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The final chapter was about European mortality and how many European

sailors died while involved in the trade. This chapter really did not fit in with

the other chapters and would have been better left out. Also the author

uses various techniques in which to prove his calculations and assumptions.



Reading Africana


Franklin W. Knight and Teresita Martinez-Vergne, Contemporary Caribbean Cultures and Societies in a Global Context (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005).

Contemporary Caribbean Cultures and Societies in a Global Context

By Franklin W. Knight and Teresita Martinez-Vergne

The Caribbean ranks among the earliest and most completely globalized regions in the world. From the first moment Europeans set foot on the islands to the present, products, people, and ideas have made their way back and forth between the region and other parts of the globe with unequal but inexorable force. An inventory of some of these unprecedented multidirectional exchanges, this volume provides a measure of, as well as a model for, new scholarship on globalization in the region. Ten essays by leading scholars in the field of Caribbean studies identify and illuminate important social and cultural aspects of the region as it seeks to maintain its own identity against the unrelenting pressures of globalization. These essays examine cultural phenomena in their creolized formsfrom sports and religion to music and drinkas well as the Caribbean manifestations of more universal trendsfrom racial inequality and feminist activism to indebtedness and economic uncertainty. Throughout, the volume points to the contending forces of homogeneity and differentiation that define globalization and highlights the growing agency of the Caribbean peoples in the modern world.Publisher UNC Press

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Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano, eds., Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009).

Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State

Edited by Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano

At the end of the nineteenth century the United States swiftly occupied a string of small islands dotting the Caribbean and Western Pacific, from Puerto Rico and Cuba to Hawaii and the Philippines. Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State reveals how this experiment in direct territorial rule subtly but profoundly shaped U.S. policy and practice—both abroad and, crucially, at home. Edited by Alfred W. McCoy and Francisco A. Scarano, the essays in this volume show how the challenge of ruling such far-flung territories strained the U.S. state to its limits, creating both the need and the opportunity for bold social experiments not yet possible within the United States itself. Plunging Washington’s rudimentary bureaucracy into the white heat of nationalist revolution and imperial rivalry, colonialism was a crucible of change in American statecraft. From an expansion of the federal government to the creation of agile public-private networks for more effective global governance, U.S. empire produced far-reaching innovations.

Moving well beyond theory, this volume takes the next step, adding a fine-grained, empirical texture to the study of U.S. imperialism by analyzing its specific consequences. Across a broad range of institutions—policing and prisons, education, race relations, public health, law, the military, and environmental management—this formative experience left a lasting institutional imprint. With each essay distilling years, sometimes decades, of scholarship into a concise argument, Colonial Crucible reveals the roots of a legacy evident, most recently, in Washington’s misadventures in the Middle East.

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Barry Higman, Montpelier Jamaica: A Plantation Community in Slavery and Freedom 1739-1912 (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2000).

Montpelier Jamaica

A Plantation Community in Slavery and Freedom, 1739-1912

This book is a detailed study of the life of a Jamaican plantation community during slavery and the post-emancipation period. It is based on archaeological investigations as well as more traditional documentary sources. The family and household structure of the slave population is analysed, and linked to the physical layout of the village. A comprehensive picture of the material culture of the plantation workers is facilitated by the combining of sources, to cover everything from food ways to clothing, ornament and architecture. Montpelier was one of the largest plantations established in Jamaica, covering 10,000 acres by the end of the eighteenth century, when it supported two sugar works and three separate villages with a population of 1,000. One of the works was destroyed during the slave rebellion of 1831/32, and sugar production was abandoned completely in the 1850s. The entire property shifted to livestock, and by the end of the nineteenth century the villages were deserted. This book seeks to reconstruct the physical form and cultural characteristics of those lost villages. David Eltis

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Claude Rilly, La langue du royaume de Méroé: Un panorama de la plus ancienne culture écrite d’Afrique subsaharienne (Paris: Librairie Honoré Champion, 2007).

Claude Rilly, Le méroïtique et sa famille linguistique (Louvain: Peeters, 2010).

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David Eltis, The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009).

