Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America / Edition 1

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Overview


In this ground-breaking study, Sterling Stuckey, a leading cultural historian and authority on slavery, explains how different African peoples interacted on the plantations of the South to achieve a common culture. He argues that, at the time of emancipation, slaves still remained essentially African in culture, a conclusion with profound implications for theories of black liberation and for the future of race relations in America.
Drawing evidence from the anthropology and art history of Central and West African cultural traditions and exploring the folklore of the American slave, Stuckey reveals an intrinsic Pan-African impulse that contributed to the formation of the black ethos in slavery. He presents fascinating profiles of such nineteenth-century figures as David Walker, Henry Highland Garnet, and Frederick Douglass, as well as detailed examinations into the lives and careers of W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson in this century.

"A splendid addition to the rich literature on the lives of blacks under slavery."--Philadelphia Inquirer

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A splendid addition to the rich literature on the lives of blacks under slavery."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Stuckey's stimulating work clearly suggests that until Afro-Americans can resolve not only the problems of economic and political empowerment but also the related problem of cultural self-definition--especially as regards their Africanness--the travail of black liberation will not come to an end."--The Nation

"Slave Culture, a work of major proportions, is gracefully written and thoroughly documented....Superbly disciplined scholarship."--Journal of American History

"An interpretation of considerable originality. He brings a broad knowledge of, and a wonderful ear for, poetry, music, dance, and folklore."*

"An exciting, superbly documented text....It is Stuckey's masterpiece."--Robert Farris Thompson, Yale University

"A rich, provocative, and in many ways seminal interpretation that may force a reconsideration of the depths of African culture in America."--Library Journal

"Thoughtful tracing of the roots of black nationalist feelings in America over several centuries."--Kirkus Reviews

"An exciting, superbly documented text....It is Stuckey's masterpiece, a brilliant synthesis of years of research distilled with the insights and analytic knack of one of the master historians of the black experience....It is an essential classic of African-American scholarship."--Robert Farris Thompson, Yale University

"Stuckey's signal achievement is that he has forced us to reexamine the roots of slave culture and the attendant political implications in new and exciting ways."--Reviews in American History

"An interpretation of considerable originality. [Stuckey] brings a broad knowledge of, and a wonderful ear for, poetry, music, dance, and folklore....I cannot do justice to Stuckey's contributions to scholarship, much less to the pleasure that awaits those who avail themselves of his subtle and nuanced readings."--Eugene Genovese, The New Republic

Library Journal
Slave culture flowed from an essentially autonomous value system that made the ancestral African past central to blacks in America, Stuckey argues. The common culture slaves achieved, despite coming from diverse ethnic groups, created a Pan-Africanism that has given blacks identity and ideology, he says. To show the culture in the making, he employs a broad, interdisciplinary approach that fuses his noted skills as a historian with the use of anthropology, folklore, linguistics, and musicology. To show the culture's extent, he focuses on the lives and works of David Walker, Henry Highland Garnet, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Paul Robeson. The result is a rich, provocative, and in many ways seminal interpretation that may force a reconsideration of the neglected depths of African culture in America. Thomas J. Davis, African American Studies Dept., SUNY at Buffalo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195056648
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 12/15/1988
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 1,382,958
  • Lexile: 1240L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 5.31 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Sterling Stuckey is Professor of History at Northwestern University. Stuckey is also editor of The Ideological Origins of Black Nationalism.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by John Stauffer
1. Introduction: Slavery and the Circle of Culture
2. David Walker: In Defense of African Rights and Liberty
3. Henry HIghland Garnet: Nationalism, Class Analysis, and Revolution
4. Identity and Ideology: The Names Controversy
5. W.E.B. Du Bois: Black Cultural Reality and the Meaning of Freedom
6. On Being African: Paul Robeson and the Ends of Nationalist Theory and Practice
Notes
Index

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