Author: Shihan De S. Jayasuriya, Richard Pankhurst.
Jayasuriya, Shihan De S. and Pankhurst, Richard. 2003. The African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Pr.
Although much has been written about the African Diaspora in the Atlantic Ocean, the Diaspora in the Indian Ocean is virtually unrecognized. Concerned with Africans, who lived south of the Sahara and were dispersed by free will or forcefully to the non-African lands in the Indian Ocean region, this books deals with a topic that has long been overlooked. Eight scholars, researching the African Diaspora in distinct geographical locations in the Indian Ocean region and with expertise in the areas of history, anthropology, linguistics, international relations, politics and sociology, have contributed papers to this book. Edward Alpers compares the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean with that of the Atlantic Ocean. Eduardo Medeiros surveys the Mozambican Diaspora in the Indian Ocean Islands (Madagascar, Seychelles, the Mascarenhas, Mauritius and Reunion) and the cultural identities that they developed. Malyn Newitt's paper on African migration to Madagascar, which has taken place for two millennia, focuses on the African contribution to contemporary Malagasy culture. Helen Hintjens demonstrates the African Diaspora in reunion and focuses on the transformation of the Diaspora into French citizens. Jean Houbert surveys the colonization-decolonization of the Indian Ocean Islands of Mauritius, Reunion, Rodrigues, Seychelles and Chagos. Richard Pankhurst surveys the African Diaspora in India from Medieval times to the end of the 18th century. Helene Basu focuses on the Diaspora from the global and political elite context and delineates local constructions of Sidi identity in Gujarat (Western India) that are embedded in a cult of African saints. Finally, Shihan de S Jayasuriya surveys the African Diaspora in Sri Lanka and examines the largest community of African descendants in Sri Lanka whose presence is signalled through dance and music.