You are here

Caribbean and African Studies

In the Flicker of an Eyelid

A Novel

Jacques Stephen Alexis. Translated and with an afterword by Carrol F. Coates and Edwidge Danticat, with the 1983 preface by Florence Alexis

In his third novel, Jacques Stephen Alexis brings his characteristically vivid scenes, political consciousness, and powerful characters to the dramatic age-old question of whether a prostitute can leave "the life" to find her own identity and true love. La Niña Estrellita is pursuing her trade... More

Race Man

The Rise and Fall of the "Fighting Editor," John Mitchell Jr

Ann Field Alexander

Although he has largely receded from the public consciousness, John Mitchell Jr., the editor and publisher of the Richmond Planet, was well known to many black, and not a few white, Americans in his day. A contemporary of Booker T. Washington, Mitchell contrasted sharply with Washington in... More

The Lynching of Emmett Till

A Documentary Narrative

Christopher Metress

At 2:00 A.M. on August 28, 1955, fourteen-year-old Emmett Till, visiting from Chicago, was abducted from his great-uncle’s cabin in Money, Mississippi, and never seen alive again. When his battered and bloated corpse floated to the surface of the Tallahatchie River three days later and two local... More

Cutting the Vines of the Past

Environmental Histories of the Central African Rain Forest

Tamara Giles-Vernick

Cutting the Vines of the Past offers a novel argument: African ways of seeing and interpreting their environments and past are not only critical to how historians write environmental history; they also have important lessons for policymakers and conservationists. Tamara Giles-Vernick demonstrates... More

The View across the River

Harriette Colenso and the Zulu Struggle against Imperialism

Jeff Guy

This narrative aims to show how after its conquest, the Zulu kingdom was destroyed by the imperial policies of divide and rule, and how the Colenso family, especially the Bishop's eldest daughter, Harriette, took the lead in resisting colonial exploitation and imperial domination.This powerful and... More

Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction

Slavery in Richmond Virginia, 1782–1865

Midori Takagi

RICHMOND WAS NOT only the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy; it was also one of the most industrialized cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Boasting ironworks, tobacco processing plants, and flour mills, the city by 1860 drew half of its male workforce from the local slave population.... More

The Adventures of Amos 'n' Andy

A Social History of an American Phenomenon

Melvin Patrick Ely

Forty million Americans indulged in a national obsession in 1930: they eagerly tuned in Amos 'n' Andy, the nightly radio comedy in which a pair of white actors portrayed the adventures of two black men making a new life in the big city. Meanwhile, some angry African Americans demanded that Amos 'n... More

The Story of The Madman

Mongo Beti

Widely acclaimed when first published in French in 1994, Mongo Beti's tenth novel, L'histoire du fou, continues the author's humorous yet fierce criticism of the colonial system in Africa and its legacy of governmental corruption.Translated here as The Story of the Madman, the novel gives the... More

Starving on a Full Stomach

Hunger and the Triumph of Cultural Racism in Modern South Africa

Diana Wylie

An ideology of African ignorance that justified white supremacy grew up in South Africa during the first half of the twentieth century: if Africans were hungry, it was because they didn't know how to feed themselves properly; they were ignorant of "how to live." As a result, growing scientistic... More

Waiting for the Vote of the Wild Animals

Ahmadou Kourouma. Translated by Carrol F. Coates. Afterword by Carrol F. Coates

Characterized as "the African Voltaire," Ahmadou Kourouma garnered enormous critical and popular praise upon the 1998 release of his third novel, En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages. Kourouma received the Prix des Tropiques, among other prestigious prizes, for that book, and the French edition... More

An African Classical Age

Eastern and Southern Africa in World History 1000 BC to AD 400

Christopher Ehret

In An African Classical Age, Christopher Ehret brings to light 1,400 years of social and economic transformation across Africa from Uganda and Kenya in the north to Natal and the Cape in the south. The book offers a much-needed portrait of this region during a crucial period in which basic features... More

From Calabar to Carter's Grove

The History of a Virginia Slave Community

Lorena S. Walsh

[Book description not available]

Talk Yuh Talk

Interviews with Anglophone Caribbean Poets

Kwame Dawes

Before the Caribbean-inflected spoken-word poetry of the 1990s, epitomized by poetry slams at the Nuyorican Poets Café in Manhattan, there was reggae. In the past thirty years, most Caribbean poetry written in English has come to the shores of the United States on waves of music, in the lyrics of... More

