Document Type

Honors Project

Abstract

This study centers the perspectives of Afro-diasporic migrants who make their way back to the African continent, particularly to Accra, Ghana, after sojourns in the West. It aims to provide a space for these returnees, particularly returnee women, to narrate their own stories and share their realities. I argue that these diasporic returnees are united by the conception of Africa as a shared ethnic homeland. During their time abroad, they nurture and maintain connections to the homeland through first-hand and second-hand memories. Many essentialize the homeland through the images and imaginaries they hold of it. These images often inspire return. Upon return, migrants develop robust personal and professional relationships in the homeland. The return, however, is by no means a permanent relocation – it becomes one strand, albeit an important one, in their transnational lifestyles. Drawing from the diverse responses of participants’ to this question, I position the returnees in a cultural and spatial liminality, and argue that this space can be one of powerful and transformative creative tension.

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