectively with this situation. The price of slaves rose steadily in the 18th century and the terms of trade increasingly favored African dealers. In many African ports, such as Whydah, Porto Novo, and Luanda, an African or Afro-European community developed that specialized in the slave trade and used their position as middlemen to advantage.

Slave Lives

For those carried in the trade, such considerations had little meaning. For them slavery meant destruction of their villages or capture in war, separation from friends and family, and then the forced march to an interior trading town or to the slave pens at the towns or forts of the coast. Conditions during the process were deadly and perhaps as many as one-third of the captives died along the way or in the slave pens. Eventually the slaves were loaded onto the ships. Cargo size varied and could go as high as 700 slaves packed and crowded into the dank, unhealthy conditions of the slave ships, but most cargoes were smaller and overcrowding was less of a factor in mortality than the length of the voyage or the point of origin in Africa – the Bights of Benin and Biafra being particularly unhealthy. The average rate of mortality for slaves varied over time but ran at about 18 to 20 percent until the 18th century when it declined somewhat. Still, on individual ships losses could be catastrophic, as on a Dutch ship of 1737 where 700 of the 716 slaves perished on the voyage.

The so-called Middle Passage, or slave voyage to the Americas, was a traumatic experience for the slaves. Taken from their homes, branded, confined, and shackled, they faced not only the dangers of poor hygiene, dysentery, disease, and bad treatment, but also the fear of being eaten or worse by the Europeans. Their situation led sometimes to suicide or to resistance and mutiny on the ships. However traumatic, the Middle Passage certainly did not strip Africans of their culture, and they arrived in the Americas with their languages, beliefs, artistic traditions, and strong memories of their past.

Africans In America

The destination of the slaves carried across the Atlantic was principally the plantations and mines of America. Landed estates using large amounts of often coerced labor became characteristic of American agriculture, at first in the production of sugar, and later for rice, cotton, and tobacco. The plantation system already used for producing sugar on the Atlantic islands of Spain and Portugal was transferred to the New World. After attempts to use Indian laborers in places like Brazil and Hispaniola, Africans were brought in. West Africans, in fact, coming from societies in which herding, metallurgy, and intensive agriculture were widely practiced were sought by Europeans for the specialized tasks of making sugar. In the English colonies of Barbados and Virginia, indentured servants from England were eventually replaced by enslaved ofricans when either new crops, such as sugar, were introduced or when indentured servants became less available. In any case, the plantation system of farming with a dependent or enslaved work force characterized the production of many tropical and semitropical crops in demand in Europe, and thus the plantation became the locus of African and Afro-American life.

Slaves did many other things as well. As we saw in Chapter 24, gold mining in Brazil made extensive use of black slaves and the Spanish used slaves in the silver mines of Mexico. Urban slavery was characteristic of Latin American cities, where slaves were often artisans, street vendors, and household servants. In early 17th century Lima, Peru, capital of Spain’s colony in South America, blacks outnumbered Europeans. Later cities, such as Charleston and New Orleans, would also develop a large slave and free Afro-American population. In short, there was virtually no occupation that slaves did not perform, although the vast majority lived their lives as agricultural laborers.

American Slave Societies

Each American slave-based society reflected the variations of its European origin and its component African cultures, but there were certain similarities and common features. Each recognized distinctions between African-born “salt water” slaves who were almost invariably black (by European standards) and their American-born descendants, the Creole slaves, some of whom were mulattoes as a result of sexual exploitation of slave women or the process of miscegenation. In all the American slave societies, a hierarchy of status evolved in which free whites were at the top, slaves were at the bottom, and free people of color had an intermediate position. In this sense color and “race” played a role in American slavery it had not played in Africa. Among the slaves, slaveholders also created a hierarchy based on origin and color. Creole and especially mulatto slaves were given more opportunities to acquire skilled jobs or to work in the house as servants rather than in the fields or mines. They were also more likely to win their freedom by manumission.

