Citation

"Going to a place called home to which you’ve never been": Critical life stories from a New Orleans-based African diasporic organization

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Abstract:

To counter the (mis) education about Africa that has permeated U.S. society, African Americans have incorporated programs that provide youth with opportunities to learn about African cultures and have first-hand experiences within the continent. This study critically analyzes the life stories of board members, scholar alumni, and parents of scholar alumni associated with a community-based African diasporic organization founded in pre-Katrina New Orleans. The research explores the ways in which participants discuss traveling to Africa in the context of their life stories. The study attempts to understand the ways in which African Americans who participated with the organization, conceptualize their diasporic travel within a historical, social, and educational context that has consistently perpetuated stereotypical and racist understandings of Africa and African people.

Designed to elicit critical life stories embedded in a case study, semi-structured and life story interviews and surveys were utilized. Also, written documentation and archival information were reviewed. This research lies at the nexus of numerous facets of identity—racial and cultural as well as local, national, and global. The data are analyzed within the conceptual frameworks of critical race theory, ethnography of diaspora, and rooted cosmopolitanism.

The study found that the participants negotiated their racial, ethnic, national, religious, gender, and language identities when reflecting upon their African diasporic experiences. Familial, community, church, and kinship relationships were central to the lives of the participants and profoundly helped shape their worldviews. Also, education (in the broadest sense) played a vital role in participants’ experience of youths as educators, perceptions of U.S. and African views of education, the importance youths attached to teachers, and their perception of (mis) education as a perpetuator of stereotypes about Africa and African people. The findings highlight the importance of community- and school district- based African diasporic programs in New Orleans and the lives of African Americans.
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486409_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Hamilton, Evelyn. ""Going to a place called home to which you’ve never been": Critical life stories from a New Orleans-based African diasporic organization" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486409_index.html>

APA Citation:

Hamilton, E. , 2011-05-01 ""Going to a place called home to which you’ve never been": Critical life stories from a New Orleans-based African diasporic organization" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p486409_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: To counter the (mis) education about Africa that has permeated U.S. society, African Americans have incorporated programs that provide youth with opportunities to learn about African cultures and have first-hand experiences within the continent. This study critically analyzes the life stories of board members, scholar alumni, and parents of scholar alumni associated with a community-based African diasporic organization founded in pre-Katrina New Orleans. The research explores the ways in which participants discuss traveling to Africa in the context of their life stories. The study attempts to understand the ways in which African Americans who participated with the organization, conceptualize their diasporic travel within a historical, social, and educational context that has consistently perpetuated stereotypical and racist understandings of Africa and African people.

Designed to elicit critical life stories embedded in a case study, semi-structured and life story interviews and surveys were utilized. Also, written documentation and archival information were reviewed. This research lies at the nexus of numerous facets of identity—racial and cultural as well as local, national, and global. The data are analyzed within the conceptual frameworks of critical race theory, ethnography of diaspora, and rooted cosmopolitanism.

The study found that the participants negotiated their racial, ethnic, national, religious, gender, and language identities when reflecting upon their African diasporic experiences. Familial, community, church, and kinship relationships were central to the lives of the participants and profoundly helped shape their worldviews. Also, education (in the broadest sense) played a vital role in participants’ experience of youths as educators, perceptions of U.S. and African views of education, the importance youths attached to teachers, and their perception of (mis) education as a perpetuator of stereotypes about Africa and African people. The findings highlight the importance of community- and school district- based African diasporic programs in New Orleans and the lives of African Americans.


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