Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas

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Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Restoring the Links New edition
by Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

 

Enslaved peoples were brought to the Americas from many places in Africa, but a large majority came from relatively few ethnic groups. Drawing on a wide range of materials in four languages as well as on her lifetime study of slave groups in the New World, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall explores the persistence of African ethnic identities among the enslaved over four hundred years of the Atlantic slave trade.

Hall traces the linguistic, economic, and cultural ties shared by large numbers of enslaved Africans, showing that despite the fragmentation of the diaspora many ethnic groups retained enough cohesion to communicate and to transmit elements of their shared culture. Hall concludes that recognition of the survival and persistence of African ethnic identities can fundamentally reshape how people think about the emergence of identities among enslaved Africans and their descendants in the Americas, about the ways shared identity gave rise to resistance movements, and about the elements of common African ethnic traditions that influenced regional creole cultures throughout the Americas.

Editorial Reviews

 

Review

At the opening bell, Hall comes out swinging. . . . [She] writes with a passion that is regrettably absent from much of the new literature of African Slavery.--Florida Historical Quarterly



Thought-provoking. . . . A landmark book about African slavery in the Americas that challenges historians and genealogists to engage a whole world of transcontinental, multi-lingual scholarship that may be unknown to students of American slavery (like this reviewer) who may have immersed themselves largely in the historiography of the Old South.--Afrigeneas



This powerful new book is the product of more than twenty years of archival research on several continents and in four languages. It synthesizes the best of the new work and, in a variety of ways, charts directions for future scholarship. . . . Hall's book deserves the widest possible readership.--Journal of American History



Historians, anthropologists, and other scholars on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean will benefit from this excellent study as we continue to try to understand what W.E.B. Du Bois rightly called 'the most inexcusable and despicable blot on modern human history.'--African Studies Review



Hall's work offers a major contribution to the longstanding debate over the Africanness of slave culture in the Americas. . . . Hall rises to the challenge.--The Southern Quarterly



This fascinating book is a must-read for anyone with slave or slave-owning ancestors.--Family Tree Magazine



Hall has successfully constructed a comprehensive and detailed consideration of the transatlantic slave trade that succeeds on many fronts and at many levels. . . . This work is an outstanding introduction to both the sources available on the slave trade and the scholarship produced from these sources. . . . The book will appeal to nonspecialists as well as specialists. . . . It is likely to inspire further works in this vein beyond the discipline of history.--Journal of Southern History



The book's continuing return to the methodological necessity of exploring African ethnicity in the Americas with ample regard for historical context and change over time and place is necessary and important.--H-Atlantic



Important, providing a new template for critics as well as supporters, and opening up a new chapter in what is clearly a changing paradigm.--Journal of the Early Republic



In her effort at 'restoring the links,' Hall's study encompasses four centuries of Atlantic slave trading and underscores the historical reality that continuity and change go hand in hand.--Journal of African American History

 

Review

This is a work of major importance. Its breadth of comprehension and depth of research put the entire subject on a new empirical foundation. Gwendolyn Hall is truly a national treasure.--David Hackett Fischer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Washington's Crossing

 

From the Inside Flap

Drawing on a wide range of materials in four languages as well as on a lifetime of study of slave groups in the New World, Gwendolyn Midlo Hall explores the persistence of African ethnic identities among the enslaved over four hundred years of the Atlantic slave trade. Hall traces the linguistic, economic, and cultural ties shared by large numbers of enslaved Africans, showing that despite the fragmentation of the diaspora, many ethnic groups retained enough cohesion to communicate and to transmit elements of their shared culture.

 

About the Author

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall is senior research fellow at Tulane University, professor emerita of history at Rutgers University, and International Advisory Board Member of the Harriet Tubman Resource Center on the African Diaspora at York University, Toronto. She is author of several books as well as a CD and website database on Afro-Louisiana history and genealogy.

 

 

Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: University of North Carolina Press; New edition edition (August 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807858625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807858622
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces

 

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