Forgotten Time

The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta after the Civil War

John C. Willis

Although it came to epitomize the Cotton South in the twentieth century, the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta emerged as a distinct entity in the decades following the Civil War. As other southerners confronted the need to rebuild, the Delta remained mostly wilderness in 1865. Elsewhere, planters struggled... More


A Romance of Real Life in Cuba Fifty Years Ago,

Mary Peabody Mann. Edited and with an Introduction by Patricia M. Ard

Originally published in 1887 and never before reprinted, Juanita is a historical romance based on Mary Peabody Mann's experience of living on a Cuban slaveholder's plantation from 1833 to 1835. The novel centers on the extended visit of helen Wentworth, a New England teacher, to a childhood friend'... More

It Shall Be of Jasper and Coral and Love-across-a-Hundred-Lives

Werewere Liking. Translated by Marjolijn de Jager

The West African writer, painter, playwright, and director Werewere Liking is considered one of the best literary interpreters of the postcolonial condition in Africa. Her first work to be translated into English, these two novels spare nothing in their satirical portraits of the patriarchal view... More

Of Dreams and Assassins

Malika Mokeddem. Translated by Melissa Marcus

Of Dreams and Assassins is the urgent and rhythmic fourth novel of Malika Mokeddem, her second to appear in English. Born in Algeria to a Bedouin family that had only recently become sedentary, Mokeddem was raised on the stories of her grandmother, who encouraged her education at a time when girls... More

Of Dreams and Assassins

Malika Mokeddem. Translated by Melissa Marcus

Of Dreams and Assassins is the urgent and rhythmic fourth novel of Malika Mokeddem, her second to appear in English. Born in Algeria to a Bedouin family that had only recently become sedentary, Mokeddem was raised on the stories of her grandmother, who encouraged her education at a time when girls... More

"Beyond Our Wildest Dreams"

The United Democratic Front and the Transformation of South Africa

Ineke van Kessel

As anyone who lived through that decade knows, the 1980s in South Africa were marked by protest, violent confrontation, and international sanctions. Internally, the country saw a bewildering growth of grassroots organizations--including trade unions, civic associations in the black townships,... More

Blood from Your Children

The Colonial Origins of Generational Conflict in South Africa

Benedict Carton

The young black activists whose rejection of their parents' complacency led to the 1976 Soweto uprising and the eventual demise of apartheid are part of a long tradition of generational conflict in South Africa. In Blood from Your Children, Benedict Carton traces this intense challenge to an... More

Colonial Subjects

An African Intelligentsia and Atlantic Ideas

Philip S. Zachernuk

West African intellectuals have a long history of engaging with European intrusion by reflecting on their status as colonial and postcolonial subjects. Against the tendency to view this engagement as a confrontation between the modern west and traditional Africa, Philip S. Zachernuk argues that the... More

General Sun, My Brother

Translated and with an introduction by Carrol F. Coates. Jacques Stephen Alexis

The first novel of the Haitian novelist Jacques Stephen Alexis, General Sun, My Brother appears here for the first time in English. Its depiction of the nightmarish journey of the unskilled laborer Hilarion and his wife from the slums of Port-au-Prince to the cane fields of the Dominican Republic... More

Leading the Race

The Transformation of the Black Elite in the Nation's Capital, 1880–1920

Jacqueline M. Moore

Historians of the African American experience after Reconstruction have tended to imply that the black elite served only their own interests, that their exclusive control of black institutions precluded efforts to improve the status of African Americans in general. In Leading the Race, Jacqueline M... More

Women of Algiers in Their Apartment

Edited by Assia Djebar. Translated by Marjolijn de Jager and Clarisse Zimra

The cloth edition of Assia Djebar's Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, her first work to be published in English, was named by the American Literary Translators Association as an ALTA Outstanding Translation of the Year. Now available in paperback, this collection of three long stories, three... More

Rituals of Race

American Public Culture and the Search for Racial Democracy

Alessandra Lorini

In this sophisticated study of the struggle for African American human rights in America, Alessandra Lorini examines public events in New York City from the end of the Civil War through World War I, demonstrating how ritualized elements of black processions, parades, riots, and festivals made... More