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In a radically new account of the importance of early Africa in global history, Gomez traces how Islam's growth in West Africa, along with intensifying commerce that included slaves, resulted in a series of political experiments unique to the region, culminating in the rise of empire.
The mid-twentieth century witnessed nations across Africa fighting for their independence from colonial forces. By examining black Americans' attitudes toward and responses to these liberation struggles, James Meriwether probes the shifting meaning of Africa in the intellectual, political, and social lives of African Americans. Paying particular attention to such important figures and organizations as W. E. B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr., and the NAACP, Meriwether incisively utilizes the black press, personal correspondence, and oral histories to render a remarkably nuanced and diverse portrait of African American opinion. Meriwether builds the book around seminal episodes in modern African history, including nonviolent protests against apartheid in South Africa, the Mau Mau war in Kenya, Ghana's drive for independence under Kwame Nkrumah, and Patrice Lumumba's murder in the Congo. Viewing these events within the context of their own changing lives, especially in regard to the U.S. civil rights struggle, African Americans have continually reconsidered their relationship to contemporary Africa and vigorously debated how best to translate their concerns into action in the international arena. Grounded in black Americans' encounters with Africa, this transnational history sits astride the leading issues of the twentieth century: race, civil rights, anticolonialism, and the intersections of domestic race relations and U.S. foreign relations.
The port city of Liverpool, England, is home to one of the oldest Black communities in Britain. Its members proudly date their history back at least as far as the nineteenth century, with the global wanderings and eventual settlement of colonial African seamen. Jacqueline Nassy Brown analyzes how this worldly origin story supports an avowedly local Black politic and identity--a theme that becomes a window onto British politics of race, place, and nation, and Liverpool's own contentious origin story as a gloriously cosmopolitan port of world-historical import that was nonetheless central to British slave trading and imperialism. This ethnography also examines the rise and consequent dilemmas of Black identity. It captures the contradictions of diaspora in postcolonial Liverpool, where African and Afro-Caribbean heritages and transnational linkages with Black America both contribute to and compete with the local as a basis for authentic racial identity. Crisscrossing historical periods, rhetorical modes, and academic genres, the book focuses singularly on "place," enabling its most radical move: its analysis of Black racial politics as enactments of English cultural premises. The insistent focus on English culture implies a further twist. Just as Blacks are racialized through appeals to their assumed Afro-Caribbean and African cultures, so too has Liverpool--an Irish, working-class city whose expansive port faces the world beyond Britain--long been beyond the pale of dominant notions of authentic Englishness. Dropping Anchor, Setting Sail studies "race" through clashing constructions of "Liverpool."
Examining a series of processes (Islamization, Arabization, Africanization) and case studies from North, West and East Africa, this book gives snapshots of Muslim societies in Africa over the last millennium. In contrast to traditions which suggest that Islam did not take root in Africa, author David Robinson shows the complex struggles of Muslims in the Muslim state of Morocco and in the Hausaland region of Nigeria. He portrays the ways in which Islam was practiced in the 'pagan' societies of Ashanti (Ghana) and Buganda (Uganda) and in the ostensibly Christian state of Ethiopia - beginning with the first emigration of Muslims from Mecca in 615 CE, well before the foundational hijra to Medina in 622. He concludes with chapters on the Mahdi and Khalifa of the Sudan and the Murid Sufi movement that originated in Senegal, and reflections in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001.
In Blood Relations, Irma Watkins-Owens focuses on the complex interaction of African Americans and African Caribbeans in Harlem during the first decades of the 20th century. Between 1900 and 1930, 40,000 Caribbean immigrants settled in New York City and joined with African Americans to create the unique ethnic community of Harlem. Watkins-Owens confronts issues of Caribbean immigrant and black American relations, placing their interaction in the context of community formation. She draws the reader into a cultural milieu that included the radical tradition of stepladder speaking; Marcus Garvey's contentious leadership; the underground numbers operations of Caribbean immigrant entrepreneurs; and the literary renaissance and emergence of black journalists. Through interviews, census data, and biography, Watkins-Owens shows how immigrants and southern African American migrants settled together in railroad flats and brownstones, worked primarily at service occupations, often lodged with relatives or home people, and strove to "make it" in New York.