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Feb. 21: The African Diaspora in India

Purnima Bhatt
Purnima Bhatt

FREDERICK, Maryland—A former Hood College professor will discuss the African diaspora in India on campus Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Whitaker Campus Center Commons.

In her talk, titled “The African Diaspora in India: Assimilation, Change and Cultural Survivals,” Purnima Bhatt, Ph.D., will review the culture and identity of Africans brought to the Indian subcontinent for their labor and skills. Her lecture will include visual images of the subject matter she collected during her research in India.

Her newly released book by the same name is one of the first to be published on this topic. She writes about the Indian Ocean slave trade taking Africans into India and Pakistan. Today, their descendants no longer speak African languages, but their religious rituals, music and dance show evidence of African influences. Many of the African descendants in India are members of the large Dalit community with whom they intermarried.

Bhatt is professor emerita of history, anthropology and interdisciplinary studies at Hood. She has traveled and written extensively on India, the Indian movement for independence and the Indian communities in East Africa.

Sponsored by the African American Studies program and the Office of the Provost, this event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Hoda Zaki at hzaki@hood.edu.