The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and The Rise of Black Internationalism

The next regular meeting of TransAfrica’s Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. Foreign Policy Library Readers’ Corner will be held on Sunday, December 4, 2011 3:00 to 5:00 PM, featuring The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and The Rise of Black Internationalism, by Brent Hayes Edwards (2003, Harvard University Press)NOTE VENUE CHANGE

Venue: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Room A-9, Washington, DC 20001-453, (Nearest Metro Station: Gallery Place on the Red Line).

Publisher's Description: A pathbreaking work of scholarship that will reshape our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance, "The Practice of Diaspora" revisits black transnational culture in the 1920s and 1930s, paying particular attention to links between intellectuals in New York and their Francophone counterparts in Paris. Brent Edwards suggests that diaspora is less a historical condition than a set of practices: the claims, correspondences, and collaborations through which black intellectuals pursue a variety of international alliances.

Edwards elucidates the workings of diaspora by tracking the wealth of black transnational print culture between the world wars, exploring the connections and exchanges among New York-based publications (such as "Opportunity," "The Negro World," and "The Crisis") and newspapers in Paris (such as "Les Continents," "La Voix des Negres," and "L'Etudiant noir"). In reading a remarkably diverse archive--the works of writers and editors from Langston Hughes, Rene Maran, and Claude McKay to Paulette Nardal, Alain Locke, W. E. B. Du Bois, George Padmore, and Tiemoko Garan Kouyate--The Practice of Diaspora takes account of the highly divergent ways of imagining race beyond the barriers of nation and language. In doing so, it reveals the importance of translation, arguing that the politics of diaspora are legible above all in efforts at negotiating difference among populations of African descent throughout the world.

The book is available online from Teaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets at or visit Teaching for Change Bookstore at Busboys and Poets at 2021 14th St. NW, Washington, DC (two blocks from the Cardozo/U Street Metro. Contact: General Manager Don Allen 202.387.POET. More at