The Akan Diaspora in the Americas

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9780195390643: The Akan Diaspora in the Americas

In his groundbreaking study of the Akan diaspora, Konadu demonstrates how this cultural group originating in West Africa both engaged in and went beyond the familiar diasporic themes of maroonage, resistance, and freedom. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Akan never formed a majority among other Africans in the Americas. But their leadership skills in war and political organization, efficacy in medicinal plant use and spiritual practice, and culture archived in the musical traditions, language, and patterns of African diasporic life far outweighed their sheer numbers. Konadu argues that a composite Akan culture calibrated between the Gold Coast and forest fringe made the contributions of the Akan diaspora possible. The book examines the Akan experience in Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados, former Danish and Dutch colonies, and North America, and how those early experiences foreground the modern engagement and movement of diasporic Africans and Akan people between Ghana and North America. Locating the Akan variable in the African diasporic equation allows scholars and students of the Americas to better understand how the diasporic quilt came to be and is still evolving.

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About the Author:


Kwasi Konadu is assistant professor of history at the Center for Ethnic Studies, City University of New York. He specializes in African, Akan, and African diasporic history.

Review:


"[A] particularly informative and path-breaking contribution to the study of African diasporas in the Americas...His illuminating study effectively challenges basic presuppositions of standard African diasporic narratives...His masterful and well-written investigation has interdisciplinary breadth, methodological rigor, bold and imaginative concepts, and historical depth...This is an important and intellectually refreshing study and I recommend it with much enthusiasm.' --New West Indian Guide


"Lately, the study of the African Diaspora has taken a cultural turn, and the social and demographic aspects of it are being replaced by studies of religion, medicine, language and the like. These studies are beginning to move us away from the focus on slavery as a legal and social institution, and on things like plantation management that grew out of the study of social history. This book is squarely in company with this new set of books. Konadu's strength is his competence on Akan culture and his ability to see, convincingly, Akan roots in cultural manifestations in the Americas without stretching the evidence. He makes a meaningful contribution to the dialogue about the nature of African culture and its transfer and transformation in the Americas."--John Thornton, professor of history, Boston University


"In its specific emphasis upon the Akan people, rather than more generalized notions of the African diaspora, The Akan Diaspora in the Americas makes a significant contribution to studies of the African diaspora in the New World. Dr. Konadu's premises and argument are sound, and are buttressed by careful, meticulous scholarship. This is an engaging and illuminating study." --James Miller, George Washington University


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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2010. Hardback. Buchzustand: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Research on the African diaspora in the Americas has an uninterrupted focus on West Africa, and an equally incessant neglect of the Akan in comparison to the Yoruba, Igbo, or Kongo-Angola diasporas. In his groundbreaking study of the Akan diaspora, Konadu demonstrates how this cultural group originating in Central West Africa both participated in and went beyond the familiar diasporic themes of maroonage, resistance, and freedom. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth century, the Akan never constituted a majority among other Africans in the Americas. But their leadership skills in war and political organization, efficacy in medicinal plant use and spiritual practice, and composite culture archived in the musical traditions, language, and patterns of African diasporic life far outweighed their sheer numbers. Konadu argues that a composite Akan culture calibrated between the Gold Coast littoral and forest fringe made the contributions of the Akan diaspora possible. He first calls attention to the historic formation of Akan culture in West Africa and its reach into the Americas. Then, the author examines the Akan experience in Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados, former Danish and Dutch colonies, and North America, and how those early experiences foreground the contemporary engagement and movement of diasporic Africans and Akan people between Ghana and North America. Locating the Akan variable in the African diasporic equation allows scholars and students of the Americas to better understand how the diasporic quilt came to be and is still evolving. Buchnummer des Verkäufers APC9780195390643

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Buchbeschreibung Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2010. Hardback. Buchzustand: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Research on the African diaspora in the Americas has an uninterrupted focus on West Africa, and an equally incessant neglect of the Akan in comparison to the Yoruba, Igbo, or Kongo-Angola diasporas. In his groundbreaking study of the Akan diaspora, Konadu demonstrates how this cultural group originating in Central West Africa both participated in and went beyond the familiar diasporic themes of maroonage, resistance, and freedom. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth century, the Akan never constituted a majority among other Africans in the Americas. But their leadership skills in war and political organization, efficacy in medicinal plant use and spiritual practice, and composite culture archived in the musical traditions, language, and patterns of African diasporic life far outweighed their sheer numbers. Konadu argues that a composite Akan culture calibrated between the Gold Coast littoral and forest fringe made the contributions of the Akan diaspora possible. He first calls attention to the historic formation of Akan culture in West Africa and its reach into the Americas. Then, the author examines the Akan experience in Guyana, Jamaica, Antigua, Barbados, former Danish and Dutch colonies, and North America, and how those early experiences foreground the contemporary engagement and movement of diasporic Africans and Akan people between Ghana and North America. Locating the Akan variable in the African diasporic equation allows scholars and students of the Americas to better understand how the diasporic quilt came to be and is still evolving. Buchnummer des Verkäufers APC9780195390643

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