Abstract

This essay proposes diaspora as a love story—a tale of how black women create new possibilities for black collectivity through their writing. The experiences and affect of black women, born of their racial and gendered subjectivity, remain a less explored dimension in theories of diaspora. Black women’s writing practices illuminate how they shift diaspora from a concept of separation, loss and exile into one that includes desire, communion and possibility. Engaging black women’s autobiography and black feminist thinking, the essay sets forth an assortment of letters, phone calls, emails and poetry from across the geographic black diaspora to ethnographically illustrate how black women’s diverse forms of self expression reveal how they write themselves into relationship with other black women. These are the conversations of the sacred, the longings, sorrow and frustrations that are most frequently only shared in the intimacy of their writing. It is precisely these encounters and discoveries that convey how their searches for connection and recognition detail their praxis as one of love. Such examples expand theories of diaspora to include the experiences that generate intimate connections across time and space.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.