Combining Atlantic and imperial perspectives, Caribbean New Orleans offers a lively portrait of the city and a probing investigation of the French colonists who established racial slavery there as well as the African slaves who were forced to toil for them. Casting early New Orleans as a Caribbean outpost of the French Empire rather than as a North American frontier town, Cecile Vidal reveals the persistent influence of the Antilles, especially Saint-Domingue, which shaped the city’s development through the eighteenth century. In so doing, she urges us to rethink our usual divisions of racial systems into mainland and Caribbean categories.
Drawing on New Orleans’s rich court records as a way to capture the words and actions of its inhabitants, Vidal takes us into the city’s streets, market, taverns, church, hospitals, barracks, and households. She explores the challenges that slow economic development, Native American proximity, imperial rivalry, and the urban environment posed to a social order that was predicated on slave labor and racial hierarchy. White domination, Vidal demonstrates, was woven into the fabric of New Orleans from its founding. This comprehensive history of urban slavery locates Louisiana’s capital on a spectrum of slave societies that stretched across the Americas and provides a magisterial overview of racial discourses and practices during the formative years of North America’s most intriguing city.
Based on substantial new research from primary sources and archives, this accessible interpretative history of West Central Africa from earliest times to 1852 gives comprehensive and in-depth coverage of the region. With equal focus given to both internal histories or inter-state interactions and external dynamics and relationships, this study represents an original approach to regional histories which goes beyond the existing scholarship on the area. By contextualising and expanding its range, to include treatment of the Portuguese colony of Angola, John K. Thornton provides new understandings of significant events, people, and inter-regional interactions which aid the grounding of the history of West Central Africa within a broader context. A valuable resource to students and scholars of African history.
John Thornton is Professor of History at Boston University where he is a specialist in the history of pre-colonial Africa and the African Diaspora. He is the author of numerous books, including Africa and Africans in the Making of the Atlantic World (1992, 2nd edition 1998), The Kongolese Saint Anthony (1998), Central Africans, Atlantic Creoles and the Foundation of the Americas (2007) which was awarded the Herskovits Prize by the African Studies Association, and A Cultural History of the Atlantic World (2012) which was awarded the World History Association Book Prize.
- Paperback : 382 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1107565936
- ISBN-13 : 978-1107565937
- Product Dimensions : 5.98 x 0.83 x 8.94 inches
- Publisher : Cambridge University Press (April 23, 2020)
Published on Sep 22, 2020
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