This system of hierarchy was a creation of the slaveholders and did not necessarily reflect perceptions among the slaves. There is evidence that important African nobles or religious leaders, who for one reason or another were sold into slavery, continued to exercise authority within the slave community. Still, the distinctions between Creole and African slaves tended to divide that community, as did the distinctions between different African groups who maintained their ties and affiliations in America. Many of the slave rebellions in the Caribbean and Brazil were organized along African rebellions in the 18th century and the largest escaped-slave community in 17th century Brazil was apparently organized and led by Angolans.

While economic organization and European concepts of hierarchy imposed a certain similarity in the various colonies in which Africans formed a part, the slave-based societies also varied in their composition. In the 18th century, for example, on the Caribbean islands where the Indian population had died out or had been exterminated and where few Europeans settled, Africans and their descendants formed the vast majority. In Jamaica and St. Domingue, slaves made up over 80 percent of the population, and because mortality levels were so high, a large proportion were African-born. Brazil also had large numbers of imported Africans, but its more diverse population and economy, as well as a tradition of manumitting slaves and high levels of miscegenation, meant that slaves made up only about 35 percent of the population. Free people of color, the descendants of former slaves, however, made up about another one-third, so that together slaves and free colored constituted two-thirds of the total population.

The Caribbean and Brazil differed significantly from the southern colonies of British North America, which depended less on imported Africans because of a positive rate of growth among the slave population. There, Creoles predominated but manumission was less common and free people of color were less than ten percent of the total Afro- American origin. The result was that slavery in North America was less influenced directly by Africa: By the mid-18th century, the slave population in most places in North America was reproducing itself. By 1850 less than one percent of the slaves there were African-born. The combination of natural growth and the relatively small direct trade from Africa reduced the degree of African cultural reinforcement in comparison with Cuba or Brazil.

The People And Gods In exile

Africans brought as slaves to America faced a peculiar series of problems. Working conditions were exhausting and life for most slaves was often “nasty, brutish, and short.” Family formation was made difficult because of the general shortage of women carried in the slave trade, a situation made even worse where the ratio of men to women was sometimes as much as three to one. To this was added the insecurity of slave status in which family members might be separated by sale or by the masters’ whim. Still, most slaves lived in family units even if their marriages were not always sanctioned by the religion of their masters.

Throughout the Americas, wherever Africans were brought, aspects of their language, religion, artistic sensibilities, and other elements of culture survived. To some extent the amount of continuity depended on the intensity and volume of the slave trade from a particular area. Yoruba culture, for example, was particularly strong in northeastern Brazil because the trade between it and the Bight of Benin was heavy and continuous in the early 19th century. During certain periods, Akan peoples predominated in Jamaica, while Ewe or Dahomeans predominated in Haiti. Some slaveholders tried to mix up the slaves on their plantations so that strong African identities would be lost, but colonial dependence on slavers who dealt continually with the same region tended to undercut such policies. In the reality of slavery in the Americas, Africans had to adapt and change and to incorporate other African peoples and their ideas and customs. Moreover, there were also the ways and customs of the masters that were both imposed and adopted. Thus, what emerged as Afro-American culture reflected specific African roots adapted to a new reality. Afro-American culture was dynamic and creative in this sense.

Religion was an obvious example of continuity and adaptation. Slaves were converted to Catholicism by Spaniards and Portuguese, and slaves were capable of fervent devotion as members of Black Catholic brotherhoods some of which were organized by African origins. Still, African religious ideas and practices did not die out, and many African slaves were accused of “witchcraft” by the Inquisition in those colonies. In the English islands, obeah was the name given to the African religious practices, and the men and women knowledgeable in them were held in high regard within the community. In Brazilian candomble (Yoruba) and Haitian Vodun (Aja), rather fully developed versions of African religion flourished and continue until the present, despite attempts to suppress them.

