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Paris, MelanieRepatriated Africans from Cuba and Brazil in nineteenth century Lagos
Master of Arts, The Ohio State University, 1998, African-American and African Studies

During the late nineteenth century, primarily between the 1840s and 1860s, a significant repatriation movement to Africa took place among ex-slaves from the Latin American countries of Cuba and Brazil. Since most of these repatriates were of Yoruba descent, they chose to resettle in Yoruba-populated areas along the West African coast. Some of these Cuban and Brazilian repatriates resettled in Ouidah and Porto Novo in the present-day country of Republic of Benin. However, many of the returnees established themselves in West Africa’s largest port city of Lagos in what is now known as Nigeria.

It was also during the nineteenth century that British colonialists began to aggressively launch their quest for total domination and annexation of Yorubaland and the hinterland areas of “Nigeria”. In order to facilitate this agenda, the British used the Cuban and Brazilian repatriates as mediators between themselves and the local Yoruba population. Consequently, in order to secure the repatriates’ cooperation, the British elevated the Cuban and Brazilian returnees to an elite status in colonial Lagos.

This thesis examines the economic and social status of repatriated Africans from Cuba and Brazil in Lagos, and the social and economic conditions that served as an impetus for their drastic transition from slavery. More specifically, this study focuses on the relationship between the repatriates and British colonialists during the nineteenth century, and the elite position that the returnees assumed in the Lagos community as a result of this association.


Abiola Irele (Advisor)


Agudas; Lagos; Yoruba; slaves; returnees; CUBA; CUBA AND BRAZIL

Azanu, BenedineTransnational Media Articulations of Ghanaian Women: Mapping Shifting Returnee Identities in an Online Web Series
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2017, Mass Communication (Communication)
This study examines returnee African women’s identity articulations in the web series An African City. Specifically, the research focuses on the appropriation of a U.S. popular cultural text perceived as more powerful by a Ghanaian producer in the creation of counter-discourses, cultural spaces, and identities in alternative media. Using multi-theoretical lenses – a framework of in-betweeness - the study is grounded in the theory of articulation to examine how the web series An African City uses Sex And The City in response to Western monolithic representations of African women. A social constructivist framework that considers identities as shifting subjectivities are interrogated through the theoretical lenses of transnational postcolonial feminism, using a framework of in-betweeness informed by hybridity and conviviality as intempestivity. The study makes theoretical links to transnational postcolonial feminisms, invoked by specific intersections of returnee African women. Using articulation analyses, thematic links are made between the series and in-depth interview with the series producer and focus group interviews with African women in Ghana and American diaspora. The argument is made that a continuum of `outsidenes’ and `insideness’ informs any system of identity and belongingness where identities shift ever so often. It is further argued that while An African City web series represents one of many re-configured identity formations embedded within Eurocentric African women’s identities that conform to globalizing homogenization of capitalist cultural productions, the series creates and occupies a space of conviviality that engenders dissensus in the distribution of Ghanaian women’s representation in particular and Black women in general. Examining diasporan African women identity articulations is important particularly when African women use media technologies to represent themselves in alternative media spaces in a bid to enrich research on stereotypical portrayals of African women. Also, the tendency to focus on more “serious” non-fiction genres like news, to the detriment of those genres considered fictional and often taken for granted by their entertainment value, warrants such a research.


Steve Howard (Committee Chair); Jenny Nelson (Committee Member); Raymie McKerrow (Committee Member); Edna Wangui (Committee Member)


Aesthetics; African Studies; Film Studies; Gender Studies; Mass Communications; Sub Saharan Africa Studies; Womens Studies


Returnees; African women; identity articulation; web series; gender and media; in-betweeness as a framework; transnational feminism; Ghana