Examining systems of oppression, representation, and acculturation, this book offers alternative ways of understanding and privileging African legacies in Brazil. Essentially, this interdisciplinary text challenges systems of racism and calls for the preservation,
presentation, and proliferation of African legacies in Brazil. … this book examines the systematic suppression of black and African-centered arts, bodies, religious practices, cultural norms, and sociopolitical traditions in Brazil. Chartering new perspectives, scholars uncover archival mysteries, museum practices, hidden histories, and places of historic trauma. This collection also reveals communal legacies of resistance and empowerment in the lives and practices of all Brazilian people. Read the rest of the review.
Title: African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World
Authors: Ana Lucia Araujo
Publisher: Cambria Press
428 pp. | 2015 | Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604978926.cfm
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At this year’s African Studies Association (ASA) annual conference, Cambria Press author and general editor of the Cambria African Studies Series, Toyin Falola (the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin) will deliver his lecture “Emerging Themes in Contemporary African Diaspora Humanities” as president of the African Studies Association.
Cambria Press Author & Slavery Series Editor Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University) will be at two sessions at the centennial meeting and conference of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH).
“An important and provocative work. No other study so thoroughly chronicles the fraught and ambiguous history of memorializing slavery in the South Atlantic. Araujo’s ability to ‘read’ multiple sources – both discursive and non-discursive – makes the book truly interdisciplinary in scope. It will be a crucial starting point for all future studies of slavery and memory in Benin and Brazil.” – James H. Sweet, Journal of African History
“The scholarly quality of the dozen essays included here is uniformly high … The quality and variety of the contributions make this book a desirable purchase for research libraries, and scholars of the history and culture of slavery and the black Atlantic are well advised to direct their attention to the essays which best match their interests and to consult the extensive and up-to-date bibliography of primary and secondary sources with which Paths of the Atlantic Slave Trade closes. Araujo and her contributors deserve praise for putting together this exciting collection, as does Cambria Press for producing it as an attractively designed and well-laid-out volume.” – Journal of Latin American Studies
“The memory of slavery and the slave trade has strongly influenced how history is understood. What is remembered and why are clearly identified as major historical themes of analysis in this valuable collection.” – Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies
“One cannot extricate the diasporic experiences of Haitians in Miami or Nigerians in Houston from the larger political and social climate of today’s world, which transcends national, regional, and international borders and connects Africans and African diasporic experiences over space and time.” – Toyin Falola and Danielle Porter Sanchez (from the book’s introduction)
From Chapter 6: Rewind and Reframe: Thoughts on Race in Contemporary Europe
“Accumulating the privileges and prestige that accompany upward mobility does not always protect people of color, as pointed out in Steve McQueen’s film Twelve Years a Slave … In Europe, that vulnerability was reflected in racist insults directed at French justice minister Christiane Taubira during a 2013 visit to Angers.”
From Chapter 9: From Juan to Juan: The Triumph of Poet and Subject in Juan Latino’s Austrias carmen
The masterpiece of the extraordinary former-slave-turned-Latin professor Juan Latino … has a few features that distinguish it from other epic poems of its kind. For instance, certain passages in the poem present the point of view of marginalized figures. … as a marginalized figure himself, a black man in a European society, Latino chose Juan de Austria [also marginalized because he was the illegitimate son of Charles V] as his epic hero because he could identify with him.”
Many notable African Americans hailed from Memphis, including Veronica Coleman, Tennessee’s first black U.S. Attorney General. In her book Notable Black Memphians, Miriam DeCosta-Willis (a notable African American herself as the first faculty member of Memphis State University) provides a biographical and historical study which traces the evolution of a major Southern city through the lives of black men and women who overcame social and economic barriers to create artistic works, found institutions, and obtain leadership positions that enabled them to shape their community.
Moving to the East Coast, Building a Healthy Black Harlem has been praised by the journal Afro-Americans in New York: Life and History for being “a valuable contribution to our knowledge of a place and time better known for its famous writers and artists than for the quotidian struggles of its workers facing racism and the structural economic trap of high rents and low wages … Wilson’s book is an impressive achievement that updates social history with fresh material and perspectives and makes important interventions in the literature on African American urbanization.”
Black history also makes it mark in the performing arts. Black Medea is an anthology of six adaptations of the Euripidean tragedy by contemporary American playwrights that present Medea as a black Medea. For example, Jim Magnuson’s African Medea sets the play in Angola in the early nineteenth century with Medea as an African princess and Jason as a Portuguese soldier. Placing six adaptations side by side and interviewing the playwrights in order to gain their insights into their work allows the reader to see how an ancient Greek tragedy has been used by contemporary American artists to frame and understand African American history. This book is in the Cambria Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series headed by John Clum (Duke University).
Black history is to be found in literary works as well. Black Women as Custodians of History sheds much light on black history through the examination of texts by African American and Afro-Cuban women from four different literary genres (autobiographical slave narrative, contemporary novel on slavery, testimonial narrative, and poetry). The book shows that in the womens’ revisions of national history, their writings also demonstrate the pervasive role of racial and gender categories in the creation of a discourse of national identity, while promoting a historiography constructed within flexible borders that need to be negotiated constantly. This book is in the Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present book series headed by Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University).
Dr. Araujo herself has just published another excellent, essential book for Black History Month. African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic Worldis an unprecedented study that makes a very important contribution to the understanding of the place of African heritage and slavery in the official history and public memory of Brazil and Angola. This new must-have book illuminates the history of African tangible and intangible heritages and its links with the public memory of slavery in Brazil and Angola.
Books like these are critical to black studies. Celebrate #BlackHistoryMonth by spreading the word about these important studies and making sure that these books are available at your library (if they are not, let your librarian know). From now until April 20, 2015, there is a 35% discount on all hardbound books–use coupon code CAMBRIA188.
“Brazil imported the largest number of enslaved Africans during the Atlantic slave trade era […] Today, with the exception of Nigeria, the largest population of people of African descent is in Brazil […] Yet, Brazil has a complex relationship with its slave past; consequently, these complications spill over into the various dimensions of Brazil’s rich African heritage that originated from this tragic period.”
– Ana Lucia Araujo (introduction to African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World)
This unprecedented interdisciplinary volume led by Ana Lucia Araujo (Professor of History at Howard University and general editor of the Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present book series) is now available. African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World is the first book in English to focus on African heritage and public memory of slavery in Brazil and Angola. This interdisciplinary study examines visual images, dance, music, oral accounts, museum exhibitions, artifacts, monuments, festivals, and others forms of commemoration to illuminate the social and cultural dynamics that over the last twenty years have propelled––or prevented––the visibility of African heritage (and its Atlantic slave trade legacy) in the South Atlantic region.
The book makes a very important contribution to the understanding of the place of African heritage and slavery in the official history and public memory of Brazil and Angola, topics that remain understudied. The study’s focus on the South Atlantic world, a zone which is sparsely covered in the scholarly corpus on Atlantic history, will further research on other post-slave societies.
African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World is an important book for African studies and Latin American studies. It is especially valuable for African Diaspora studies, African history, Atlantic history, history of Brazil, history of slavery, and Caribbean history.