The reality of the Middle Passage meant that religious ideas and concepts were easier to transfer than the institutional aspects of religion. Without religious specialists or a priestly class, aspects of African religions were changed or transformed by contact with other African peoples as well as with colonial society. In many cases slaves held their new faith in Christianity and their African beliefs at the same time, and sought to fuse the two. For Muslim Africans this was less possible. In 1835 in Bahia, the largest slave rebellion in Brazil was organized by Muslim Yoruba and Hausa slaves and directed against the whites and against nonbelievers.

Resistance and rebellion were other aspects of African- American history. Recalcitrance, running away, and direct confrontation were present wherever slaves were held. As early as 1508 African runaways disrupted communications on Hispaniola, and in 1527 a plot to rebel was uncovered in Mexico City. Throughout the Americas communities of runaway slaves formed. In Jamaica, Colombia, Venezuela, Haiti, and Brazil runaway communities were continuous and persistent. In Brazil, during the 17th century, Palmares, an enormous runaway slave kingdom with numerous villages and a population of perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 people, resisted Portuguese and Dutch attempts to destroy it for a century. Although its inhabitants were both Creoles and Africans of various backgrounds, its origins, organization, and leadership were Angolan. In Jamaica, the runaway “Maroons” were able to gain some independence and a recognition of their freedom. So-called ethnic slave rebellions organized by a particular African group were relatively common in the Caribbean and Brazil in the 18th century. In North America where reinforcement from the slave trade was less important, resistance was also important, but it was based less on African origins or ethnicities.

Perhaps, the most remarkable story of African American resistance is found in the forests of Suriname, a former Dutch plantation colony. There large numbers of slaves ran off in the 18th century and mounted an almost perpetual war in the rain forest against the various expeditions sent to hunt them down. Those captured were brutally executed, but eventually a truce developed. Today about 50,000 Maroon descendants still live in Suriname and French Guiana. The Suriname Maroons maintained many aspects of their West African background in terms of language, kinship relations, and religious beliefs, but these were fused with new forms and ways drawn from European and American Indian contacts resulting from their New World experience. From this fusion based on their own creativity, a truly Afro-American culture was created.

Africa And The End Of The Slave Trade

The end of the Atlantic slave trade and the abolition of slavery in the Atlantic world resulted from economic, political, and religious changes in Europe and in its overseas American colonies and former colonies. These changes, which were manifestations of the Enlightenment, the Age of Revolution, Christian revivalism, and perhaps the Industrial Revolution, were basically external to Africa but once again they determined the pace and nature of transformations within the African continent.

Like much else about the history of slavery, there is considerable disagreement about the end of the slave trade. It is true that some African societies began to export new “legitimate” commodities, such as peanuts, cotton, and palm oil, which made their dependence on the slave trade less important, but the supply of slaves to European merchants was not greatly affected by this development. In general, the British plantation economies were booming in the period from 1790 to 1830, and plantations in Cuba, Brazil, and the South of the United States flourished in the following decades. Thus, it is difficult to find a direct and simple link between economic self-interest and the movement to suppress the slave trade.

Opponents of slavery and the brutality of the trade had appeared in the mid-18th century, in relation to new intellectual movements in the West. The philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau in France and the political economist Adam Smith in England had both written against it. Whereas in ancient Rome during the spread of Christianity and Islam or in 16th century Europe, enslavement of “barbarians” or nonbelievers was viewed as a positive benefit, a means to civilize others. Slavery during the European Enlightenment and bourgeois revolution came to be viewed as unprogressive, retrograde, and immoral. The slave trade was particularly criticized. It was the symbol of slavery’s inhumanity and cruelty.

England, as the major maritime power of the period, was the key to the end of the slave trade. Under the leadership of religious humanitarians, such as John Wesley and William Wilberforce, an abolitionist movement gained strength against its opponents made up of merchants and the “West Indies interests.” After considerable parliamentary debate, the British slave trade was abolished in 1807. Having set out on this course, Britain sought to impose abolition of the slave trade on other countries throughout the Atlantic. Spain and Portugal were pressured to gradual suppression, and the British navy was used as a means to enforce these agreements by capturing illegal slave ships, though the full end of slavery in the Americas occurred only in 1888.

