Making the Black Atlantic: Britain and the African Diaspora

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The British role in the shaping and direction of the African diaspora was central both in execution and in terms of numbers. The British carried more Africans across the Atlantic than any other nation, and British colonial settlements in the Caribbean and North America absorbed vast numbers of Africans. The crops produced by those slaves helped to lay the foundations for Western material well-being, and their associated cultural habits shaped key areas of Western sociability ...
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Overview

The British role in the shaping and direction of the African diaspora was central both in execution and in terms of numbers. The British carried more Africans across the Atlantic than any other nation, and British colonial settlements in the Caribbean and North America absorbed vast numbers of Africans. The crops produced by those slaves helped to lay the foundations for Western material well-being, and their associated cultural habits shaped key areas of Western sociability that survive to this day.

Britain was also central in the drive to end slavery, in its own possessions and elsewhere in the world. Indeed, the British evolved a culture of anti-slavery which helped to define their own sense of national identity in the nineteenth century. But the shadow of racism forged by slavery lingered long after the institution itself had died, and it was this racism which survived into the twentieth century, reinforced and periodically reinvented by powerful cultural forces - commercialism, schooling, popular journalism and a host of visual images. More recently, the story of the diaspora has taken a different turn, with remarkable waves of migration to Britain since 1945 from the former slave colonies and other parts of the empire, with fundamental consequences for the British way of life.

This is the first book to present a coherent story of the African exile, of its origins, progress and transformation from bondage to freedom, within the broadest context.

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Editorial Reviews

Adam Hochschild
[a] solid work, a good synthesis and introduction for college and university students and other newcomers to the field.
Times Literary Supplement
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780304702176
  • Publisher: Continuum International Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Black Atlantic Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements vii
Introduction ix
1 Before the British 1
2 The Coming of the British 19
3 Origins and Destinations 33
4 Plantations 49
5 Slave Culture 65
6 Profiting from Slavery 84
7 Black Britain 100
8 The Fruits of Slave Labour 116
9 Quakers and Other Friends 128
10 Attacking Slavery 140
11 Consequences 156
Guide to Further Reading 171
Index 175
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