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Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora

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Beginning with antiquity, Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora captures the essential political, cultural, social, and economic developments that shaped the black experience. In this second edition, Michael A. Gomez updates the text to include the most recent research on the African Diaspora. Continuing to pay particular attention to the lives of the working c Beginning with antiquity, Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora captures the essential political, cultural, social, and economic developments that shaped the black experience. In this second edition, Michael A. Gomez updates the text to include the most recent research on the African Diaspora. Continuing to pay particular attention to the lives of the working classes, the second edition expands its temporal boundaries to include developments into the twenty-first century, as well as integrating women and feminist perspectives more thoroughly. It also widens the geographical span to include Latin America, while incorporating more on African experiences in Europe, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. Assessing the impact of religion, global trade, slavery and resistance, and the challenges of modernity, this edition further connects the experiences of Africans and their descendants over time and space, attending to both convergences and divergences, while explaining how the deep past informs subsequent developments.


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Beginning with antiquity, Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora captures the essential political, cultural, social, and economic developments that shaped the black experience. In this second edition, Michael A. Gomez updates the text to include the most recent research on the African Diaspora. Continuing to pay particular attention to the lives of the working c Beginning with antiquity, Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora captures the essential political, cultural, social, and economic developments that shaped the black experience. In this second edition, Michael A. Gomez updates the text to include the most recent research on the African Diaspora. Continuing to pay particular attention to the lives of the working classes, the second edition expands its temporal boundaries to include developments into the twenty-first century, as well as integrating women and feminist perspectives more thoroughly. It also widens the geographical span to include Latin America, while incorporating more on African experiences in Europe, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf. Assessing the impact of religion, global trade, slavery and resistance, and the challenges of modernity, this edition further connects the experiences of Africans and their descendants over time and space, attending to both convergences and divergences, while explaining how the deep past informs subsequent developments.

30 review for Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nailah

    I think it's a great book! It was one of the required texts for the African Diaspora course I took in college. I then used it to teach a year later. I think it's a great book! It was one of the required texts for the African Diaspora course I took in college. I then used it to teach a year later.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Craig Cunningham

    Where do we begin with African American history ? African American history encapsulates both America and Africa, but when America and Africa met conflict ensued. America and Africa met during a period in which America enslaved people of African descent, and through the enslavement process, the enslavers had to destroy the concept and the history of Africa. They could not allow Africans to know of their rich history. Michael Gomez from the text states,"Scholars of American history have long under Where do we begin with African American history ? African American history encapsulates both America and Africa, but when America and Africa met conflict ensued. America and Africa met during a period in which America enslaved people of African descent, and through the enslavement process, the enslavers had to destroy the concept and the history of Africa. They could not allow Africans to know of their rich history. Michael Gomez from the text states,"Scholars of American history have long understood that discussions of the African American experience must begin with a consideration of people and cultures and developments in Africa itself,before the rise of American slavery and the transatlantic slave trade, to debilitate the notion that black folk, prior to their experiences in the Americas, had no history worth of the name." Metaphorically, Gomez realizes that the "sail" as it moves forward works to debilitating the African history that is so rich and emboldens the African American soul. Therefore, "Reversing the Sail." is the idea that the sail is reversed, and moves back to Africa for an analysis of the rich African heritage, tradition, culture, and history that permeates a people, and creates depth in the minds of the descendants. The book describes race as the sociopolitical mechanism that was created for the purpose of manipulation of minds. The book details the History of Africa Diaspora, while at the same time, discussing how that history is interplayed through the history. However, the book captures the image of the great Ancient African civilizations, and brings them into focus. I loved the text, and truly enjoyed the way in which Michael Gomez created the interplay of new approaches through African history. MUST READ.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Fitzpatrick

    Apparently designed to be a main or adjunct text in a course about the subject of the African diaspora, "Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora" is a book which is both to be valued because of this focus, and disparaged because it adheres too closely to its purpose of seeking to reveal all aspects of its subject matter. In regards to the former trait, "Reversing Sail" does provide deep and profound exploration of the nature of the African diaspora. In fact, the chapters concerning the Apparently designed to be a main or adjunct text in a course about the subject of the African diaspora, "Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora" is a book which is both to be valued because of this focus, and disparaged because it adheres too closely to its purpose of seeking to reveal all aspects of its subject matter. In regards to the former trait, "Reversing Sail" does provide deep and profound exploration of the nature of the African diaspora. In fact, the chapters concerning the Middle Passage and the nature of slavery in the New World are filled with data that is both obsessive in its amount and revelatory in its impact on new adherents to the field. For I found myself reading slack-jawed and amazed about the nature of the ethnic makeup of locations of slave communities in North-east Brazil, and dozens of other topics that open up levels of understanding previously unheard of. Gomez has a plethora of documentation and information that enriches our understanding of the minutiae of the nature and effects of the transportation of millions to the New World, in an act that was as barbaric and horrific as it was world changing. Reading these passages is like viewing Yosemite Valley from Half-Dome: awe-inspiring and oh so memorable. However, later chapters of the book, particularly the section on the Harlem Renaissance and the contribution of African-Americans to the worlds of music and sports, appear more perfunctorily done, as many other sources do a better job than the cursory glance at these rich subjects that is available in this tome. Overall, seen in its purpose and comprehensive impact, "Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora" is a positive and valued addition to readers new to the subject area. Seen in this view, its faults are gifts, the better to bring to light an often neglected subject area. Introductory History at its strongest, "Reversing Sail" is a extremely positive addition to a much-needed field. Kudos to Dr. Gomez!

