Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-2012

Publication Title

The Journal of North African Studies

Volume

17

Issue

3

First Page

409

Last Page

431

DOI

10.1080/13629387.2011.635450

Abstract

This article is the second segment of a two-part project that deconstructs Africanist conceptions of the origin of black Africans of the Maghrib. In the first part, I identified the textual threads linking Africanist discourses on Africans (blacks) of the Maghrib to abolitionism. This sequel is designed to accomplish two things. First, I will sketch a textual genesis for the twin concepts underpinning both the Africanist and abolitionist polemics: the notions of sensuality and miscegenation. Second, I will consider how this polemics measures up to pre-modern commentaries that lead back towards the advent of Islam at the Maghrib. Secularity, I argue, enabled Africanists not only to conserve what was, in essence, a religious discourse, but also to de-historicise black Africans of the Maghrib.

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