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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Strategies of Placement/Production of Identity: Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford as African Victorian Traveler
Author:Christensen, Matthew J.ISNI
Geographic term:Sierra Leone
Subjects:biographies (form)
History and Exploration
Women's Issues
About person:Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford (Sierra Leone/British)(1868-1960)ISNI
Abstract:On July 8, 1920, at the age of 52, Adelaide Smith Casely Hayford along with her niece, Kathleen Easmon, left Freetown, Sierra Leone, for what would become a two and a half year sojourn in the United States. Casely Hayford set off to 'learn how Afro-Americans, especially girls, were educated and to raise money for her school in Freetown'. The sections of her memoirs regarding her stay in the US and a second trip there in 1925 reveal the anxiety of identity Casely Hayford experienced as a result of her ambivalent position as a colonial subject. She continually shows awareness of the lenses through which her American audiences mediate her and she continually negotiates to thwart their conceptions of her as an African, drawing from her experiences as an exile, a metis, a Krio, and an African cultural nationalist in her strategies of self-representation and to forward her project in the United States. Two versions of Casely Hayford's memories have been published, the first in serial form in 1953-1954 in the 'West Africa Review', a monthly published in London, and the second in 1983 by the Sierra Leone University Press. In discussing Casely Haford's travel narrative, the present author draws on both texts, between which there are several problematic differences. Bibliogr., ref.