  4. 4 out of 5

    James Harris

    Next to the Bible, this book has the greatest impact on my life. It is actually a text book from an African American history class that covers the movement of African Descendants throughout history and the possible reasons behind those migrations. Why do Dominican and Other Latin baseball players look like me but speak Spanish? Did most African slaves come to the United States? NO? Why did most go to Brazil?. Being of African decent and not truly knowing where I am from and specific details of h Next to the Bible, this book has the greatest impact on my life. It is actually a text book from an African American history class that covers the movement of African Descendants throughout history and the possible reasons behind those migrations. Why do Dominican and Other Latin baseball players look like me but speak Spanish? Did most African slaves come to the United States? NO? Why did most go to Brazil?. Being of African decent and not truly knowing where I am from and specific details of how my people got here, I set on a quest to supplement what I learned in school. This was easy because I didn’t learn much in school. Slavery and migration was less about racism and more about economics. As the world discovered ways to mass produce Sugar, Tobacco, Coffee and cotton, nations raced to the new world (Brazil, Caribbean, America) to take advantage of unclaimed fertile land. Slave labor was the driving force fueling the economy and growth of supporting nations. This and many topics about the migration of my people made it an unprecedented learning experience for me and one which I will use oral tradition to teach my loved ones. This book motivated me to trace my “american” ancestors to slave plantations in North Carolina and Mississippi while learning that my DNA is mostly Nigerian but surprisingly 8% Irish thanks to my great-great-great-great grandfather Harrington

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nadia Scott

    To be honest, I have no idea how to rate this book. I've spent the past two semesters dreading whenever we had to read a chapter, but objectively it's excellent. If you are looking for a truly comprehensive history of the African Diaspora free from Eurocentric influences, this is it. Gomez offers a plethora of examples and sources to help readers understand the diaspora's development and its people. However, it's super dense, and sometimes the chronological narrative can get lost in all the diff To be honest, I have no idea how to rate this book. I've spent the past two semesters dreading whenever we had to read a chapter, but objectively it's excellent. If you are looking for a truly comprehensive history of the African Diaspora free from Eurocentric influences, this is it. Gomez offers a plethora of examples and sources to help readers understand the diaspora's development and its people. However, it's super dense, and sometimes the chronological narrative can get lost in all the different examples. He has a tendency to beat a topic to death, so skimming is a must. While reading, you have to be super diligent in weeding out the essential information, especially if you are using it to help write essays. The sections on antiquity were the most fascinating.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eric

    I use this book in my course on the history of the African Diaspora. I really appreciate the narrative along with some sharp arguments in it. It seems as though my students like it. I haven't asked them. There's a new edition out so I look forward to reading it. I use this book in my course on the history of the African Diaspora. I really appreciate the narrative along with some sharp arguments in it. It seems as though my students like it. I haven't asked them. There's a new edition out so I look forward to reading it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Barrett Dylan Brown, Phd

    So far (in comparison to, say, Dr. Trevor Getz's much SHORTER Textbook, on the exact same subject) this Assigned Textbook comes off more as a "Badly Referenced Dictionary," with Dates and Times of various "events (for lack of a better term! Gonzales makes no clear distinctions between "important events" and "just stories") widely fluctuating, with a single page he Author jumps from 1390 to 1820 to 1750 to 1450, rarely for any Coherent Reason. /Sigh... Look, I read Textbooks FOR FUN. Really. And t So far (in comparison to, say, Dr. Trevor Getz's much SHORTER Textbook, on the exact same subject) this Assigned Textbook comes off more as a "Badly Referenced Dictionary," with Dates and Times of various "events (for lack of a better term! Gonzales makes no clear distinctions between "important events" and "just stories") widely fluctuating, with a single page he Author jumps from 1390 to 1820 to 1750 to 1450, rarely for any Coherent Reason. /Sigh... Look, I read Textbooks FOR FUN. Really. And though this is very well Researched and Properly Cited... Well, perhaps he just did TOO MUCH RESEARCH/REFERENCING and simply did not pay enough attention to Narrative Flow or Foundational Chronological Consistency. Very disappointed.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Allie

  9. 4 out of 5

    Drew McCall

  10. 5 out of 5

    Yamir

  11. 5 out of 5

    April Diaz

  12. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Leon

  13. 5 out of 5

    Misha

  14. 4 out of 5

    Criley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  16. 4 out of 5

    Isabelle B.

  17. 4 out of 5

    V

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yedei

  19. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Shumway

  20. 4 out of 5

    Timmia King

  21. 5 out of 5

    Eddie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Anacaona

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aisha Sapp

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rachael Graves

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lucinda

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nikhil P. Freeman

  29. 5 out of 5

    Austin

  30. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Linzy

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