Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America

Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America

by Sterling Stuckey
     
 

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Twenty-five years after its original publication, Oxford has released a new edition of Sterling Stuckey's ground-breaking study, Slave Culture. A leading cultural historian and authority on slavery, Stuckey 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,

Overview

Twenty-five years after its original publication, Oxford has released a new edition of Sterling Stuckey's ground-breaking study, Slave Culture. A leading cultural historian and authority on slavery, Stuckey 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 that has had profound implications for theories of black liberation and 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. The second edition, which includes a Foreword by historian John Stauffer, will reintroduce Stuckey's masterpiece to a wider audience. Stukey provides a new introduction that looks at the life of the book and the impact it has had on the field of African-American scholarship, as well as how the field has changed in the 25 years since its original publication.

Editorial Reviews

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

"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 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

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

"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

"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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199356010
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
09/25/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
496
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Sterling Stuckey is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at University Of California, Riverside. He is the author of Going through the Storm: The Influence of African American Art in History, and African Culture and Melville's Art.

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