Borrowed judiciously and grappled with by a myriad of academic disciplines, “transnationalism” broadly refers to the ways in which peoples, ideas, and culture transcend the borders of nation-­states and their adjacent structures in their lived experiences (Stephens 1998). “Black transnationalism” usually refers to the ways in which Black freedom struggles have related to one another beyond the boundaries of white nationhood.

African American studies and its disciplinary relatives have long been uncomfortably concerned with the overlapping questions of Black transnationalism, race, and politics (Harris [1982] 1993a; Hanchard 2004). They have historically framed “Black transcendence” by terms produced by Black movements and praxis—­such as “Ethiopianism,” “Black nationalism,” négritude, the “Black international,” and “Pan-­Africanism”—­as opposed to Black transnationalism. For example, African diaspora studies has inherently been an interdisciplinary project of Black transnational border thinking (Mignolo and Tlostanova 2006). It has sought to make sense of the historical, political, and cultural linkages …

This essay may be found on page 209 of the printed volume.

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