Diasporas comprise an inescapable part of the human experience and few are more interesting and diverse than African diasporas. By providing a panoramic view across time and geographical space this collection of essays illustrates the inherent variability of African, European and Asian diasporic formation. Even when such communities share a common origin, diasporas behave like living organisms that respond sensitively to specific geographical location as well as particular social, political and economic circumstances. Migration constitutes an essential prerequisite for diasporic formation. Once established diasporas assume a life of their own and sometimes form secondary diasporas and their histories make a significant contribution to comparative societal studies.
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