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The African Diaspora

Written on October 5th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

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Press Release

Date: Thursday November 29, 2012 To: All International and Kenyan Media Houses From: The Kenya Diaspora Alliance, Global Headquarters

Kenyans in the diaspora have expressed dismay and disbelief after the revelation by Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Kenyas Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs that the Cabinet of President Mwai Kibakis and Prime Minister Raila Odingas Ruling Coalition has expressly decided that eligible voters outside of Kenya will not be able to vote in the General Election slated for March 2013.

In their response at a hastily convened emergency teleconference immediately following the Tuesday November 27, 2012 Cabinet announcement, leaders of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA), a transnational Federation comprising 28 Kenya Diaspora organizations, overwhelmingly condemned the decision terming it unilateral and unacceptable.

In an unprecedented show of commitment, the alliance members passed a raft of resolutions challenging the authorities to reverse the decision and ensure Diaspora Kenyans are not denied their right to vote. Said the session chairman, Mr. Robinson Gichuhi. Citizens right to choose leaders is an inalienable right. This right is enshrined in Kenyas new constitution under Article 83, sub-section 3. Diaspora Kenyans are within their right to demand for their full participation in the historic March 2013 elections, Mr. Gichuhi added.

The leaders dismissed the allegation by the cabinet that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) lacked preparedness to handle the massive exercise of the registration of voters abroad. We have been trying to work hand-in-hand with the IEBC for over 3 years and even offered financial and technical support; but the IEBC, through its chairman, rejected our offer at a Kenya Embassy in Washington DC organized meeting in early 2012. Hence the citation by the government that it lacked logistical and financial resources was really an excuse to disenfranchise Kenyans abroad because they know the impact their participation will have on the outcome of the elections, said Mr. Hebron Mosomi.

We even offered and proceeded to build an online system that is secure, tested and elaborate enough to ensure that any Kenyan living outside of Kenya would be able to exercise their constitutional right per Section 83 Sub-section (3) of the Kenya Constitution, said Ms. Mkawasi Mcharo, one of the participants. . The site, allows eligible Diaspora voters to sign-up via the Internet (and extensible to accept secure SMS), should IEBC accept to use online registration and voting for Diaspora. KDA aims to have 1 million eligible, potential Diaspora voters to sign-up by close of registration date.

The leaders could not come to terms with the statement from the Minister that it is not practical for the them to take part now. The leaders at the meeting were not impressed by the total lack of order demonstrated by the Cabinets statement and felt that it was an indication that there are forces within the Kenyan political system that are bent on stopping the Diaspora from becoming full participants in Kenyas political development, said Dr. Githua Kariuki, Mr. Alex Momanyi, Ms. Annette Ruah and Mr. Symon Ogeto. However, the alliance vowed to continue to fight for the Diasporas rightful place in Kenyas national affairs.

The leaders joined Kenyans in the Diaspora in condemning this decision overwhelmingly as an unwarranted retraction of a right entrenched in the new Kenyan constitution. They consider the grounds for the cabinet decision injudicious, frivolous and, without foundation in law and in fact, said Dr. William Yimbo. Indeed, the action seemed to confirm their fear that an invisible hand could have been behind the shocking, retrogressive ruling against a court petition KDA had filed to facilitate Diaspora voting and representation. It only fortified their resolve to proceed to expeditiously appeal and vigorously contest the court decision in the Appeal Court, added Dr. Shem Ochuodho while in the meeting via global link.

Shifting Goal Posts

The leaders at the meeting were of the opinion that authorities in Kenya are using conjecture, innuendo and subterfuge to hoodwink and disenfranchise them. For example, the shifting of goal posts by using controvertible rationalizations of their actions such as logistics, the un-researched numbers of Kenyans living overseas, and, resources, among others. It goes to show that the authorities are desperate for an excuse to deny the Diaspora their rights, said Mr. Benson Metho and Mr. Isaac Newton Kinity.

