Becoming African in America: Race and Nation in the Early Black Atlantic / Edition 1by James Sidbury
Pub. Date: 04/07/2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
The first slaves imported to America did not see themselves as "African" but rather as Temne, Igbo, or Yoruban. In Becoming African in America, James Sidbury reveals how an African identity emerged in the late eighteenth-century Atlantic world, tracing the development of "African" from a degrading term connoting savage people to a word that was
The first slaves imported to America did not see themselves as "African" but rather as Temne, Igbo, or Yoruban. In Becoming African in America, James Sidbury reveals how an African identity emerged in the late eighteenth-century Atlantic world, tracing the development of "African" from a degrading term connoting savage people to a word that was a source of pride and unity for the diverse victims of the Atlantic slave trade.
In this wide-ranging work, Sidbury first examines the work of black writerssuch as Ignatius Sancho in England and Phillis Wheatley in Americawho created a narrative of African identity that took its meaning from the diaspora, a narrative that began with enslavement and the experience of the Middle Passage, allowing people of various ethnic backgrounds to become "African" by virtue of sharing the oppression of slavery. He looks at political activists who worked within the emerging antislavery moment in England and North America in the 1780s and 1790s; he describes the rise of the African church movement in various citiesmost notably, the establishment of the African Methodist Episcopal Church as an independent denominationand the efforts of wealthy sea captain Paul Cuffe to initiate a black-controlled emigration movement that would forge ties between Sierra Leone and blacks in North America; and he examines in detail the efforts of blacks to emigrate to Africa, founding Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Elegantly written and astutely reasoned, Becoming African in America weaves together intellectual, social, cultural, religious, and political threads into an important contribution to African American history, one that fundamentally revises our picture of the rich and complicated roots of African nationalist thought in the U.S. and the black Atlantic.
- Oxford University Press, USA
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Table of Contents
1. Africa and Africans in the Poetry of Phillis Wheatley and the Letters of Ignatius Sancho
2. Toward a Transformed Africa: The Second Generation of "African" Writers
3. African Identity and the Movements for 'Return': African Institutions and Emigration in the 1780s and 90s
4. Out of America: Sierra Leone's Settler Society and Its Meanings for "Africans" in America
5. African Identity at the Beginning of the New Century: Politics, Religion, and Emigrationism
6. African Churches and the Struggle for an African Nation: Paul Cuffe, The African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the American Colonization Society
Epilogue The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and Renewed Assertions of African Identity
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