Article from ROAPE Volume 22 Number 65
Development & Diaspora: Separate Concerns?
The article considers recent work on the nature of the black diaspora in the West and its relationship with Africa and African development. It condemns the disciplinary gulf between development studies, which has almost completely ignored questions of race and cultural identity, on the one hand, and diaspora studies which tend to focus on cultural and racial links with Africa to the exclusion of questions of political economy. The review is critical of perspectives which ignore the heterogeneity and variety of African cultures and experience, whether for purposes of creating a caricatured colonial subject or for asserting an undifferentiated unity between Africans on the continent and in the diaspora. It argues for an understanding of both the uniqueness and the commonality of African experiences on both sides of the Atlantic.