 The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas

By David Eltis

The Rise of African Slavery bears all the hallmarks of the historical craftsmanship we have come to expect from Eltis; a grasp of theoretical and statistical complexity, a mastery of archival materials and a rare ability to impose a tight and disciplined argument on material which, in less talented hands, might overwhelm the author. Here, as elsewhere, Eltis reveals himself to be the finest historian in the field.—International Journal of Maritime History

Eltis has produced a volume of remarkable empirical depth and insightful interpretation that deserves a wide audience. His enormously important book will no doubt quickly come to be regarded as one of the best examples of what the growing field of Atlantic history has to offer...The author's probing, often provocative conclusions will surely stimulate debate among specialists in a range of subfields concerned with the early modern histories of Europe, Africa, and the Americas.—
William and Mary Quarterly

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David Northrup, Africa’s Discovery of Europe 1450-1850 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

Africa’s Discovery of Europe 1450-1850

By David Northrup

Brilliantly written and thoroughly engaging, the new edition of this groundbreaking book examines the full range of African-European encounters from an unfamiliar African perspective rather than from the customary European one. Updated to include new research, maps, and illustrations, Africa's Discovery of Europe, 1450-1850, Second Edition, concludes with an expanded epilogue that extends the themes of African-European commercial and cultural interaction to the present day. By featuring vivid life stories of individual Africans and drawing upon their many recorded sentiments, David Northrup presents African perspectives that persuasively challenge stereotypes about African-European relations as they unfolded in Africa, Europe, and the Atlantic world between 1450 and 1850. . . . Brief, inexpensive, and accessible, the second edition of Africa's Discovery of Europe offers an insightful look at the tumultuous and enduring relations between these two continents.Publisher, Oxford University Press

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Gert Chesi and Gerhard Merzeder, eds., The Nok Culture: Art in Nigeria 2,500 Years Ago (Munich: Prestel, 2006).

The Nok Culture: Art in Nigeria 2,500 Years Ago

Edited by Gert Chesi and Gerhard Merzeder

In 1928 in central Nigeria tin miners uncovered clay shards which, when reconstructed, were found to be fragments of terracotta sculptures. The unique representations of human heads and other figures date from 500 BCE and are attributed to a culture known today as Nok. One hundred authenticated pieces, many shown here for the first time, are collected in this exciting introduction to an enigmatic culture that is thought to be the oldest known organized civilization in sub-Saharan Africa. While much about the Nok people remains unknown, their craftsmanship and attention to detail speak volumes about their talents, understanding of beauty, and sophistication. Lavishly illustrated throughout and with essays discussing Nok art, this collection offers an intriguing glimpse into an important chapter in the history of African art.

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Jane Landers and Barry M. Robinson, ed., Slaves, Subjects, and Subversives: Blacks in Colonial Latin America (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006).

Slaves, Subjects, and Subversives

Blacks in Colonial Latin America

Edited by Jane Landers and Barry M. Robinson

Almost eleven of the twelve million Africans who survived the trauma of enslavement in Africa and the horrors of the Middle Passage, remade their lives in territories claimed by Spain or Portugal. Drawing on a wealth of previously unused sources, the authors show that although plantation slavery was a horrible reality for many Africans and their descendants in Latin America, blacks experienced many other realities in Iberian colonies.

Paul Lovejoy analyzes a treatise by a seventeenth-century Muslim scholar in Morocco and argues it shaped the slave trade to Latin America. John Thornton examines the early and significant adaptations Central Africans made to European material culture and Catholicism, noting how closely Angola resembled Latin America by the mid-seventeenth century.

Lynne Guitar studies the grueling nature of African slavery in the sugar plantations of Hispaniola and the rebellions they triggered--the first in the New World. Jane Landers discusses slave rebellions in seventeenth-century New Spain and the development of maroon communities strong enough to negotiate their freedom. Matthew Restall tracks the life of one eighteenth-century Afro-Yucatecan to demonstrate how enslaved persons experienced competing English and Spanish systems in the circum-Caribbean.

Renée Soulodre-La France considers how the expulsion of the Jesuit order from Latin America in 1767 transformed slaves' lives and identities in New Granada. Matt Childs investigates the tensions between African-born and creole members of Havana's black brotherhoods in the eighteenth century. Stuart Schwartz probes a Muslim uprising of Hausa dockworkers in nineteenth-century Brazil. Seth Meisel shows how enslaved blacks parlayed their military service against British forces in 1806 into freedom and citizenship in the new republic of Argentina. The appendix includes translated primary documents from each of these essays.

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Neely Fuller, Jr., The United-Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept (A textbook/workbook for thought, speech, and/or actions for victims of racism (white supremacy) ASIN: B000VGCMQ1 (See for more information.).

