Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic
The Production of Homeland Returns: Misrecognitions and the Unsteady Path toward the Black Fantastic in Ghana
2017. "The Production of Homeland Returns: Misrecognitions and the Unsteady Path toward the Black Fantastic in Ghana", Afro-Atlantic Flight: Speculative Returns and the Black Fantastic, Michelle D. Commander
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This chapter considers the post‒civil rights migration of expatriates to Ghana, which has welcomed Black Americans “home” since Kwame Nkrumah led the nation to its independence from the British in 1957. Through ethnographic, literary, and filmic analyses, this chapter investigates contemporary Ghanaian governments’ extensive tourism and diasporan investment pushes, which rely heavily on the Nkrumah triumphalist narrative and the promotion of relics from the era of the transatlantic slave trade to induce roots tourism. This chapter demonstrates how origin/homeland myths, productions of return, and Pan-Africanist rhetoric draw in Black Americans, initially satiating their longings for kin recognition and the sense of freedom that are attached to geographic returns, but often failing their imaginations during return visits and relocations there. The chapter goes on to examine the various Afro-Atlantic exchanges and breaches that occur between Black Americans and Ghanaians, setting up compelling conversations regarding the most productive uses of the speculative and the possibilities for establishing a neoteric form of Pan-Africanism.