The Afromigrancy Workshop: History and Memory

The Afromigrancy Workshop: History and Memory
120 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota
Co-organized by the Immigration History Research Center and the Immigration History Research Center Archives

Afromigrancy refers to processes and conditions of migration among continental Africans and their descendants in the past and contemporary time. We rely on this concept to account for myriad experiences of Black Africans’ migrations to every corner of the world. This task of accounting for the heterogeneity of Afromigrancy, however, is hardly straightforward. There is no singular historical experience of displacement and dispersal, much less resolution through remembering. To chart its paths and trajectories entails moving through various realms of loss, hurt, unspeakable violence, suffering, sorrow, survival, and creativity—straddling through multiple dimensions of space and time; striving to reverse the irreversible directions of their long journeys; traveling and returning; and struggling to reconcile the nearness of a homeland and the sense of incompleteness. Documentation in the context of migrancy, in other words, demands a mnemonic exercise that begins with recognition that the past not only flits through the quotidian and at times appears unruly; it also causes a multiplier effect to haunt and unsettle the very process of creating the annals of displacement and dispersal. Therein lies the challenges and possibilities to remember, dream, theorize, document, and to live with and through Afromigrancy.


Welcome Remarks by Yuichiro Onishi, IHRC Acting Director, and Ellen Engseth, IHRC Archives Curator

Visions and Interpretations of Afromgrancy: Conversations with Shannon Gibney
Shannon Gibney, Catherine Squires, and Nekessa Julia Opoti
Q&A with Gordon Parks High School students


Roundtable Discussion - Reimagining Documentation Practices through Minnesota’s Afromigrancy
Tom Gitaa, Mariam Mohamed, Mukhtar Ibrahim

Moderators: Yuichiro Onishi and Ibrahim Hirsi


Black Migrants Inside Out: Untold Stories of Immigrant Rights Activism
Nekessa Julia Opoti, Abena Abraham, Alfreda Daniels