Predicament of Blackness Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race

ISBN-10: 0226923037

ISBN-13: 9780226923031

Edition: 2013

Authors: Jemima Pierre
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Description: What is the meaning of blackness in Africa? While much has been written on Africa’s complex ethnic and tribal relationships, Jemima Pierre’s groundbreakingThe Predicament of Blacknessis the first book to tackle the question of race in West Africa through its postcolonial manifestations. Challenging the view of the African continent as a nonracialized space—as a fixed historic source for the African diaspora—she envisions Africa, and in particular the nation of Ghana, as a place whose local relationships are deeply informed by global structures of race, economics, and politics. Against the backdrop of Ghana’s history as a major port in the transatlantic slave trade and the subsequent and disruptive forces of colonialism and postcolonialism, Pierre examines key facets of contemporary Ghanaian society, from the pervasive significance of “whiteness” to the practice of chemical skin-bleaching to the government’s active promotion of Pan-African “heritage tourism.” Drawing these and other examples together, she shows that race and racism have not only persisted in Ghana after colonialism, but also that the beliefs and practices of this modern society all occur within a global racial hierarchy. In doing so, she provides a powerful articulation of race on the continent and a new way of understanding contemporary Africa—and the modern African diaspora.

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Book details

List price: $34.00
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 11/27/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 280
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Jemima Pierreteaches in the Program in African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University.nbsp;

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Of Natives and Europeans: Colonialism and the Ethnicization of Racial Dominance
"Seek Ye First the Political Kingdom": The Postcolony and Racial Formation
"You Are Rich Because You Are White": Marking Race and Signifying Whiteness
The Fact of Lightness: Skin Bleaching and the Colored Codes of Racial Aesthetics
Slavery and Pan-Africanist Triumph: Heritage Tourism as State Racecraft
"Are You a Black American?": Race and the Politics of African-Diaspora Interactions
Race across the Atlantic...and Back: Theorizing Africa and/in the Diaspora
Epilogue: Writing Ghana, Imagining Africa, and Interrogating Diaspora
Notes
References
Index
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