African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins through the American Revolution

African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins through the American Revolution

African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins through the American Revolution

African Americans in the Colonial Era: From African Origins through the American Revolution

Synopsis

When the first edition of this revolutionary book appeared in 1990, it seemed that the study of African Americans in slavery was out of temporal and geographical balance. Most of the time that slavery existed in the United States was the colonial period. Yet the focus of the study of American slavery -- and indeed of the history of all African Americans before the Civil War -- long had been on the institution as it operated in the Cotton South from about 1830 to 1860. African Americans in the Colonial Era served as an early corrective to that imbalance, and a broad wave of new historical literature on African-American colonial history has since emerged. Carefully revised and greatly expanded in light of that new scholarship, the second edition of this highly popular book also includes new topics such as African-Americans in colonial Louisiana and Spanish Florida. Readers will be taken through the totality of the early African-American experience, with material on west African culture; the Atlantic slave trade; the regional differences under which the institution operated; the rise of race-based prejudice; the role of African-Americans in the American Revolution; and the manifestation and evolution of the African-American family and community, the keystone to the formation of African-American culture.

Excerpt

Every generation writes its own history for the reason that it sees the past in the foreshortened perspective of its own experience. This has surely been true of the writing of American history. The practical aim of our historiography is to give us a more informed sense of where we are going by helping us understand the road we took in getting where we are. As the nature and dimensions of American life are changing, so too are the themes of our historical writing. Today's scholars are hard at work reconsidering every major aspect of the nation's past: its politics, diplomacy, economy, society, recreation, mores and values, as well as status, ethnic, race, sexual, and family relations. The lists of series titles that appear on the inside covers of this book will show at once that our historians are ever broadening the range of their studies.

The aim of this series is to offer our readers a survey of what today's historians are saying about the central themes and aspects of the American past. To do this, we have invited to write for the series only scholars who have made notable contributions to the respective fields in which they are working. Drawing on primary and secondary materials, each volume presents a factual and narrative account of its particular subject, one that affords readers a basis for perceiving its larger dimensions and importance. Conscious that readers respond to the closeness and immediacy of a subject, each of our authors seeks to restore the past as an actual . . .

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