Chapter

Slavery and the diaspora: Temporal and spatial articulations

Sarah Dayens

in Time and Memory in Reggae Music

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780719076213
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702116 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719076213.003.0006
Slavery and the diaspora: Temporal and spatial articulations

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Events that produce meaning, in particular when they have not been ‘resolved’, never stop ‘surviving’; in the case of the African diaspora, the past of slavery still makes sense today, as if the slaveships were still crossing the Atlantic each day, over and over again. Collective memory, through the collective and individual identifications it sets up, produces identity. The question of common origin and history becomes acutely important in situations of displacement. The construction of the diaspora and the emergence of a sense of collective belonging are increasingly based on the transmission of memory. Within the last two decades, two positions have appeared as central within the conceptualisation of diaspora: the first emphasises the relationship of the diaspora to the homeland (the centred model), while the second emphasises the transverse relationships that exist within the diaspora outside of the homeland (the multi-centred model). The past of slavery is one of the most prominent themes in reggae music.

Keywords: reggae; African diaspora; collective memory; slavery; identity; displacement; transmission; homeland; centred model; multi-centred model

Chapter.  7677 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Media Studies

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