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This groundbreaking book examines the full range of African-European encounters from an African perspective rather than from the customary European one. By featuring vivid life stories of individual Africans and drawing upon their many recorded sentiments, author David Northrup presents African perspectives that persuasively challenge stereotypes about African-European relations as they unfolded in Africa, Europe, and the Atlantic world between 1450 and 1850.
Africa's Discovery of Europe features thematically organized chapters that explore first impressions, religion and politics, commerce and culture, imported goods and technology, the Middle Passage, and Africans in Europe. In addition, Northrup offers a thoughtful examination of Africans' relations--intellectual, commercial, cultural, and sexual--with Europeans, tracing how the patterns of behavior that emerged from these encounters shaped pre-colonial Africa. The book concludes with an examination of the roles of race, class, and culture in early modern times, pointing out which themes in Africa's continuing discovery of Europe after 1850 were similar to earlier patterns, and why other themes were different. Brief, inexpensive, and accessible, the third edition of Africa's Discovery of Europe offers an insightful look at the tumultuous and enduring relations between these two continents.
David Northrup is Professor Emeritus of History at Boston College. He is the co-author of The Diary of Antera Duke: An Eighteenth-Century African Slave Trader (OUP, 2010) and author of How English Became the Global Language (2013), The Atlantic Slave Trade, Third Edition (2011), and Crosscurrents inthe Black Atlantic, 1770-1965 (2007). He is also a contributor to the Oxford Handbook on the Atlantic World, c. 1450-1820 (OUP, 2009), Oxford Bibliographies Online, the Oxford History of the British Empire (OUP, 1999), and its companion series, Black Experience and the Empire (OUP, 2004).
Table of Contents
1. FIRST SIGHTS--LASTING IMPRESSIONS Elite Africans in Europe to 1650 Enslaved Africans in Europe Discovering Europeans in Africa Southeast Africa, 15891635 Kongo Cosmology
2. POLITICS AND RELIGION The Meanings of Religious Conversion Benin and Warri The Kingdom of Kongo Swahili and Mutapa Ethiopia Conclusion
3. COMMERCE AND CULTURE African Trading Strategies The Eighteenth Century Language, Trade, and Culture Sexual Encounters Conclusion
4. ATLANTIC IMPORTS AND TECHNOLOGY Evaluating Inland Trade Textiles and Metals Tobacco and Distilled Spirits Guns and Politics Economic and Social Consequences
5. AFRICANS IN EUROPE, 1650-1850 African Delegates and Students Servants High and Low in Continental Europe Anglo-Africans Scholars and Churchmen Conclusion
6. PASSAGES IN SLAVERY Capture in Africa The Middle Passage New Identities Creolization Africanization Conclusion