Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World, 1400-1800
By John Thornton
Why this book?
This is my favorite book on Atlantic history. It had a profound influence on the way I came to understand Black cultural and religious identity formation in the Americas. In this groundbreaking study, Thornton explores Africa’s involvement in the Atlantic world from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries with a focus on the causes and consequences of the slave trade. It teaches us to look at Africa during the era of the transatlantic slave trade with a new perspective; not as a pure, virgin continent where people only took pride in indigenous traditions, but as a dynamic space marked by inter- and extra-African cultural and religious mixtures to which not only Arab-Islamic but also European-Christian—predominantly Iberian-Catholic—elements contributed substantially.
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