Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Restoring the Links / Edition 1

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Drawing on a wide range of materials in four languages as well as on a lifetime of study of slave groups in the New World, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall explores the persistence of African ethnic identities among the enslaved over four hundred years of the Atlantic slave trade. Hall traces the linguistic, economic, and cultural ties shared by large numbers of enslaved Africans, showing that despite the fragmentation of the diaspora, many ethnic groups retained enough cohesion to communicate and to transmit elements of their shared culture.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This powerful new book is the product of more than twenty years of archival research on several continents and in four languages. It synthesizes the best of the new work and, in a variety of ways, charts directions for future scholarship. . . . Hall's book deserves the widest possible readership."--Journal of American History

"Hall has successfully constructed a comprehensive and detailed consideration of the transatlantic slave trade that succeeds on many fronts and at many levels. . . . This work is an outstanding introduction to both the sources available on the slave trade and the scholarship produced from these sources. . . . The book will appeal to nonspecialists as well as specialists. . . . It is likely to inspire further works in this vein beyond the discipline of history."--Journal of Southern History

"Historians, anthropologists, and other scholars on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean will benefit from this excellent study as we continue to try to understand what W.E.B. Du Bois rightly called 'the most inexcusable and despicable blot on modern human history.'"--African Studies Review

"Important, providing a new template for critics as well as supporters, and opening up a new chapter in what is clearly a changing paradigm."--Journal of the Early Republic

"An elegant and sensible appeal for collaborative scholarship and recognition of diversity and complexity in dealing with culture formation in the Americas."--Hispanic American Historical Review

"In her effort at 'restoring the links,' Hall's study encompasses four centuries of Atlantic slave trading and underscores the historical reality that continuity and change go hand in hand."--Journal of African American History

"[Hall's] book is about getting the story right--making the marginalized more visible by highlighting historically their crucial role 'in the formation of cultures throughout the Americas.' . . . The book is a trove of new insights into African ethnic identity that challenge the earlier belief in the fragmented nature of Africans enslaved in the Western Hemisphere and the little influence they supposedly had on particular regions."--Multicultural Review

"[This] ambitious study introduces new paradigms, methodologies, and sources of the complex cultural evolution of the African diaspora and convincingly challenges current assumptions and conclusions. . . . Everyone who want to understand the cultural meaning history of the African diaspora should read this book."--Register of Kentucky Historical Society

"Hall has written an innovative history of important but sometimes neglected matters. The questions she raises about African ethnicity in the New World, and about slave historiography, merit debate and answers."--North Carolina Historical Review

"Thought-provoking. . . . A landmark book about African slavery in the Americas that challenges historians and genealogists to engage a whole world of transcontinental, multi-lingual scholarship that may be unknown to students of American slavery (like this reviewer) who may have immersed themselves largely in the historiography of the Old South."--Afrigeneas
"This fascinating book is a must-read for anyone with slave or slave-owning ancestors."--Family Tree Magazine

"[Hall's] latest attempt represents a new attempt to more clearly ascertain the influence of the enslaved Africans on the societies of the Americas."--Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"At the opening bell, Hall comes out swinging. . . . [She] writes with a passion that is regrettably absent from much of the new literature of African Slavery."--Florida Historical Quarterly

"Hall's work offers a major contribution to the longstanding debate over the Africanness of slave culture in the Americas. . . . Hall rises to the challenge."--The Southern Quarterly

"Could stimulate important future research. The book is a reminder that scholarship may depend more on the sources used than on the 'truth' or the 'facts.'. . . Recommended."--Choice

"The book's continuing return to the methodological necessity of exploring African ethnicity in the Americas with ample regard for historical context and change over time and place is necessary and important."--H-Atlantic

"A relatively small book, whose size belies its importance. . . . [Hall] adopt[s] a hemispheric perspective that places the North American experience in its proper context."--Southern Cultures

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807829738
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 9/19/2005
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall is senior research fellow at Tulane University, professor emerita of history at Rutgers University, and International Advisory Board Member of the Harriet Tubman Resource Center on the African Diaspora at York University, Toronto. She is author of several books as well as a CD and website database on Afro-Louisiana history and genealogy.
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Table of Contents


Preface: Truth and Reconciliation


1. Gold, God, Race, and Slaves

2. Making Invisible Africans Visible: Coasts, Ports, Regions, and Ethnicities

3. The Clustering of African Ethnicities in the Americas

4. Greater Senegambia/Upper Guinea

5. Lower Guinea: Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, and Slave Coast

6. Lower Guinea: The Bight of Biafra

7. Bantulands: West Central Africa and Mozambique

Conclusion: Implications for Culture Formation in the Americas

Appendix: Prices of Slaves by Ethnicity and Gender in Louisiana, 1719-1820




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