Cover

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface: On Life Betwixt and Between

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pp. ix-xvi

My deceased grandmother, who was originally from South Carolina and moved to Philadelphia in her forties, was at least of partial Gullah heritage. An unschooled farmer who, as family legend has it, delivered her six babies on her own without the aid of doctor or midwife, she taught herself to read...

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Prologue to a Diasporan Journey

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pp. 1-11

Suddenly a woman, who seemed African American, stood up in the middle of a moderated session at a daylong conference called "Understanding African Refugees in Our Community." Dressed in a West African factory-print head tie with bubba and wrapper, her emotionally charged plea...

Part I: Reimagining North America's African Diaspora

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pp. 13-34

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1. "Africa" in Minnesota

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pp. 15-23

The Cultural Wellness Center (CWC) was located on the major commercial strip of the Powderhorn neighborhood, a key crossroads in the Twin Cities' changing demographic landscape.1 At one time, this busy intersection was a major commercial corridor in midtown Minneapolis. The corridor...

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2. Ethnographic Grounding

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pp. 24-34

As noted by Lamphere (1992:7), there are some important differences between earlier phases of immigration to the United States (before 1924) and current immigration. A 1965 amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act abolished country-by-country quotas that made it difficult...

Part II: Across Diasporan Space/Time: Who Is "African" in a Global Ecumene?

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pp. 35-94

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3. "Three Parts African": Blood, Heart, Skin, and Memory

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pp. 37-58

The CWC's "African born in America" leadership, in other words, African Americans, had a three-part definition of who was African. According to a key CWC "African" leader who was a locally well-known African American activist, an African was a person who was "black in skin color or race...

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4. Organizing Across Diasporan Crosscurrents

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pp. 59-80

In March 1998, a Somali immigrant driver was brutally shot and killed as he responded to a fare in a largely low-income, African American section of North Minneapolis. The incident, widely reported in the press, underscored the broader socioeconomic context...

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5. The African Body Resistant

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pp. 81-94

The CWC's folk notions of history, identity, and the body were integrated into its guiding policy statement, called "a people's theory of health and wellness." This "people's theory" was seen as providing the CWC's rationale for its particular approach to "cultural wellness"—the building of...

Part III. Creating "Africa": A State of Mind/Body/Spirit

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6. Healing the Mind: Embodying an African Epistemology

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pp. 97-113

There was an ever present discourse on the distinctions between "African and European ways of knowing" at the CWC. After all, as noted by a key CWC African born in America participant, "The CWC taught me that the two systems of thought—African and...

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7. Healing the Body: Reactivating the African Habitus

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pp. 114-138

The CWC's African way of knowing implied not only a particular cognitive understanding of the world but also a particular sensorial way of seeing, experiencing, and interpreting it. As explained by one CWC African elder, "It's a very different worldview—the African and the European...

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8. Healing the Spirit: Embodying an African Historicity

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pp. 139-161

For the CWC leaders and other active participants,1 the body was understood as a sort of vessel that carried ancestral energy, perpetuating what was seen as core African cultural principles and practices over geographical space...

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Epilogue to a Diasporan Journey

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pp. 162-178

My diasporan journey through Powderhorn was ending, but it seemed like the community was in the throes of a new beginning. Lake Street had an air of heightened energy and possibility. Although several businesses had closed since I started my work here, several new ones had opened...

Appendix A: Research Design, Methods, and Documents

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pp. 179-184

Appendix B: Cultural Wellness Center and Powderhorn Photographs

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pp. 185-198

Notes

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pp. 199-211

Bibliography

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pp. 213-232

Index

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pp. 233-240