The introduction contextualizes the book’s central themes of diaspora, nationalism, race, and urban space, and locates their intersection within Tanzanian and Indian Ocean history and historiography. Descriptions of ordinary people’s lives, collected through oral interviews, illuminate wider historical trends which were at play across the region, eventually impacting local urban spaces in Dar es Salaam. The chapter summarizes the book’s major arguments, defines its key terms like race and urban space, and briefly recapitulates the history of the Indian diaspora in Dar es Salaam and East Africa. These contributions are then situated within a survey of the historiography of nation and diaspora in the Indian Ocean.
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