Friday, November 8, 2013

The Afropolitan Must Go

Marta Tveit is furious about the seeming popularity of the term "Afropolitanism" in African discourses.

"Fronting a constructed group identity such as the ‘Afropolitan’ backs-up a reductive narrative of Africa and the African, which in turn continues to be an important part of neocolonial power structures. As an individual who happens to have one parent from the African continent I am offended by being put in a group and perceived to have certain interests and affiliations because of the nationality of one of my parents."

I love how Ms Tveit plays with the title of Selasi's novel, Ghana Must God. It does appear to me, though, that Tveit has engaged in a reductive, uberfurious, Binyanwangan reading of Selasi's richly nuanced essay. Selasi herself is not brown. She is a mutt - being Yoruba and Ghanaian (excuse my ignorance of her father's ethnicity). There is also a cultural element of Selasi's Afropolitanism that her critics woefully ignore. Anyway, Afropolitanism has come to stay, dear Ms Tveit.


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