Diaspora can be discussed as one of the most typical characterizations used in the modern world and society which develop according to the contemporary principles of globalization and multiculturalism.
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In spite of the fact the notion of diaspora is connected with the definite public’s associations and examined by many researchers, historians and sociologists are inclined to define diaspora in different ways, determining it as a process, a phenomenon, or a condition. Clarke and Thomas propose their variant of defining the concept of diaspora, basing on the idea of referring to both the process and condition.
From this point, diaspora is “a process that generates subjects through negotiations arising from particular structural and historical conditions that change over time” (Clarke and Thomas 12).
Thus, specific historical and social conditions are essential for forming diaspora, and this statement is also relevant for discussing the problem of the African Diasporic cultures which were formed under the influence of the Western imperialism, colonialism, and capitalism.
Racial capitalism and colonialism affected not only the development of the African diaspora but also the transformation of the Western culture in which the social life and capitalistic relations began to depend on the racial discrimination and slavery when the African Diasporic identity formed, and Africanisms spread.
The Western world changed with developing the principles of racial capitalism and colonialism because cultures can vary significantly under the impact of intensive intercultural relations.
The concepts of colonialism and imperialism as the base of the progress of the racial capitalism traditionally depend on the racial discrimination toward the Africans moved to America as slaves and toward the developed Africans’ diaspora in the other countries as the discriminated minority.
Thus, Clarke and Thomas concentrate on determining the problems of such diasporas as African Americans, Black Canadians, and Afro-Germans (Clarke and Thomas). The principles and ideas of colonialism and imperialism made Africans as the representatives of different diasporas consider themselves as racially unequal to ‘white’ people.
From this point, the development of slavery in America, the accentuation of the Africans’ primitiveness and backwardness in comparison with the civilized Westerners in combination with the status of discriminated minority resulted in discussing the question of the African Diasporic cultures as the controversial issue.
For instance, it is impossible to speak about colonialism and imperialism without referring to the problem of slavery as the fundamental aspect of the African American diaspora. Moreover, racial capitalism is also a negative factor for the development of the diaspora. Basing on racial identity, racial capitalism became the main discriminating factor in relation to the racial inequality.
The question of the African Diasporic cultures should be discussed with the focus on relations of the representatives of diasporas and the dominated nation. Diaspora is often defined as the nation which is not limited by the official boundaries in spite of the fact it is located at the definite territory.
The situation of separateness from the native lands make the representatives of diasporas feel oppressed by the dominated nation. It is important to note that colonialism and racial capitalism contributed much to the development of such associations.
The representatives of the African Diasporic cultures have to emphasize their identities under the impact of the Westerners who are discussed as more civilized and educated than the Africans.
Nevertheless, the development of the African Diasporic cultures is a result of the changes in the Western world because the Africans were not inclined to form diasporas in the Western countries before the progress of colonialism and imperialism (Clarke and Thomas).
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Being the product of the Western world, the African Diasporic cultures influenced the Western culture, and colonialism and racial capitalism played the leading roles in the process.
If racial capitalism and colonialism influenced the development of the African Diasporic cultures as the phenomenon, is it possible to speak about the transformation of the Western culture under the impact of colonialism and racial capitalism?
The transformations were observed due to the fact the development of racial capitalism and colonialism changed the whole social system in the countries where the African diasporas appeared as a result of the imperialistic policies and tendencies to use slaves as the base for the economic relations.
The African Diasporic cultures began to develop in the Western world, which could not be the same as it was before the moves in colonization and imperialistic policies. Thus, Africanisms and Pan-Africanism should be associated with the African Diasporic cultures influenced by the effects of the racial capitalism.
To understand the situation clearly, it is necessary to correlate it with the contemporary tendencies in the process of finding the compromise between stating the identity of the diaspora and establishing effective relations with the dominated nations.
Clarke and Thomas state that “contemporary transformations in the production of blackness are as relevant to the globalization of late capitalism as deployments of “race-thinking” … were to earlier periods of imperialism, state formation, and nationalism” (Clarke and Thomas 9).
Thus, the notion of globalization was added to the discussed concepts of race, equality, and identity as one of the most significant factors. If several centuries ago, the question of the African Diasporic cultures was connected with the results of imperialism, today the globalization processes in economy and social life are discussed as more influential factors.
The notions of racial consciousness and cultural identity are often discussed in relation to the African diaspora with references to the questions of the racial inequality and discrimination. These associations and interpretations are effected by the development of the racial capitalism. However, it is also necessary to focus on the further progress of the situation when the Western culture was also transformed.
Clarke and Thomas pay attention to the fact that “the idea of race and the hierarchical institutionalization of racial difference emerged dialectically in relation to sixteenth-century economic transformations that ultimately created that what we now know as “the modern West” (Clarke and Thomas 11).
From this point, rigorous historical and social processes influenced the modern situation regarding the problem of diaspora and contributed to adding more points to the discussion of the issue of race.
To conclude, it is essential to note that racial capitalism in its association with colonialism and imperialism influences the development of the situation when the representatives of the African Diasporic cultures are perceived as the former slaves.
This fact explains the controversial discriminated position of the Africans in the Western world, which can be not accentuated, but it is a result of the historical development. Furthermore, the Western culture was also transformed because of its orientation to the discussion of race and racial equality as one of the significant factors for building economic and social relations.
Clarke, Kamari, and Deborah Thomas. Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness. Durham: Duke University Press, 2006. Print.