In Brent Hayes Edwards essay, “ The Use of Diaspora”, the term “African Diaspora” is critically explored for its intellectual history of the word. Edward’s reason for investigating the “intellectual history of the term” rather than a general history is because the term “is taken up at a particular conjecture in black scholarly discourse to do a particular kind of epistemological work” (Edwards 9). At the beginning of his essay Edwards mentions the problem with the term, in terms of how it is loosely it is being used which he brings confusion to many scholars. As an intellectual Edwards understands “the confusing multiplicity” the term has been associated with by the works of other intellectuals who either used the coined or used the term
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In this Edwards pays attention to works from Khachig Toloyan’s signal call to ‘return to diaspora’ and claims that this concept is “in danger of becoming promiscuously capacious category…which is actually differs in ways that are constructive, that in fact make a viable definition of diaspora possible.”(8) In this claim, Edwards eloquently expresses the work Toloyan, in which they share similar concerns in the definition for the term of African diaspora. Edwards’s reason to historicize and politicizes the term African diaspora came out of Toloyan’s claim to return to Africa and it is why scholars continue to critically evaluate the continuous transformation of the word.
Edwards’s, “The Use of Diaspora”, successfully investigates of the intellectual history of the term in which he provides a precise moment in which he notices that the term African diaspora being implicitly expressed. Edward begins to back up his argument, by saying, “The use of diaspora emerges directly out of the growing scholarly interest in the Pan-Africanism movement in particular, and in black internationalism in general, that began to develop in the 1950’s” (9). Pan- Africanism generally “arises as a discourse of internationalism aimed generally at the cultural and political coordination of the interest of peoples of African descent around the world”( 9). According to Edwards, he claims “ Du Bois would go as far as to claim that the motivations of Pan-Africanism” are for the benefit