This book is the essence of truth for all man/woman, child and human kind. If you dare to be a vehicle of change in helping yourself first to understand/know the truth about racism, white supremacy, what it is and how it works in the the 9 major areas of everyday people activity you will bring about the balance in all humanity because you will have a true understanding and therefore able to help the creation. So do study, not just read the book and you will be amazed at the spectacular jewel/asset you become to the world. This will be the greatest experience in reading and studying that you will ever have.—Coming Forth By Day

This book is the essence of truth for all man/woman, child and human kind. If you dare to be a vehicle of change in helping yourself first to understand/know the truth about racism, white supremacy, what it is and how it works in the the 9 major areas of everyday people activity you will bring about the balance in all humanity because you will have a true understanding and therefore able to help the creation. So do study, not just read the book and you will be amazed at the spectacular jewel/asset you become to the world. This will be the greatest experience in reading and studying that you will ever have.—Katrina Hazzard-Donald

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Niall Finneran, The Archaeology of Christianity in Africa (Gloucestershire: Tempus, 2002).

This book looks at the development of Christianity in Africa, from ancient Egypt to the European colonialists. The author discusses its evolution in North Africa, Egypt, medeival Nubia, Ethiopia, and the colonies of the 19th and 20th centuries.

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O. Nigel Bolland, Colonialism and Resistance in Belize: Essays in Historical Sociology (Kingston: University of the West Indies Press, 2004).

Colonialism and Resistance in Belize

 Essays in Historical Sociology

By O. Nigel Bolland

The Social History of Belize is marked by conflict, between the British soldiers and the Maya, masters and slaves, capitalists and workers, the colonial administration and the Belizean people. Belize shares many features with other parts of the Caribbean and Central America, including a long history of colonialism and slavery, a dependant economy in which the ownership of land is highly concentrated, and a population which is largely poor. In this collection of essays, written over a period of several years, Professor Bolland focuses on some of the most important topics in the history of the people of Belize, during three centuries of colonialism.

The sociological perspective of this highly qualified scholar illuminates the historical origins and colonial legacies of present day Belize, both for their distinctiveness and for what they share with other parts of the region. This revised collection of essays, in the words of Professor Verene Shepherd, will now take its place on the shelves of scholars of Caribbean history.—Publisher, UWI Press

Nigel O. Bolland is Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology at Colgate University, New York. He is the author of several books and scholarly articles. His recent publication, The Politics of Labour, won the Gordon K. Lewis Award of the Caribbean Studies Association. --

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P. F. De Moraes Farias, Arabic Medieval Inscriptions from the Republic of Mali: Epigraphy, Chronicles and Songhay-Tuareg History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003).

Arabic Medieval Inscriptions from the Republic of Mali

 Epigraphy, Chronicles and Songhay-Tuareg History

By P. F. De Moraes Farias

The entire book is characterized by rigorously applied scholarly objectivity and innovative methodology. . . . Moraes Farias accomplishes his task with no tedium for the reader, artfully constructing such arguments as his epigraphically inspired adjustments to chronology of the Mali Empire, Songhay ruling dynasties, Sahelian Muslim identification with the greater Islamic world, and other pathbreaking contributions.—David C. Conrad, State University of New York-Oswego

Through Arabic transcriptions, English translations, line-drawing reconstructions, and plate illustrations, this volume catalogs the large number of eleventh-fifteenth century Arabic-Islamic inscriptions from the Republic of Mali. Moraes Farias reinterprets West African chronicles and oral traditions and demonstrates that the Tuareg and Songhay, peoples divided by civil war in the 1990s, share a composite history.—Publisher, Oxford University Press

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Richard Lee Turits, Foundations of Despotism: Peasants, the Trujillo Regime, and Modernity in Dominican History (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004).

One of the best works ever done on the Dominican Republic, this wonderful book goes a long way toward explaining not only the long-lived Trujillo dictatorship but subsequent Dominican social and political history as well. It is also a powerful critique of the simplistic demonizing of the Caribbean dictatorial model of politics attached to strongmen like Trujillo, Somoza, and Duvalier.—Lowell Gudmundson, Mount Holyoke College

One of the two or three best books on Latin American history that I have read in the past fifteen years. I have no doubt that it will stand the test of time as a fundamental text in the historiography of the Caribbean.... The book is close to a masterpiece. It is elegantly written, extensively documented, and superbly argued.—Jeffrey L. Gould, Indiana University

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Source:  Horizons: Newsletter of the Center for Africana Studies at JHU, Spring 2010

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Africa's Legacy in Mexico


Aguirre Beltran, Gonzalo. Cuijla, Esbozo Etnografico de un Pueblo Negro. Veracruz, Mexico: Universidad Veracruzana, 1989.

