Journal article Open Access

Towards Afropean Perspectives: Evolving and Conversing Afro-European Narratives from The European Tribe (1987) to Afropean: Notes from Black Europe (2019)

Efoui-Delplanque, Raphaelle

In 1987 Caryl Phillips, a Black British author born in the Caribbean, published an account of his travel endeavor “to increase [his] awareness of Europe and Europeans” (1987, 9), titled The European Tribe. Some thirty years later, another Black British writer, Johny Pitts, set out for a similar journey, with what he underscores is a different purpose: rather than emphasizing specifically the exclusion of people of African descent from a majority White European identity, Pitts takes down “Notes from Black Europe”. A comparative reading of the two texts highlights the changes in the way a Black British writer might construct and narrate his position towards Europe, its ‘Whiteness’, its Black ‘communities’, and its hybrid identities. In this article, I work out some central literary and discursive modalities of this construction, in particular the intertextual practices and other forms of conversation in and in-between the texts. I focus on the emergence of a sense of Black European “community” as a differencing factor and that, in the thirty years that have elapsed between both publications, a shift from a diasporic sense of displacement and estrangement in Europe (Phillips) to a post-diasporic focus on belonging and the complexities of community (Pitts) has taken place.


Files (867.8 kB)
Name Size
JAN 2022 MASTER_08 raphaelle afropean.pdf
289.2 kB Download
JAN 2022 MASTER_08 raphaelle afropean_2.pdf
289.3 kB Download
JAN 2022 MASTER_08 raphaelle afropean_3.pdf
289.3 kB Download
All versions This version
Views 11354
Downloads 7446
Data volume 21.4 MB13.3 MB
Unique views 9449
Unique downloads 5537


Cite as