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Transatlantic Africa


Kwasi Konadu

Publication Date - March 2014

ISBN: 9780199764877

176 pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $16.95

The African World Histories series enriches the study of African history by providing an indigenous, problems-based perspective on the past


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.

About the Author(s)

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.


"This is an important work. The author has assembled an impressive array of documentary evidence that offers a new analytical lens with which to consider the Atlantic slave trade. By examining the perspectives of Africans and their discourse on the transatlantic system, it is an ideal text for courses on world history, the Atlantic World, or slavery in Africa."--Hilary Jones, Florida International University

"Transatlantic Africa: 1440-1888 presents new perspectives in the study of the complex historical development of the African diaspora. This volume will be of benefit to scholars as well as students interested in understanding the influence of the African diaspora in world history."--Ibrahim Hamza, Virginia Commonwealth University

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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