Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, Volume 1

Front Cover
Franklin W. Knight, Henry Louis Gates (Jr.)
Oxford University Press, 2016 - Africans - 3192 pages
The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography is a major biographical reference work covering the lives and legacies of notable Afro-descendants from the Caribbean and Latin American, men and women from all eras and walks of life. This groundbreaking resource provides unprecedented coverage of the region through the lives of its people.

Biographical records on Afro-Latin American and Caribbean lives are in short supply. Even as new historical scholarship has invigorated the international study of Latin America and Atlantic history, and even as new departments of Latin American Studies have flourished, no large-scale biographical reference work devoted to black subjects in the region has ever been attempted. This is a surprise given the enormous influence the people of these areas have had on history, culture, and technological achievement.

The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (DCALAB) will be published in print with over two thousand in-depth historical biographies of Caribbeans and Latin Americans. From Toussaint L'Ouverture to Celia Cruz to Pelé, the DCALAB provides rigorous scholarship on the people that have shaped the Caribbean, Central America, and South America The print work is only the first step in an ongoing research and publishing project, which will continue to grow online as part of the African American Studies Center. As a continuing publishing initiative, the DCALAB provides the most wide-reaching source of information ever produced on the lives of Afro-descendants who have shaped Latin American history, with entries written by leading scholars at research institutions from across the globe, linking together the international community of research.

Led by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Harvard University's W. E. B. Du Bois Institute), in collaboration with Franklin W. Knight of Johns Hopkins University, this project is modeled after two other highly successful collaborations between Oxford University Press and the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute: the African American National Biography (AANB) and the Dictionary of African Biography (DAB). The Caribbean and Latin America represent the largest region of African Diaspora, and this new biographical reference work joins the other two to create the most complete account of black lives in the Americas ever assembled.

Upholding the high editorial and academic standards of the AANB and the DAB, the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography entries will similarly range from 500 to 2,000 words and include bibliographic notes and citations. Extensive indexing will provide a quick resource for both pinpointing individuals and browsing categories. Indispensable as a research tool, the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography will be a milestone in the study of the Caribbean and Latin America.

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About the author (2016)


Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University, as well as director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He is the author most recently of Black in Latin America and Faces of America, which expand on his critically acclaimed PBS documentaries, and Tradition and the Black Atlantic: Criticism in the African Diaspora. He is the co-editor of Call and Response: Key Debates in African American Studies. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center, the first comprehensive scholarly online resource in the field of African American and Africana Studies. He is co-editor, with K. Anthony Appiah, of Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience. With Evely n Brooks Higginbotham, he is the co-editor of the eight-volume biographical encyclopedia African American National Biography.

Franklin Knight is the Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at John Hopkins University. In 1973, Dr. Knight joined the Hopkins faculty as part of the internationally recognized Atlantic History and Culture Program. Since that time his academic and teaching interests have remained focused on the politics, cultures and societies of Latin America and the Caribbean as well as American slave systems. He has published numerous books, including The Caribbean: The Genesis of a Fragmented Nationalism, The Modern Caribbean, co-edited with Colin A. Palmer, The Slave Societies of the Caribbean and Las Casas: An Introduction, Much Abbreviated, of the Destruction of the Indies to name just a few.

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