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Transatlantic Africa: 1440-1888 offers an African-centric interpretation of the Atlantic slave trade. Based on careful reading of Africans' oral histories and traditions, written documents, and visual evidence, the book focuses not on the mechanics or operation of the Atlantic slaving system, but rather on the beliefs, ideas, and worldviews of the Africans who experienced it. It examines the internal workings of African societies and their members at various strata in the transatlantic era, strongly emphasizing the global context and the multiplicity of African experiences during that period, and interpreting the process of transatlantic slaving and its consequences through largely African and diasporic primary sources. By integrating Africans' viewpoints with critical interpretations, Transatlantic Africa: 1440-1888 balances intellectual rigor with broad accessibility, helping students to think about the Atlantic slave trade from a new perspective.
Kwasi Konadu is Associate Professor of History at The City University of New York. He is the author of several books, including: The Akan Diaspora in the Americas (OUP, 2010). He is also the founding director of the nonprofit publishing educational group, Diasporic Africa Press, Inc.
Table of Contents
Series Editor's Introduction Maps Introduction The Sources Framing Transatlantic Slaving Outline of the Chapters Chapter 1: The Anchors: African Understandings of their Societies and "Slavery" Self-Understandings of Society and "Slavery" African Understandings of "Free" and Servile Status Further Readings Chapter 2: Vessels and Villains: African Understandings of Atlantic Commerce and Commodification African Systems of Commerce Commodification and Transatlantic Transformations Further Readings Chapter 3: Black Bodies at Bay and Reversing Sail: African Understandings of Self, Religion, and Returning Home African Understandings of Culture and Identity African Understandings of Religion and Return Further Readings Chapter 4: The Endless Voyage of Cannibalism and Capitalism: African Understandings of the Impacts of Transatlantic Slaving and Abolitionism Interpreting Transatlantic Slaving through Metaphors and Idioms Interpreting Abolitionism through Metaphors and Idioms Toward Calculating the Unquantifiable Epilogue: Almost Home: Forgetful Memories and Getting the Stories Right History and its alternatives Memory and silence Official commemoration, tourism, and heritage Conclusion Further Reading