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CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO. Africana Studies: The International Context and Boundaries

Anani Dzidzienyo

Subject Race and Ethnicity Studies » African American Studies

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631235163.2005.00035.x


In this essay I attempt to elucidate some of the abiding questions that have framed my research interests in the Latin American dimensions of Africana Studies. In the process, I introduce some of the scholars whose work has contributed to the development of the field and make some suggestions for future directions. I offer here some working definitions: in the context of this essay, “Africana” refers to the entire African diaspora; “Afro-Latin America” designates all regions of Latin America where significant groups of people of known African ancestry are found. These include not only the obvious cases of Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama, but also Uruguay, the Buenos Aires region of Argentina, the Caribbean coastal areas of Central America, including Costa Rica, and the Hispanic Antilles – Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico (see P.-M. Fontaine 1980). A useful starting point would be to pose the question: What are some of the perspectives on the relationship between Africa and the diaspora? Several scholars – for example, Leslie B. Rout, Jr., Vincent Bakpetu Thompson, Darien Davis, J. Lorand Matory, and Isidore Okpewho – have explored the complexities of the relationship between “Mother Africa” and people of African descent in the Americas. Vincent Thompson (1992, 1999) sought to examine Africana communities from the point of view of the diaspora in the ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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