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Conscripts of MigrationNeoliberal Globalization, Nationalism, and the Literature of New African Diasporas$
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Christopher Ian Foster

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496824219

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496824219.001.0001

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On the Imperial Origins of Immigration in Nadifa Mohamed’s Black Mamba Boy and Claude Mckay’s Banjo

On the Imperial Origins of Immigration in Nadifa Mohamed’s Black Mamba Boy and Claude Mckay’s Banjo

Chapter:
(p.144) Chapter 6 On the Imperial Origins of Immigration in Nadifa Mohamed’s Black Mamba Boy and Claude Mckay’s Banjo
Source:
Conscripts of Migration
Author(s):

Christopher Ian Foster

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496824219.003.0006

This chapter assesses the imperial origins of immigration. Chapter 6 studies Nadifa Mohamed’s 2010 novel Black Mamba Boy as a refashioning of Claude McKay’s novel Banjo. The chapter reads Mohamed’s novel as a migritude text and demonstrates the ways in which it reshapes Banjo’s migrant pan-Africanism into a narrative that negotiates colonial structures from the perspective of Somali migration. Jama’s diasporic nomadism, for example, circulates through, and is impinged upon by, both British and Italian colonial institutions and modes of managing movement. Furthermore, he is literally conscripted by the Italian army—a fate not uncommon for Somalis. Beyond the colonial setting of Black Mamba Boy, Mohamed, also speaks to our twenty-first century and the ways in which immigrants from the Global South are haunted, even conscripted, by colonial structures of immigration in the present.

Keywords:   Claude McKay, Nadifa Mohamed, Panafricanism, Migritude, postcolonial Somalia

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