RM 220 Presents: The Practice of Diaspora (A Salon)



3718 ST CLAUDE AVE.   7PM- 10 PM

RM 220 invites you take part in a special salon in celebration of Black History Month. Titled for Brent Edwards Hayes’ seminal work, we will explore and examine the historic relationships and connections of the Black Diaspora through literature, food, art, music and most importantly conversation!

Hosted in honor of the Nardal Sisters: Paulette, Jeanne, and Andrée Nardal, three sisters from Martinique organized a cultural salon in the Paris suburb of Clamart during the 1930s. The discussions and activities at this salon preceded, and birthed what would later come to be known as the Negritude movement. Senghor wrote : “We were in contact with these black Americans during the years 1929–34, through Mademoiselle Paulette Nardal who, with Dr. Sajous, a Haitian, had founded La Revue du monde noir. Mademoiselle Nardal kept a literary salon, where African Negroes, West Indians and American Negroes used to get together.”

In Brent Hayes Edwards’s, The Practice of Diaspora, Edwards introduces the reader to the French term décalage, referring to a shift in space or time or the gap that results from it, and applies the term to describe the way in which members of the black diaspora share similar conditions of oppression yet often find ourselves on opposite ends of the political spectrum—for example, black writers seeking solace from Jim Crow in Paris, while simultaneously Africans were struggling against French colonialism. These countering political locations create tensions within our diaspora, but Edwards does not see these sites of difference as global movement killers. Citing the work of Stuart Hall on the practice of “articulation,” “a process of linking or connecting across gaps,” which (says Hall) always forms “a ‘complex structure’…in which things are related, as much through their differences as through their similarities,” Edwards says that these disparate locations are, like joints, sites of potential forward motion.

Hope to see you all in a couple weeks. Enjoy this Temple of Color and Sound playlist with sounds from the diaspora in the meantime!