Middle passage blackness and its diasporic discontents: The case for a post-war epistemology

Michelle Maria Wright*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


The Middle Passage Epistemology Just a quick glance at the table of contents of this volume, Africa in Europe, points to a significant and welcome difference from most of the other volumes on the Black/African diaspora that have preceded it: it is not framed by what I term the ‘Middle Passage epistemology’, or MPE. While academe is often derided as the ‘Ivory Tower’, cut off from the exigencies of the ‘real world’, academic production in fact reflects the cold economic realities of the postwar era so that those who make up the majority of the African diaspora in fact are not represented. Simply put, this is because the United States, even in what many including myself would consider its last gasps of empire, still dominates the world in terms of well-paid scholars, relatively wealthy universities and colleges, not to mention academic presses and academic publications. As a result, the majority of publications on the Black/African diaspora tend to reflect the ancestral experience of many African Americans despite the fact that African Americans, numerically speaking, comprise only 30 million of the some one billion Africans and peoples of African descent that are the African diaspora. This is the result, I would argue, of implicitly interpellating ‘blackness’ as a collective group identity through the MPE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAfrica in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Transnational Practice in the Long Twentieth Century
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781846317842
ISBN (Print)9781846318474
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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