In Oxford Street, Accra, Ato Quayson analyzes the dynamics of Ghana’s capital city through a focus on Oxford Street, part of Accra’s most vibrant and globalized commercial district. He traces the city’s evolution from its settlement in the mid-seventeenth century to the present day. He combines his impressions of the sights, sounds, interactions, and distribution of space with broader dynamics, including the histories of colonial and postcolonial town planning and the marks of transnationalism evident in Accra’s salsa scene, gym culture, and commercial billboards.
Quayson finds that the various planning systems that have shaped the city—and had their stratifying effects intensified by the IMF-mandated structural adjustment programs of the late 1980s—prepared the way for the early-1990s transformation of a largely residential neighborhood into a kinetic shopping district. With an intense commercialism overlying, or coexisting with, stark economic inequalities, Oxford Street is a microcosm of historical and urban processes that have made Accra the variegated and contradictory metropolis that it is today.
“Oxford Street, Accra offers a fresh portrait of a rising African metropolis by one of the most original and skilled critics of the African condition. Deeply researched and packed with detail and bold in scope and analysis, Oxford Street, Accra is a unique addition to the growing body of work on contemporary African Urbanism. This extraordinary book shows the extent to which the future of urban theory might well lie in the global South.” – Achille Mbembe, author of Critique de la raison négre.
KEY SELLING POINTS:
- Oxford Street, Accra is a must-buy as an invaluable companion and compass for both newcomers and returning visitors to Accra.
- Oxford Street, Accra was chosen as one of the ‘UK Guardian’s 10 Best City Books of the World in 2014.’
- Oxford Street, Accra was also the Co-Winner of ‘The Urban History Association’s Top Award in the International Category For Books Published About World Cities in 2013 – 2014.’
- Oxford Street, Accra contains an encyclopedic knowledge of the City of Accra, tracing the city’s evolution from its settlement in the mid-seventeenth century to the present day.
- The book offers a microcosm of historical and urban knowledge of the making of the city that have transformed Accra into the sophisticated metropolis that is it today.
Part autobiographical, part social commentary, this is a powerful and insightful look at the situation of border intellectuals at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
In this searing memoir, Manthia Diawara revisits his early years as an emigrant in love with Swedish girls and Western rock and roll music, taking us from the nightclubs of his hometown Bamako to the cafes of Boulevard Montparnasse and the black neighbourhoods of 1970s Washington DC, USA.
This book is about the developed world – that is the former colonisers of the African continent now busy slamming shut its doors to African and Arab immigrants.
It is also about human rights violations and racism against people of colour. Diawara writes that he wanted to give a human face to African immigration in today’s global world. He describes the reasons why many Africans leave the continent – such as poverty, persecution and lack of opportunities – and writes sometimes angrily and sometimes very movingly, about their predicament in Europe and the US, where they are caught between their traditions and the West’s vacuous modernity.
“With humour and the intimacy of a conversatonal tone, Diawara writes of the ‘global’ African as a nomad at the mercy of whirlwinds of economic and political dislocation at home and racism and intolerance abroad. He is not at home in his country; he is not at home abroad. But the nomad refuses to bow down to those whirlwinds, to let evil turn him around, and against all the odds becomes an active contributor to the multiculture of the globe. This is the story of a diasporic soul that finds home in its own resilience and in so may ways it is all our story.” – Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Author of A Grain of Wheat et al)
“We Won’t Budge is destined to become a classic – it is one of the most insightful, layered and moving accounts of the modern African Diaspora.” – Patricia Williams (Author of The Alchemy of Race & Rights et al)₵85.00
Africa’s development process has and continues to be like walking through a thick forest made obscure by institutional weakness, social challenges and capacity gaps. Sustainable development should be in the hands of Africans and outside support as a critical compliment. Getting the navigation right is paramount in the face of emerging challenges so well covered in this undoubtedly important and highly recommended book. The authors argue that Africa must control its own precious natural resources, reform its government institutions, modify its trade and economic relations and form new relationships with emerging economies in order to improve conditions on the continent.