Legal Question

The legality of the Cabinet to make such a move came into question during this leaders meeting. It appears that the Cabinet has over-stepped its bounds for obvious reasons, The leaders declared that the Kenyan Cabinet does not have the authority to stop the Diaspora from voting. They felt that the announcement sounded like some decrees announced in some banana republics and had ill-intentions. The leaders asserted that the decision has no merit and no standing. The Cabinet ignored the legal and due process and in a meeting that was not publicized at all, they made a decision that they will stand to regret. came forth a general consensus among the attendees. What the Cabinet purported to do was illegal and unconstitutional. It usurped the authority of IEBC (which is the body constitutionally mandated to conduct elections) and issued a legally untenable decree, said one of KDAs legal counsel, Mr HenryOngeri.

Polling Stations & Online Voting

In the case of the United States, 3 polling stations as recommended by the IEBC was seen as impractical and not in line with a true effort to have full participation of Kenyans in the region.

To date, the diaspora is aware that some funds had already been allocated to voter registration and the voting process. This, the leaders said, was a step in the right direction. For an adverse statement, however, to come from a source that was not directly involved in the implementation of the constitution, demonstrates a total lack of political sensitivity and was seen as an affront to Kenyans abroad. The diaspora has been pushing for an elaborate system of voting that would not require travel to any polling station. KDA research associates indicate that several countries around the world, have effectively and successfully used online voting. . The research associates and computer experts within the diaspora are prepared to hand over and fine-tune the bank-standard secure system they have created that would reduce costs and make the work of IEBC easier.


In light of the outrage within the Kenya Community, leaders at the meeting also endorsed a potential use of demonstrations around the world if the Kenyan Cabinet fails to rescind this decision including the adverse adjudication of the lawsuit that KDA filed in mid-2012. Kenyans are ready to bring attention to this disenfranchisement. We are not taking this lightly, Mr. Peter Keere said.

There are credible reports that Kenyans around the world are already planning demonstrations even prior to our press release. This shows the anger and aggravation that statements coming from Nairobi are producing.

On the Diaspora Voter Set-up

1. The Kenyan cabinet overstepped its authority in the announcement made to parliament Tuesday. The Diaspora, including legal experts, feel that the matter lies squarely within the realm of IEBC responsibility;

2. An elaborate online system should be sought and implemented to solve the issue of polling stations. IEBC should stop pretending that the Internet does not exist and take advantage of major security advancement to ensure a free and fair election. If it has to be a physical voting exercise, then there are no known or written parameters on the number of voters required to establish a voter registration center. BVR kits should be deployed or set up at polling stations recommended by a recent report that had been submitted by the Diaspora to Kenyas Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There are numerous voter registration/polling centers with less than 1000 eligible voters that have been readily supplied with BVR kits, staff and other logistics back in Kenya.

3. Proper diaspora headcount is being coordinated by several groups, businesses and individuals in the United States and in other parts of the world, and can be concluded with IEBC or GoK cooperation before mid-December. Figuring ranging from 26,000 to 150,000 Kenyans abroad is another example of attempts to bar the Diaspora from effective participation in a free and fair election.

4. The Kenyan Diaspora has been ready and still willing to use its technical knowhow and expertise to make the next general election a model exercise free of flaw and dispute. Failure to include Diaspora in the vote will be a sure recipe for protracted post-election law suits challenging validity of the vote, a situation that can be avoided NOW.

KDA Resolutions

In this extra-ordinary meeting within the Kenyan diaspora, the leaders discussed and ratified various resolutions and made pronouncements to counter the announcement from Nairobi. Resolutions were centered on the following:

