The African Diaspora

July 2013
21 colour, 48 black and white illustrations
446 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC HIS029000, SOC054000, HIS001000

The African Diaspora

Slavery, Modernity, and Globalization

Toyin Falola


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In this definitive study of the African diaspora in North America, Toyin Falola offers a causal history of the western dispersion of Africans and its effects on the modern world.
The African diaspora is arguably the most important event in modern African history. From the fifteenth century to the present, millions of Africans have been dispersed -- many of them forcibly, others driven by economic need or political persecution--to other continents, creating large communities with African origins living outside their native lands. The majority of these communities are in North America. This historic displacement has meant that Africans are irrevocably connected to economic and political developments in the West and globally. Among the known legacies of the diaspora are slavery, colonialism, racism, poverty, and underdevelopment, yet the ways in which these same factors worked to spur the scattering of Africans are not fully understood -- by those who were part of this migration or by scholars, historians, and policymakers.
In this definitive study of the diaspora in North America, Toyin Falola offers a causal history of the western dispersion of Africans and its effects on the modern world. Reengaging old and familiar debates and framing new ones that enrich the discourse surrounding Africa, Falola isolates the thread, running nearly six centuries, that connects the history of slavery, the transatlantic slave trade, and current migrations. A boon to scholars and policymakers and accessible to the general reader, the book explores diverse narratives of migration and shows that the cultures that migrated from Africa to the Americas have the capacity to unite and create a new pan-Africanist movement within the globalized world.

Toyin Falola is the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Africanist Award from the African Studies Association and serves as the vice president of the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project. His previous books published by the University of Rochester Press include The Power of African Cultures and Nationalism and African Intellectuals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Old and New African Diaspora
Africa and Slavery in a Transnational Context
The Slave Mutiny of 1839: The Colonization of Memory and Spaces
The Centralization of Africa and the Intellectualization of Blackness
Communalism, Africanism, and Pan-Africanism
Atlantic Yoruba and the Expanding Frontiers of Yoruba Culture and Politics
Politics, Slavery, Servitude, and the Construction of Yoruba Identity
Orisa Music, Dance, and Modernity
Western Education and Transatlantic Connections
Africa in the Diaspora and the Diaspora in Africa: Toward an Integrated Body of Knowledge
Tanure Ojaide and Akin Ogundiran: Knowledge Circulation and the Diasporic Interface
Nollywood and the Creative World of Aderonke Adesola Adesanya: The African Impact on Global Cultures
Globalization and Contemporary Cultures
Postscript: United States Foreign Policy on Africa in the Twenty-First Century


[A] rich and engaging work that should be read and discussed by all interested in how lessons from Africa's past and present connects to the future of African and other diaspora communities across the globe. William Ackah, AFRICA AT LSE

A highly valuable stimulation to confront the issue of race, its intimate relationship with modernity, and its structuring effects on past and present globalization processes. H-SOZ-KULT

Not only a significant scholarly contribution to African-American studies but also an invaluable addition to existing studies on globalization, international politics and development. Because of its accuracy of facts and simplicity of styles, this book is a must-read for scholars and students of African and African-American studies as well as people seeking general knowledge on contemporary global history, government, economics and politics. UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS CENTRE FOR AFRICAN STUDIES

This tour de force shows mastery of the literature and the themes that connect Africa to its diaspora. A gift that will be well appreciated by both academics and nonacademics. --Edmund Abaka, Associate Professor of History, University of Miami

In The African Diaspora, Falola provides a comprehensive report on continental and intercontinental African migrations and displacements, past and present. Students of African history and economics, Africana migration, critical race theory, and development studies will find it hard to ignore this enriching contribution to global Africana scholarship. Even more significant are the invaluable policy insights that policy researchers and makers can garner from Falola's gem. --Tunde Bewaji, Professor of Philosophy, University of the West Indies

In this fascinating book, Toyin Falola, the most prolific and celebrated African historian of his generation, offers us an erudite and engaging study of African Atlantic diasporas from slavery to Obama. It brilliantly weaves together accounts of the old and new diasporas' political, social, cultural, intellectual, and artistic histories and of their enduring resilience and complex connections to their African homeland. This book immeasurably expands the analytical contours of the field of African diaspora studies. An impressive achievement. --Paul Tiyambe Zeleza, Presidential Professor of African American Studies and History and dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, Loyola Marymount University

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