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From Africa to Brazil
Culture, Identity, and an Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600–1830

Part of African Studies

  • Date Published: September 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521152389

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About the Authors
  • From Africa to Brazil traces the flows of enslaved Africans from identifiable points in the broad region of Africa called Upper Guinea to Amazonia, Brazil. These two regions, though separated by an ocean, were made one by a slave route. Walter Hawthorne considers why planters in Amazonia wanted African slaves, why and how those sent to Amazonia were enslaved, and what their Middle Passage experience was like. The book is also concerned with how Africans in diaspora shaped labor regimes, determined the nature of their family lives, and crafted religious beliefs that were similar to those they had known before enslavement. This study makes several broad contributions. It presents the only book-length examination of African slavery in Amazonia and identifies with precision the locations in Africa from where members of a large diaspora in the Americas hailed. From Africa to Brazil also proposes new directions for scholarship focused on how immigrant groups created new or recreated old cultures.

    • Brings great nuance to debates over whether Africans created new or recreated old cultures in the Americas
    • Conceptualizes Atlantic history in a new way, showing how regions separated by an ocean were made one by Atlantic slave trading routes
    • Demonstrates that African ethnic identities continued to have importance in the Americas but that Africans also forged new, much broader, identities that were rooted in the larger regions of Africa
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    Reviews & endorsements

    “Hawthorne’s richly textured discussion makes a valuable contribution to the existing historiography. This is a story that needs to be told.” – Linda Heywood, Boston University

    “From Africa to Brazil achieves a trans-Atlantic perspective that will serve as a model for those scholars of slavery who are interested in the origins and destinations of enslaved Africans. In connecting the rice-producing regions of the upper Guinea coast with the development of rice cultivation in northeastern Brazil, Hawthorne’s majestic study demonstrates the transfer of African technology and culture to one specific region in the Americas in the eighteenth century.” – Paul Lovejoy, York University

    “Building on his extensive knowledge of Upper Guinea, Hawthorne shows that the majority of slaves arriving into eighteenth-century Amazonia came from a very small area along the coast. As a result, Balanta, Bijago, Papel, and Mandinka were able to recreate a variety of ‘Upper Guinean’ core beliefs and practices in their new Brazilian homes. Hawthorne convincingly demonstrates the tenacity of Upper Guinean culture in Amazonia; yet his contributions extend well beyond a simple examination of Upper Guineans in the region. Indeed, From Africa to Brazil establishes Hawthorne as an expert on the early history of Maranhão and Pará, regions that are vastly understudied. Particularly impressive in this regard is his treatment of indigenous people and the transition from Indian to African labor. Overall, a deeply researched, important contribution to the study of African diaspora history.” – James Sweet, University of Wisconsin–Madison

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521152389
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 10 b/w illus. 4 maps 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    Part I. The Why and How of Enslavement and Transportation:
    1. From Indian to African slaves
    2. Slave production
    3. From Upper Guinea to Amazonia
    Part II. Culture Change and Cultural Continuity:
    4. Labor over 'brown' rice
    5. Violence, sex and the family
    6. Spiritual beliefs
    Conclusion.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • African civilization
    • Africans in the Atlantic World
    • Afro-Caribbean Societies
    • English Literature
    • Global Africa: Conceptualizing Diaspora in African History
    • Grad Seminar in African Studies
    • History of Racism in the Atlantic World
    • Perspectives on Africa
    • Slavery and Slave Trades
    • Slavery and the Slave Trade in West Africa
    • Slavery in Africa & Altantic World
  • Author

    Walter Hawthorne, Michigan State University
    Walter Hawthorne is Associate Professor of African History at Michigan State University. He is the author of Planting Rice and Harvesting Slaves: Transformations along the Guinea-Bissau Coast, 1400–1900 (2003) and has published in scholarly journals such as the Journal of African History, the Luso-Brazilian Review, Slavery and Abolition, Africa, the Journal of Global History, and the American Historical Review. Before joining the History Department at Michigan State University, he was a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont and Assistant and Associate Professor at Ohio University.

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