While the rise and abolition of slavery and ongoing race relations
are central themes of the history of the United States, the African
diaspora actually had a far greater impact on Latin and Central
America. More than ten times as many Africans came to Spanish and
Portuguese America as the United States. In this, the first history
of the African diaspora in Latin America from emancipation to the
present, George Reid Andrews deftly synthesizes the history of
people of African
descent in every Latin American country from Mexico and the
Caribbean to Argentina. He examines how African peooples and their
descendants made their way from slavery to freedom and how they
helped shape and responded to political, economic, and cultural
changes in their societies. Individually and
collectively they pursued the goals of freedom, equality, and
citizenship through military service, political parties, civic
organizations, labor unions, religious activity, and other avenues.
Spanning two centuries, this tour de force should be read by anyone
interested in Latin American history, the history of slavery, and
the African diaspora, as well as the future of Latin America.
...a thoughtful account that should change the way we view and teach the role of Africans in the New World. Colin M. Maclachlan, Hispanic American Historical Review ...characterised by admirably jargon-free language and logical argumentation, and addresses highly topical political processes. Latin American Studies, Vol. 39
George Reid Andrews is UCIS Research Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900 and Blacks and Whites in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1888-1988.