Afropolitan Projects and Diasporic Cultural Politics: Context, Contest, and Connections

Chertok Lecture with Anima Adjepong, PhD

January 26, 2024
Anima Adjepong - Chertok Lecture

Thursday, February 29th
Noon | Join us via Zoom

In my book, Afropolitan Projects: Redefining Blackness, Sexualities and Culture from Houston to Accra, I examine the diverse cultural and transnational strategies through which Ghanaians position themselves as citizens of the world.

The Afropolitan is a politic, identity, and aesthetic that insists on elevating Africa’s place on a global stage. Afropolitan Projects demonstrate how a politics of race, class, gender, and sexuality shape the way an increasingly class-privileged cohort of Africans connect with others on the continent and in the diaspora.

In this presentation, I have three aims:

  • First, I outline how immigration policies such as the U.S. Diversity Visa Program and African national contexts such as state failures and access to higher education have shaped the emergence of this “new” African diaspora.
  • Second, focusing on the politics of return, global anti-blackness, and anti-queer movements, I illuminate some of the political contests that inform Afropolitan projects in the African diaspora.
  • Third, I provide an analysis of what this context and contests offer by way of transnational connections and diasporic solidarity.

Through this analysis, I invite audiences to consider how Afropolitan Africa as a contemporary Black diasporic site presents opportunities and pitfalls in the struggle for Black liberation.

Author Bio: Anima Adjepong is the author of Afropolitan Projects: Redefining Blackness, Sexualities and Culture from Houston to Accra, founder of Silent Majority, Ghana, a nonprofit that engages indigenous Ghanaian knowledge and collective organizing to champion queer freedom in Ghana, and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Cincinnati.