Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Restoring the Links

Slavery and African Ethnicities in the Americas: Restoring the Links
By Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

University of North Carolina Press, 248 pp., illustrations. 2005.

Description from the Publisher:

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.

About the author: Gwendolyn Midlo Hall is Distinguished Research Fellow, Southern University System, and International Advisory Board Member of the Harriet Tubman Resource Center on the African Diaspora at York University, Toronto. She is author of a CD and website database on Afro-Louisiana history and genealogy as well as of several books, including Africans in Colonial Louisiana: The Development of Afro-Creole Culture in the Eighteenth Century and Social Control in Slave Plantation Societies: A Comparison of St. Domingue and Cuba.

Source from great site: http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu

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