The meeting was attended by the following: Mr. Robinson Gichuhi (DMK), Ms. Mkawasi Mcharo (KCA), Mr. Ben Metho (KDDF), Mr. Hebron Mosomi (K4C), Mr. Peter Keere (Atktive)., Ms. Annette Ruah (KIC), Dr. Githua Kariuki (IADDS), Mr. Isaac Newton Kinity (KIKIMO), Mr. Alex Momanyi (KINC), Dr. William Yimbo (KDDF), Mr. Henry Ongeri (KDA Legal Counsel) and Mr. Symon Ogeto (CKO), Dr. Shem Ochuodho (NVK), Mr. Anthony Lenaiyara (China), Mr. Anthony Mwaura (Finland), Mr. Thomas Musau (UK), Apologies from: Mr. Ngethe Mbiyu (KDMJ), Ms. Sharon Opuge (Iceland), Mr.Johvine.Wanyingo (Nigeria), Mr Francis Opondo, ), Mr. Shem Okore (Zimbabwe), Mr. Oscar OLawrence (KUDIMA, Dubai) and also other leaders worldwide who could not attend due to time difference.


For more information and further details, please contact the Kenya Diaspora Alliance at

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Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) | The New Kenya Has Arrived

Written on August 30th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags:

This article is on the historical emigration from Africa. See recent African origin of modern humans for pre-historic human migration and emigration from Africa for recent migration.

The African diaspora refers to the communities throughout the world that are descended from the historic movement of peoples from Africa, predominantly to the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, among other areas around the globe. The term has been historically applied in particular to the descendants of the West and Central Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas in the Atlantic slave trade, with the largest population in Brazil (see Afro-Brazilian), followed by the USA[1] and others.[2] Some scholars identify “four circulatory phases” of migration out of Africa.[3]

The term has also less commonly been used to refer to recent emigration from Africa.[4] The African Union defines the African diaspora as:

“[consisting] of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” Its constitutive act declares that it shall “invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union.”

The phrase “African diaspora” was coined during the 1990s, and gradually entered common usage during the 2000s. Use of the term “diaspora” is modelled after the concept of Jewish diaspora.[5]

Much of the African diaspora was dispersed throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas during the Arab and the Atlantic slave trades. Beginning in the 8th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the continent (where they were known as the Zanj) and sold them into markets in the Middle East and eastern Asia. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured or bought African slaves from West Africa and brought them to Europe and primarily, in much greater number, to the Americas. The Atlantic Slave Trade ended in the 19th century, and the Arab Slave Trade ended in the middle of the 20th century.[6] The dispersal through slave trading represents the largest forced migrations in human history. The economic effect on the African continent was devastating, as generations of young people were taken from their communities and societies were disrupted. Some communities created by descendants of African slaves in Europe and Asia have survived to the modern day. In other cases, blacks intermarried with non-blacks, and their descendants blended into the local population.

In the Americas, the confluence of multiple ethnic groups from around the world created multi-ethnic societies. In Central and South America, most people are descended from European, indigenous American, and African ancestry. In Brazil, where in 1888 nearly half the population was descended from African slaves, the variation of physical characteristics extends across a broad range. In the United States, there was historically a greater European colonial population in relation to African slaves, especially in the Northern Tier. There was considerable racial intermarriage in colonial Virginia, and other racial mixing during the slavery and post-Civil War years. Racist Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws passed after the Reconstruction era in the South in the late nineteenth century, plus waves of vastly increased immigration from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, maintained some distinction between racial groups. In the early 20th century, to institutionalize racial segregation, most southern states adopted the “one drop rule”, which defined and recorded anyone with any discernible African ancestry as black, even of obvious majority white or Native American ancestry.[7] One of the results of this implementation was the loss of records of Indian-identified groups, who were classified only as black because of being mixed race.

See Emigration from Africa for a general treatment of voluntary population movements since the late 20th century.

From the very onset of Spanish exploration and colonial activities in the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africans participated both as voluntary expeditionaries and as involuntary laborers.[2][8]Juan Garrido was such an African conquistador. He crossed the Atlantic as a freedman in the 1510s and participated in the siege of Tenochtitlan.[9] Africans had been present in Asia and Europe long before Columbus’ travels. Beginning in the late 20th century, Africans began to emigrate to Europe and the Americas in increasing numbers, constituting new African Diaspora communities not directly connected with the slave trade.

The African Union defined the African diaspora as “[consisting] of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” Its constitutive act declares that it shall “invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union.”

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African diaspora – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on August 9th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: