Making the Black Atlantic: Britain and the African diaspora

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Cassell, 2000 - Business & Economics - 180 pages
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In execution and in terms of numbers, the British role in the shaping of the African diaspora was central. The British carried more Africans across the Atlantic than any other nation and their colonial settlements in the Caribbean and North America absorbed vast numbers of Africans. The crops produced by those slaves helped to lay the foundations for Western material well-being, and their associated cultural habits helped to shape key areas of Western sociability that survive to this day. Britain was also central in the drive to end slavery, in her own possessions and elsewhere in the world.

But the shadow of slavery lingered long after the institution itself had died in the racism which survives into the present day. More recently, the story of the diaspora has taken a different turn with a remarkable wave of migration, since 1945, from the former slave colonies and other parts of the empire to Britain, with fundamental consequences for domestic British life. This book is the first to present a coherent story of the African exile in Britain, of its origins, progress, and transformation from bondage to freedom.

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Before the British
The Coming of the British
Origins and Destinations

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About the author (2000)

James Walvin is Professor of History at the University of York in England. He has published widely on modern social history and on the history of slavery, including leisure and society, 1830-1950.