Mixing It Up

Observations and ideas about race, ethnicity and mixing.

Who is a diaspora?

In class this past week we read about the Diaspora, to me it has always been something I have been interested in learning about. Back home in Rwanda when the word diaspora is used it means something totally different, there diaspora means any Rwandan living abroad. Hence, when I thought of the diaspora I usually thought of populations of people who live away from their countries of origin usually this being a choice they made. So one of the things I had to relearn when I got to the US was the meaning of what it means to be an African diaspora in the states. For example. now I know I would never be able to call my aunt who has lived here for 30 years  an African diaspora. I must admit that I am still confused on who gets that title in America and who doesn’t. For example, are you among the African diaspora if you are an immigrant from a country in Africa or if your parents immigrated here from Africa. And does that mean in Rwanda when we use the term diaspora is it wrong or is it just a matter of the social context in which it is used.

2 Comments

  1. Your piece on diaspora is thoughtful. I had never thought about the diaspora as being a continuous one but a historical one. I think your discussion of what is the correct understanding can be interpreted differently by anybody. Your contemplation of what is right or wrong does not need to denote a person of their identity which ever way it falls into like your mention of your Aunt.

  2. It is interesting to learn that single people moving are called a diaspora, and it made me think about how many people have different definitions for the same thing. It reminded me of our discussion of the definition of creole, and how these words have different definitions for various circumstances and can often be left up to interpretation and personal identification. I think it is helpful that these words are so flexible.

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