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‘I Like Your Colour!’ skin bleaching and geographies of race in urban Ghana

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This article explores chemical skin bleaching practices in urban Ghana to demonstrate the ways that particular racialized understandings of meaning are deployed in a contemporary postcolonial African society. I argue that the processes of racialization indexed by skin bleaching in Ghana must be contextualized within global racial formations; specifically, they can only be understood by examining the interlinked local and global ideologies and practices of race. In elaborating this argument, the essay also engages with contemporary African diaspora theorization that tends to foreground diasporic identity and experience at the expense of contemporary continental processes. By bringing a postcolonial African society into a dialogue about race, processes of racialization, and the interlinked transnational construction of black identities, this essay offers one way out of the ambivalent relationship that I believe diaspora theorization has with Africa.Feminist Review (2008) 90, 9–29. doi:10.1057/fr.2008.36
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2008

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