To speak of diaspora evokes many interrelated ideas: dispersion, exile, ethnicity, nationalism, transnationalism, postcolonialism, and globalization among them. African in front of the term adds the concept of race and racism, conjuring debates about Pan-Africanism, black nationalism, essentialism, and hybridity, as well as invoking issues of history, modernity, and cultural memory. If the Jewish diaspora was the quintessential example of diaspora before the 1960s (Tölölyan 1996), the African diaspora has surely become the paradigmatic case for the closing years of the twentieth century. If the fact of dispersion, exile, and migration has been the traditional point of departure for defining diaspora (Tölölyan 1996), then the continuing experience of racial oppression has been crucial in the emergence of the transnational identities and ideologies of the African diaspora.