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By Iain Chambers, Lidia Curti

Brings jointly renowed and rising serious voices to answer the questions raised by means of the concept that of the 'post-colonial'. The members discover the varied cultures that are shaping our worldwide destiny.

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Then, what is a Negro? what is Negro writing? . 7 It is no surprise that Wheatley’s intellectual capacities had been hotly contested in eighteenth-century discussions of the relationships between races, culture and aesthetics. Her achievements were cited routinely as a pointer to what blacks might achieve in debates over the moral economy of slavery and the legitimacy of abolition. 9 Against these dismal attempts to capture her itinerant spirit and confine its complex and contradictory legacy within the fixed borders of black American exceptionalism, it is important to draw out the significance of her visit to England in 1773, to note that her work was first published in London rather than Boston, and that she crossed the Atlantic for the second time in her life in the opposite direction to the journey that had brought her into American racial slavery.

I saw in arch and stone and steeple the history 17 PA U L G I L R O Y and striving of men and also their taste and expression. 2 However, Du Bois’ remarks typify the experiences of numerous other African-American wanderers particularly those who were transformed by their journeying outside the closed world of racialised being that had been configured in their New World homeland by slavery and maintained there during its white supremacist aftermath. The distinctive pattern of crossing and cultural production in which Du Bois appeared seems to have begun with Phyllis Wheatley, the eighteenth-century slave poet whose outer-national career has been repeatedly cited as a symbol of the dilemmas and difficulties that attend the distinctive plight of black intellectuals.

16 Delany would later distinguish himself as the leader of the first scientific expedition to Africa from the Western hemisphere. He had other detailed plans of what such an historic event would entail. His dream of building a great railroad capable of modernising Africa and providing the economic infrastructure necessary to overthrow slavery in the same grand gesture exemplifies this: . . [the railway] terminating on the Atlantic ocean West; . . would make the GREAT THOROUGHFARE for all trade with the East Indies and Eastern Coast of Africa, and the Continent of America.

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