People of African descent have moved out of Africa to Europe and beyond, both voluntarily and through enslavement, nearly as soon as European countries began exploring the oceans and distant lands in seafaring ships. In this paper, we will look specifically at the presence of these peoples in European countries. In particular, we want to assess whether there is a difference in African diasporic communities between East and West European countries. Historically, there has long been a divide between the two halves of the continent ideologically and politically. To begin analyzing these differences, we are going to look at diasporic communities in six countries: Sweden and Finland, Germany and Poland, and Italy and Greece. Though none of these countries are known explicitly for their participation in the slave trade, there are a few significant reasons for choosing them. These nations are right across the border from each other, culturally similar, with traditions of friction between them. For these reasons, they present interesting, if atypical, test cases.
Europe’s role in the experiences of slavery, migrations, and contacts with Africa
The earliest experience in the Old Diaspora was slavery. The architect of the slave trade was Portugal (Falola 2013, page 5). An article written by Colin Palmer in the Black Scholar estimated that during the fifteenth century the Atlantic Slave Trade would move an estimated two hundred thousand Africans to Europe as slaves. It would see twelve million slaves sent to the Americas (Palmer 2000, page 58). In the beginning, this was largely in Central and South America. Generations of Africans would be uprooted and torn from their culture, family, and land for the advancement of Europe. ...
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...me countries. Some Africans in the diaspora are encouraged by their native African countries to return home to use their financial capital to foster African development and share their financial success. There is also a further benefit for the country of origin when they allow dual citizenship as their migrants are then more willing to adopt the host country’s citizenship, which can improve their earnings and thus their ability to send remittances and invest in the origin country.
Culture in Italy
Little has been written about the Black diaspora in Italy, especially from a literary or cultural studies perspective. In general, the African diaspora in Italy has not been the subject of attention in ways that it has been in many other European nations, such as Britain, France, and the Netherlands, which have come to be considered paradigmatic for Black European studies.
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