The Akan Diaspora in the Americas

The Akan Diaspora in the Americas

by Kwasi Konadu



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The Akan Diaspora in the Americas by Kwasi Konadu

In his groundbreaking study of the Akan diaspora, Kwasi Konadu demonstrates how this cultural group originating in West Africa both engaged in and went beyond the familiar diasporic themes of maroonage, resistance, and freedom. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Akan never formed a majority among other Africans in the Americas. But their leadership skills in war and political organization, efficacy in medicinal plant use and spiritual practice, and culture archived in the musical traditions, language, and patterns of African diasporic life far outweighed their sheer numbers. Konadu argues that a composite Akan culture calibrated between the Gold Coast and forest fringe made the contributions of the Akan diaspora possible. The book examines the Akan experience in Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados, former Danish and Dutch colonies, and North America, and how those early experiences foreground the modern engagement and movement of diasporic Africans and Akan people between Ghana and North America. Locating the Akan variable in the African diasporic equation allows scholars and students of the Americas to better understand how the diasporic quilt came to be and is still evolving.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199922857
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 04/27/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 322
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Kwasi Konadu is Assistant Professor of history at the Center for Ethnic Studies, City University of New York. He specializes in African, Akan, and African diasporic history.

Table of Contents

Drum Lyric to River Tano—The Path Crosses the River
1. On Diaspora and the Akan in the Americas
2. Quest for the River, Creation of the Path
3. History and Meaning in Akan Societies, 1500 - 1800
4. "The Most Unruly": The Akan in Danish and Dutch America
5. The Antelope (adowa) and the Elephant (esono): The Akan in the British Caribbean
6. "All of the Coromantee Country": The Akan Diaspora in North America
7. Diaspora Discourses: Akan Spiritual Praxis and the Claims of Cultural Identity

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