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Becoming African in America – Race and Nation in the Early Black Atlantic, 1760-1830 - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Becoming African in America: Race and Nation in the Early Black Atlantic, 1760-1830

James Sidbury


The first slaves imported to America did not see themselves as “African” but rather as Temne, Igbo, or Yoruban. This book reveals how an African identity emerged in the late 18th-century Atlantic world, tracing the development of “African” from a degrading term connoting savage people, to a word that was a source of pride and unity for the diverse victims of the Atlantic slave trade. The book first examines the work of black writers — such as Ignatius Sancho in England and Phillis Wheatley in America — who created a narrative of African identity that took its meaning from the diaspora, a narra ... More

Keywords: slave trade, Temne, Igbo, Yoruban, Ignatius Sancho, Phillis Weatley, African identity, Middle Passage, African church movement, Paul Cuffe

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780195320107
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195320107.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

James Sidbury, author
University of Texas at Austin
Author Webpage