Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas
Restoring the Links
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: The University of North Carolina Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Preface: Truth and Reconciliation
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Americans throughout the Western Hemisphere owe a vast, but rarely acknowledged debt to Africa. Our national and regional cultures arose from the process of creolization: the cross-fertilization of the most adaptive aspects of the knowledge and traditions of the diverse peoples who met and mingled here. ...
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My life and career as a historian has been troubled by a combination of great faith in the social impact of history, growing confidence in the concrete and distrust of the abstract, lack of deference to changing fads in methodology and interpretation, self-assurance in my ability to do original and important work, ...
1. Gold, God, Race, and Slaves
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Slavery in the Americas was justified by racist ideology. Many scholars as well as the wider public believe that black Africans were enslaved because they were viewed by whites as inferiors. But the identification of race with slavery is largely a projection backward in time of beliefs and ideologies that intensified during the four centuries of the Atlantic slave trade, ...
2. Making Invisible Africans Visible: Coasts, Ports, Regions,and Ethnicities
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Studies of the African diaspora in the Americas began mainly during the early twentieth century among anthropologists: most notably Nina Rodriguez in Brazil and Fernando Ortiz in Cuba, and then a generation later by Frances and Melville Herskovits in the United States. Fieldwork was a primary methodology. ...
3. The Clustering of African Ethnicities in the Americas
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Despite the staggering number of Africans introduced into the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade and their crucial role in creating its wealth and forming its cultures, their origins in Africa remain obscure. There is still a widespread belief among scholars as well as the general public that Africans dragged to various places in the Americas were fractionalized ...
4. Greater Senegambia/Upper Guinea
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This chapter challenges some of the prevailing wisdom among historians who minimize the demographic and cultural contribution of peoples from Greater Senegambia to many important regions in the Americas. During the first 200 years of the Atlantic slave trade, Guinea meant what Boubacar Barry defines as Greater Senegambia: ...
5. Lower Guinea: Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, Slave Coast/Bight of Benin
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In Lower Guinea, the European maritime traders named African coasts for the major products they purchased there. Liberia was called the Pepper Coast and later the Grain Coast. Coasts farther east were named the Ivory Coast, the Gold Coast, and the Slave Coast. ...
6. Lower Guinea: The Bight of Biafra
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The Bight of Biafra is discussed here separately from the Ivory Coast, the Gold Coast, and the Slave Coast/Bight of Benin, the other regions also commonly considered part of Lower Guinea. Its geography, economy, and politics as well as the patterns of its transatlantic slave trade were distinct. ...
7. Bantulands: West Central Africa and Mozambique
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The Atlantic slave trade in West Central Africa began very early and lasted very late. It has been estimated that between 40 and 45 percent of enslaved Africans brought to the Americas by the transatlantic slave trade were Bantu language group speakers from West Central Africa.1 ...
Conclusion: Implications for Culture Formation in the Americas
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This book is only the beginning of the long, complex, challenging, but important task of restoring the severed links between Africa and the Americas. In order to understand the roots of cultures anywhere in the Americas, we must explore the pattern of introduction of Africans over time and place. ...
Appendix: Prices of Slaves by Ethnicity and Gender in Louisiana, 1719–1820
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Page Count: 248
Illustrations: 24 illus., 6 figs., 23 tables, 7 maps
Publication Year: 2005