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BLACK ATLANTIC VISIONS: History, Race, and Transnationalism in Ghana



This article explores Ghanaians' contemporary understandings of blackness and, in particular, of their connection to African Americans. In it, I argue that while Ghana's diaspora tourism industry directs attention toward the legacy of slavery in order to create ties between African Americans and Ghana, many Ghanaians are interested in constructing a different version of a shared black cultural citizenship that does not rely on this history. Slavery in fact represents a problematic history for Ghanaians, many of whom seek to avoid conversations about it. Instead, they celebrate blackness as a form of cosmopolitanism devoid of historical roots. Through this example, I urge black Atlantic scholars to pay attention not only to the presence or absence of cultural memories of slavery in various societies, but to the problem that slavery may represent within many of them.

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