__________. La Poblacion Negra de Mexico. Second ed. Ciudad de Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1972.

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Carroll, Patrick. Blacks in Colonial Veracruz: Race. Ethnicity, and Regional Development. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991.

Blacks in Colonial Veracruz

Race. Ethnicity, and Regional Development

By Patrick Carroll

Carroll's book is a solid, welcome addition to the scholarly literature on slavery and society during the colonial period and the Wars of Independence in Mexico and Latin America in general. . . . With its high level of ambitions and wide perspectives, the book is clearly a most valuable one.—Hispanic American Historical Review

Carroll makes an important contribution to better understanding of the colonial experience and the reality of the past and present racial discrimination in Mexico. . . . His writing is most inspired when he describes and interprets the lives of colonial Afro-Veracruzanos and their role in Mexican society.—Geographical Reviews

Beginning with the Spanish conquest, Mexico has become a racially complex society intermixing Indian, Spanish, and African populations. Questions of race and ethnicity have fueled much political and scholarly debate, sometimes obscuring the experiences of particular groups, especially blacks. Blacks in Colonial Veracruz seeks to remedy this omission by studying the black experience in central Veracruz during virtually the entire colonial period. The book probes the conditions that shaped the lives of inhabitants in Veracruz from the first European contact through the early formative period, colonial years, independence era, and the postindependence decade. While the primary focus is on blacks, Carroll relates their experience to that of Indians, Spaniards, and castas (racially hybrid people) to present a full picture of the interplay between local populations, the physical setting, and technological advances in the development of this important but little-studied region.—Publisher, University of Texas

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Curtin, Philip D. The Atlantic Slave Trade. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1975.

The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census

By Philip D. Curtin

 There are many aspects to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. There is the issue of the African disporia, where many Africans were taken from their homes to another completely different country. There are the moral issues about slavery and who was involved and to what extent. Also, there are the horrors of the middle passage and the life of the slaves after they reached their destination. In the book The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census, published by the The University of Wisconsin Press in 1969, the author Philip D. Curtin focuses on the number of slaves that were taken across the Atlantic.

Throughout the book the author uses different research methods to express how many Africans were shipped across the Atlantic, from what parts in Africa, and the destination where they were shipped. He uses other historians' estimates and either tries to prove them correct or prove them incorrect. The author's intent on writing this book was to explore old knowledge on the slave trade and not to present new information. His intent was to use old data and publications and come up with his own theories or "synthesis".

He does this by using documents and estimations that have already been written. With this information he then tries to correlate them with previous documentation to prove or disprove them. Also, he states that his numbers are not precise and should not be considered exact but only estimations. He did not intend the book to be a definitive study, but a challenge to others, who can, to correct or complete his findings. He also knew that in time with new data and more sophisticated forms of calculation his work might be modified. Another area he did not want to discuss was the morality of the slave trade.

This book was not intended to blame any one person or country nor did it discuss the evils of the slave trade. He felt these aspects of the trade have already been proven and in his opinion is no longer disputed. I felt the author did an adequate job presenting and explaining the material. He discusses in detail where he found the information, the name of the historian who first presented the information, and how he proved or disproved the information. He did a great deal of research in finding accurate information and when there was none given he explains how he came to his conclusions and the methods in which he used. However, I would recommend taking a statistics class before reading this book. It goes in depth with various methods and a great deal of numbers. This can be quite confusing at times. It also warrants the reader to re-read certain areas of the book.

However, this was his intention because he wanted his readers to think about what he has written and possibly challenge it. The organization of the chapters are in a manner in which the reader can first review some of the previous literature about the numbers of Africans shipped during the slave trade. The first chapter also examines the major players and when they were involved. The other chapters are organized by certain areas or by centuries. The centuries are in chronological order so that the reader does not go from one century to the next back to the previous. It is easier to follow this way. The second to last chapter is a summery and also explains the major trends within the slave trade. It explains when it was at its peak and when it started to diminish. The final chapter was about European mortality and how many European sailors died while involved in the trade. This chapter really did not fit in with the other chapters and would have been better left out. Also the author uses various techniques in which to prove his calculations and assumptions.

