"An outstanding synthesis of the history of the African diaspora. Well conceived, argued, and written in an engaging style, Reversing Sail will be indispensable in courses on the peoples of Africa and its diaspora. Specialists, students, and the general reader will find this book intellectually stimulating and enlightening."
- Colin Palmer, Dodge Professor of History, Princeton University
"With commanding scholarship both broad and deep, and with a style that is at once engaging and impeccable in its judgment, Michael Gomez's Reversing Sail fulfills a long-standing need for a synoptic history of the African Diaspora. Synthesizing the best of classical and contemporary scholarship, Gomez provides a powerful interpretive framework that situates and links the African Diaspora at every step with the movement of world history. Reversing Sail is much more than a textbook, but it is also one that will challenge and inspire teachers and students by the new standard set by what is a landmark work."
- Robert A. Hill, Professor of History and Editor-in-Chief, The Marcus Garvey and UNIA Papers, UCLA
"...a tour de force of decades of scholarship on the African Diaspora... an accessible, though current and sophisticated text summarizing the historical concept of the African Diaspora...."
- H-Atlantic , Jeffrey A. Fortin, History Department, University of New Hampshire
"This volume is an excellent addition to the rapidly growing number of books on the African Diaspora and a fine introductory text that will be greatly appreciated by students new to the field." - Larry Hudson, University of Rochester
"One of the text's greatest strengths is that it shows that the people affected by the African Diaspora were not passive participants. Rather they actively responded to their changing situation and worked hard to protect themselves, their families, and their friends in the new circumstances in which they found themselves. This becomes even more evident as Gomez explores the development of race within the second section of the work and how race redefined the place of Africans within the developing Atlantic world. As an undergraduate text, the work serves an important role in that it provides a general history while raising questions that a class could explore and debate." - Ty M. Reese, Department of History, University of North Dakota, H-NET
This book examines the global unfolding of the African Diaspora, the migrations and dispersals of people of African, from antiquity to the modern period. Their exploits, challenges, and struggles are discussed over a wide expanse of time in ways that link as well as differentiate past and present circumstances. The experiences of Africans in the Old World, in the Mediterranean and Islamic worlds, is followed by their movement into the New, where their plight in lands claimed by Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French and English colonial powers is analyzed from enslavement through the Cold War. While appropriate mention is made of persons of renown, particular attention is paid to the everyday lives of working class people and their cultural efflorescence. The book also attempts to explain contemporary plights and struggles through the lens of history.