The epilogue affirms that the old Anglophone African diaspora in the West is characterized by considerable ethnic, national, socioeconomic, sociocultural, religious, and political diversity as well as by markedly different interplays of race, class, and gender in different geographical locations and microcontexts. Black diasporic sensibilities perpetually renew and transform themselves in response to the limitless variety of life experiences in the diaspora. Nevertheless, rather than merely emphasizing black diversity for its own sake, this book has repeatedly brought the discussion back to the original propellers of the old African diaspora. This book’s diasporic hermeneutics have highlighted the historical origin of the old African diaspora in the Middle Passage and slavery and the cultural mediation of the collective memory of this ur-event. This emphasis on the old African diaspora’s origin in an event has anchored this book’s approach to diaspora in a racially antiessentialist understanding of black diasporic identity formation. Middle Passage narratives both mourn the lives that were lost as a result of the Atlantic slave trade and highlight the survivors’ innovative strategies of survival, acclimatization, and resistance. These themes, in modified yet recognizable forms, are also powerfully present in the novels about later black migrations analyzed in this book.
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