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Abstract

Current global levels of immigration stand at about 300 million persons; of these, IFAD estimates that 30 million Africans are in the Diaspora. The contributions of diasporic Africans to their communities and to the cultural experiences of the United States are multimodal. To their domiciles, they contribute economically, empowering their families to become more active and less dependent on the state, while transmitting ideas about democracy and better government. At the same time, they contribute to their adopted homelands through social and cultural activities, cultural festivals and other indicators of cultural connectedness to their motherlands. The African diaspora of necessity has to negotiate an identity that finds a home between the residual tribal identities derived from the African national identity, to the often incompatible African American slave history experience. This paper argues that the modern African diasporan has an identity different from the African American one; that they adapt to western modernity but are excluded from the mainstream American and also African American experience. The paper suggests that the diasporan African constructs a new, less-tribal identity with other nationals and African diaspora members. Further, the diasporan is more likely to overcome negative cultural traditions and the associated destructive tribal identity and contribute to the possibility of a new, post-tribal identity while highlighting the best of the African cultural experiences.