Transatlantic Africa: 1440-1888

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-03-13
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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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.

Author Biography

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
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
Further Reading

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