"The editorial goal of this collection, gathered from papers of a 1996 conference, is to deepen understanding of how transplanted African populations (and their descendants) interacted with the physical, cultural, and intellectual environment of the New World. This goal mandates an assessment of the survival of African origins—an ongoing debate between the Essentialist school (a strong and continuous African presence) and those advocating a more syncretic viewpoint (an African presence more mutable and interactive with the new environment). The papers present both views and draw their evidence from a variety of disciplines: art, music, literature, linguistics, history, and sociology. The thematic grouping of the papers (e.g., Race, Gender, and Image), coupled with an introduction that succeeds in the difficult task of connecting most of the presentations, makes intelligible the variety of approaches and views. Undergraduate instructors in African American history and sociology can assign selected papers to illustrate methodology and stimulate discussion. History students, for example, will profit from Joseph E. Inikori's comments on the dangers inherent in applying the word slavery to the subject peoples of Africa. Upper-division undergraduates and above." —R. T. Ingoglia, Felician College , Choice, February 2000
--This text refers to the
About the Author
Isidore Okpewho was Chair of Afro-American and African Studies at the State University of New York, Binghamton, and convener of the conference (in 1996) that gave rise to this book. Among his numerous scholarly books are African Oral Literature and Once Upon a Kingdom (both published by Indiana University Press). He is the author of three novels. His work Tides won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa in 1993. He has been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center and at the National Humanities Center.
Carole Boyce Davies is Director of African-New World Studies and Professor of English at Florida International University. She is author of Migrations of the Subject: Black Women, Writing Identity and coeditor of Ngambika: Studies of Women in African Literature; Out of the Kumbla: Caribbean Women and Literature; and a two-volume collection of critical and creative writing, Moving beyond Boundaries (Volume 1: International Dimensions of Black Women's Writing, Volume 2: Black Women's Diasporas).
Ali A. Mazrui is Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at the State University of New York, Binghamton, and author of more than twenty books. He is best known for his BBC/PBS television series The Africans: A Triple Heritage. He is also Senior Scholar in Africana Studies at Cornell University and Walter Rodney Distinguished Professor at the University of Guyana.