Abstract

This paper examines how the Ghanaian government has appropriated, crafted, and "repatriated" a Caribbean holiday, "Emancipation Day," for celebration as a tourist holiday. Commemorating the abolition of slavery in the British colonies, Emancipation Day has been transformed by the Ghana Ministry of Tourism into a Pan-African event to attract summer tourists from the African diaspora, involving them in performances of culture and history. Exploring the perspectives of African Americans, Ghanaians, and the state on the celebration of this holiday, I point to the contradictions among local, national, and global agendas that emerge in this revival. I argue that this form of contemporary Pan-Africanism is designed to channel flows of meaning and capital around these contradictions. Circumnavigating confrontation and negotiation among the groups involved, events connected with this holiday depoliticize and ultimately undermine the emancipatory project of Pan-Africanism.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-1978
Print ISSN
0001-9887
Pages
pp. 47-76
Launched on MUSE
2003-04-18
Open Access
No
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