Though they are only estimations they give the reader a sense of credibility. At times he uses several historians' estimates and compares them to each other. Sometimes they are similar, but when they are not he explains both of their theories and where they could have been incorrect. This gives the reader the ability to either agree or disagree with his assumptions. After he discusses all the inaccuracies then he explains his own theories and backs them up by population records, shipping records, or other data that was documented during the time period. This also adds to the author's credibility.

At other times when he can not find any information due to loss or some other reason, he then uses information from other areas and correlates them with the area he's discussing. He then uses this information to estimate the numbers of slaves imported. Overall, the author does a good job of discussing his intentions. His work is well researched and highly credible. However, his methods and overwhelming amount of numbers may confuse the average reader. In this case a reader may want to choose to read about a different aspect of the Atlantic slave trade.—

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Jimenez Roman, Miriam. The African Presence in the Americas: Tradition, Transformation, and Change (exhibition catalogue). New York: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 1991.

Klein, Herbert. African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

Palmer, Colin.  "The Cruelest Commerce." In National Geographic, vol. 182, no. 3 (Sept. 1992).

___________. "Human Cargoes: the British Slave Trade to Spanish America, 1700-1739." Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981.

___________. Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico, 1570-1650." Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 1976.

Perez Fernandez, Rolando Antonio. La Musica Afromestiza Mexicana. Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico: Editorial UV, 1990.

Source: Smithsonian Education

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Basil Davidson obituary—By Victoria Brittain—9 July 2010—Davidson [(9 November 1914 – 9 July 2010) a British historian, writer and Africanist] was enthused early on by the end of British colonialism and the prospects of pan-Africanism in the 1960s, and he wrote copiously and with warmth about newly independent Ghana and its leader, Kwame Nkrumah. He went to work for a year at the University of Accra in 1964. Later he threw himself into the reporting of the African liberation wars in the Portuguese colonies, particularly in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau. . . . In the 1980s, with most of the African liberation wars now won—except for South Africa's— Davidson turned much of his attention to more theoretical questions about the future of the nation state in Africa. He remained a passionate advocate of pan-Africanism. In 1988 he made a long and dangerous journey into Eritrea, writing a persuasive defence of the nationalists' right to independence from Ethiopia, and an equally eloquent attack on the revolutionary leader Colonel Mengistu and the regime that had overthrown Haile Selassie. Guardian

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Basil Davidson's  "Africa Series"

 Different But Equal  /  Mastering A Continent  /  Caravans of Gold  / The King and the City / The Bible and The Gun

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

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West Africa Before the Colonial Era: A History to 1850

By Basil Davidson

This book is excellent as an introduction to West African history. It begins with a brief overview of region's history from earliest times but the focus of the book is on the thousand years between the 9th and the 19th centuries A.D.

Comprehensive overviews of the political histories of both well and little known West African states and cities are recounted. These include the histories of the empires of Ghana, Mali, Songhay, Kanem-Bornu, Oyo, Benin, Dahomey and Asante. Accounts of several other smaller states are also detailed such as the Hausa city states, the Wollof kingdom, the Bambara states, the Niger Delta trading states, the Fulani states of Futa Jallon and Futa Toro, the important cities of Timbuktu, Jenne and Gao and several others.

Apart from these political histories, Davidson also provides an insight into the social fabric of West Africa, especially at the dawn of the 17th century. He describes economic features (like trade items, routes, currencies etc), religion, arts and learning in the region, social stratification and dominant trends. These provide the reader with a real "feel" of the society at that time. Like all of Davidson's writings on this subject matter, this book dispels the myth that Africa had no history or civilization before contact with Europe. It is clear, concise and very easy to read. D. E. Chukwumerije

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African Slave Trade: Precolonial History, 1450-1850

By Basil Davidson

The best general acount of the Atlantic slave trade. It is the story of one of the most enormous crimes in all human history. Basil Davidson states that by examining three important areas of Africa in the history of slavery 'against a general background of their time and circumstance' he was taking 'a fresh look at the oversea slave trade, the steady year-by-year export of African laborr to the West Indies and the Americas that marked the greatest and most fateful migration—forced migration—in the history of man. This book is about the course and consequences of this long African-European connection that endured from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth. It makes an answer to three vital questions: What kind of contact was this with Europe and  America? How did the experience affect Africa? Why did it end in colonial invasion and conquest?

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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