Jubilee: The Emergence of African-American Culture


Slaves came to the Americas from many different parts of the African continent, bringing with them distinct languages, religions, and expressive arts. Jubilee shows the many ways that these diverse peoples united, forged their own identity, and laid the foundations for truly unique African-American social, cultural, political, and economic expressions throughout the Western ...
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Slaves came to the Americas from many different parts of the African continent, bringing with them distinct languages, religions, and expressive arts. Jubilee shows the many ways that these diverse peoples united, forged their own identity, and laid the foundations for truly unique African-American social, cultural, political, and economic expressions throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Jubilee is written by Howard Dodson, chief of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture—one of the most prominent institutions of black scholarship in the world. Essays by leading voices in African-American history and literature, including Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John Hope Franklin, Amiri Bakara, Annette Gordon-Reed, and Gail Buckley will explore topics such as abolition and emancipation, changes in family life and social development, religion, and the evolution of language, literacy, and education through the end of Reconstruction. This illuminating text is surrounded by more than 200 stunning illustrations, culled from the Schomburg's collection of more than 5 million items. From slave ship manifests, manumission papers, and some of the earliest photographs of slaves to carved items that echo African sculpture and freedom quilts with African motifs, the book is richly illustrated in an interactive way that brings to life this crucial transition from slavery to freedom.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is that rare title that effortlessly spans audience and age-group divides while it popularizes serious and compelling scholarship, in this case challenging widely held conceptions about modern culture in the Americas. In clean, almost terse prose Dodson presents a welter of facts showing the extent to which the colonization of North and South American depended on slave labor. A page-long foreword from Wynton Marsalis recalls the New Orleans culture of his youth. Next, Dodson (who has been director of Harlem's Schomberg Center for Research and Black Culture at the New York Public Library since 1984), along with his stellar team of scholars and poets, zeroes in on the Americas of the 17th and 18th centuries, when there were far more Black Americans than white. More than 200 photos and illustrations from the Schomberg's collection of more than five million work terrifically, selected specifically to counteract endlessly repeated images of victimization and document Black economies. They keep the story moving quickly and forcefully, and show concretely how black resistance resulted in cultural adaptations that now form the basis of cultures in the Americas: African and African-American carvings; portraits of prominent business and cultural figures; close-ups of irons and other implements of torture; marriage and other documents; contemporary press and poetry-there is an impressive amount of documentation here, culminating in the end of the Civil War. Never before have the economic and cultural histories of slavery come together so concisely and accessibly. This is an explosive, necessary book. (Feb.) Forecast: With its all-star authors and Black History Month pub date, this book could hit bestseller lists, and will become a backlist mainstay, through school-based assignments at various levels. Look for glowing national reviews and extensive media coverage. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Celebrating African American self-definition and self-determination amidst slavery, this series of nine stunningly illustrated essays represents an exhibition at the NYPL's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture organized as part of its 75th-anniversary celebration in 2000-01. The center director, historian Howard Dodson, offers an introduction and epilog to the three-part work, which uses graphic visual images and selected narratives to display and document the world slaves made for themselves throughout the Americas. The work focuses on the self-shaping of an African American identity and culture that started with the dominance of the African presence in the colonial Americas. The essays excerpted are from the writings of Gail Buckley, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Amiri Baraka, John Hope Franklin, and others. The cultural legacies displayed here make this exceptional work essential for any collection on the culture or history of the Americas.-Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792269823
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 12/17/2003
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,027,992
  • Product dimensions: 9.37 (w) x 11.23 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 10
Introduction 12
Ch. 1 The Transatlantic Slave Trade 20
Africa: The Long March 31
The Middle Passage 38
Ch. 2 The Price of Chains 50
Ch. 3 Routes to Freedom 66
Runaways, Rebels, and Maroons 67
Military Service as a Route to Freedom 77
Men That Dared: African-American Military Service 80
Manumission, Anti-Slavery, and Abolition 89
From Property to Property Ownership 95
Ch. 4 A New People 104
Ch. 5 A Bottomless Vitality 112
Sacred Legacies 124
Ch. 6 A Glory Over Everything 132
The Religion of the Slave 140
Ch. 7 Bonds Unloosed and Broken 150
The Talking Book 162
Ch. 8 The Sacred Fire 170
The Phenomenon of Soul in African-American Music 180
Ch. 9 A New World in This Wilderness 192
The Emancipation Proclamation: An Act of Justice 204
Epilogue 212
Acknowledgments 216
Bibliography 218
Index 220
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2003


    Simply the most comprehensive, accurate and refreshing view of slavery in the Americas. JUBILEE and its writers prove that African Americans did, in fact, triumph over slavery. Congratulations to NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC and the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture for an awesome collaboration. This book is a clear-eyed account of the facts of slavery and the varied opinions of its descendants. Gail Buckley's essay is especially illuminating, to help us comprehend how African Americans maintain a potent sense of patriotism despite their, most challenging of all American experiences. As a white American, I stand today, better informed, about a topic -- slavery -- which is the most misunderstood aspect of American history. Jubilee is a very valuable story!

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