Introduction: An African Diaspora Perspective For Urban Anthropology

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A conceptual framework is offered for pursuing African diaspora research in anthropology & for understanding the peripheralization of Afro-American scholars within anthropology & US intellectual life generally. Topics discussed include: the contributions that W. E. DuBois, Allison Davis, O. C. Cox, & St. Clair Drake made to Ur studies; relationship of the African diaspora to the capitalist world system & to earlier empires & long-distance trade networks; the diaspora concept in anthropology; & major issues & problems in the Ur anthropological literature on sub-Saharan Africans, Afro-Latin Americans, West Indians, & US blacks. It is observed that Marxist Ur sociology -- once a peripheralized discourse -- has succeeded in intervening in Ur anthropology to the extent that appreciable discussion & debate now revolve around questions put on the agenda by persons working within the Marxist & neo-Marxist tradition. Ur anthropology & the discipline as a whole can also be revitalized by another important intellectual/activist tradition -- ie, pan-African studies or African diaspora studies.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-141
Number of pages31
JournalUrban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development
Issue number2/3
StatePublished - 1988


  • urban anthropology
  • cultural anthropology
  • cities
  • african diaspora
  • political anthropology
  • capitalism
  • African Americans
  • metropolitan areas
  • plantations
  • urban studies


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