Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Announcing Publication of Paul Tiyambe Zeleza In Search of African Diasporas: Testimonies and Encounters (Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, March 2012)

Author's Bio: Paul Tiyambe Zeleza is Presidential Professor of History and African American Studies and Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University. He has published scores of essays and more than two-dozen books.

Book Description: This is an ambitious and brilliant book by one of Africa's leading historians and diaspora intellectuals. It is the first book by an African scholar to take us on such a captivating analytical and narrative journey in search of African diasporas around the world from Latin America to the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

From the Foreword: As the over 500 pages of the book show, it is an ambitious intellectual and political project, a relatively uncharted and unrecognized terrain of scholarship, action, and interactions҆. The book is analytical, in places combative, filled with insights and stories. It is an unusual genre in African writing - a combination of a researcher's field notes and a travelogue. - Tade Akin Aina, PhD., Program Director, Higher Education in Africa, Carnegie Corporation of New York


"Zeleza has been thinking about and living with pan-Africanism and Diaspora before its second wave of popularity and has done the experiential and intellectual work. In this book he takes us with him as he documents the existence of our various journeys and arrivals, and the ways we re-create and redefine an African world wherever we are. As we travel with him, the flavors and colors of the African Diaspora around the world vividly unfold." -Carole Boyce Davies, Professor of English and Africana Studies, Cornell University.

"For over a century, we have been flooded with Black American narratives of returning to Africa. Zeleza, a distinguished African scholar, reverses the poles and seeks to discover the global African diaspora. Part memoir, part travelogue, part history, part critical interrogation, Zeleza has given us a brilliant compendium of richly detailed and astute insights into how contemporary black intellectuals and activists understand racism and blackness, and how the black world sees itself, its relationship to Africa, and the future. As with Richard Wright's traveling observations a half-century earlier, Zeleza never avoids the hard questions or the difficult truths. A stunning achievement." - Robin D. G. Kelley,
Gary Nash Chair in U.S. History at the University of California, Los Angels

"In Search of African Diasporas offers a landmark contribution to the growing scholarly inquest into the African Diaspora. Based on years of travel, discussion and reading, Zeleza presents a veritable tour-de-force, generating an utterly unique account that fuses his travelogue of a modern Diasporic odyssey with a penetrating analysis that both interprets the Diaspora's larger meaning, while also inhabiting its migratory flows. Highly readable, perceptively written, geographically broad, and refreshingly critical, Zeleza's 21st century rendition of the timeless' travel diary' is sure to set the bar for those who are attempting to grapple with questions of identity, culture, and society in a fast-paced world of global change." - Ben Vinson III, Herbert Baxter Adams Professor of Latin American History, Johns Hopkins University.

"A groundbreaking and powerful look at the African Diaspora in the world. Zeleza's existentialist commentary on multiple African Diasporas reminds the reader of Richard Wright's Black Power in reverse: sincere, intimate and controversial. The novelistic descriptions of people and places also recalls some of the best travel narratives of Ryszard Kapu_ci_ski." - Manthia Diawara, Professor of Comparative Literature and Africana Studies, New York University.

"Africa's memory and relationship with its diaspora is a troubled one, a mixture of ignorance, stereotype, sentimentality, alienation, admiration and distortions. Zeleza's book is an authoritative contribution to the initiation of Africa's own exploration of whatever happened to its descendants outside the continent and how they are faring today. It is a tour de force that combines the aesthetic sensibilities and descriptive force of a novelist and essayist that Zeleza is and the scholarly authority of a renowned African historian. Zeleza is an erudite traveler and thoroughly reliable guide whose account opens new vistas to the lives of Africa's dispersed descendants. The book is a must-read for anyone who seeks to understand the complex outcomes of the Presence Africaine in the world." - Professor Thandika Mkandawire, Chair in African Development at the London School of Economics, University of London


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