Modernity, Freedom, and the African Diaspora

Modernity, Freedom, and the African Diaspora

Dublin, New Orleans, Paris
Elisa Joy White
Distribution: World
Publication date: 5/21/2012
ISBN: 978-0-253-00128-3
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Elisa Joy White investigates the contemporary African Diaspora communities in Dublin, New Orleans, and Paris and their role in the interrogation of modernity and social progress. Beginning with an examination of Dublin’s emergent African immigrant community, White shows how the community’s negotiation of racism, immigration status, and xenophobia exemplifies the ways in which idealist representations of global societies are contradicted by the prevalence of racial, ethnic, and cultural conflicts within them. Through the consideration of three contemporaneous events—the deportations of Nigerians from Dublin, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and the uprisings in the Paris suburbs—White reveals a shared quest for social progress in the face of stark retrogressive conditions.

Author Bio

Elisa Joy White is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, and holds a Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Her publications examine a range of areas, including the African Diaspora in Ireland, Black Europe, ethnicity and new media, human rights, and immigration policy.


"Modernity, Freedom, and the African Diaspora . . . is a fascinating look at the way racism and social exclusion are still at work in our modern societies" —

"Students and lecturers/professors will certainly find this book useful as a marker of social attitudes in developed western cities, that presents a desperate contradiction of official Government policy and public proclamation." —

"Highly recommended." —Choice

"White should be applauded for her extensive fieldwork in Europe and North America, where she interviewed hundreds of individuals, mostly new immigrants and asylum seekers, whose accounts made up most of the book's primary research. . . . Modernity, Freedom, and the African Diaspora continues an important conversation on the importance of race and its intersection with modernity in the modern world." —International Social Science Review

"What this study accomplishes, and quite successfully, is constructing an important expansion of modernity to make room for the complications of white racism impacting African diasporic communities." —Journal of African American History

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Table of Contents

Part 1. The African Diaspora in Dublin
1. Decolonization, Racism, and the Retro-Global Society
2. Status, Numbers, and the "Retro" Revealed
3. Media Representation and Black Presence
4. Racism, Immigrant Status, and Black Life
5. A Community in the Making

Part 2. The Glitches of Modernity
6. Dublin: The Olukunle Elukanlo Case
7. New Orleans: Race Meets Antediluvian Modernity
8. Paris: The Liberating Quality of Race
9. Conclusion: Toward a Modern Future