The history of African Americans begins in Africa, a continent that was home to people with different languages, traditions, histories, and religions. They called themselves Twi, Yoruba, Zulu, Ashanti, and Kumba, among other names. In the early sixteenth century Europeans turned to Africa for the labor force needed to mine, cultivate, and process the bounty of natural resources in the newly colonized Americas. As many as 12 million Africans from varied ethnic backgrounds endured forced migration and enslavement. Out of their suffering was forged a new people--no longer simply Twi, Yoruba, Ashanti, or Kumba. In the Americas, they first became Africans and then African Americans.
The First Passage examines the first century of the recorded black presence in the Americas. The ordeal of the Atlantic crossing gave way to the isolation and humiliation of slavery and the loss of friends and family. Some slaves attempted rebellion and escape. Others maintained as many religious and cultural traditions as possible and as the African-American population grew, forged new traditions and new ties of kinship. This history remains at the core of black life in the Americas. Colin Palmer tells a story of extraordinary suffering. But The First Passage is also a timeless lesson in endurance and survival.
"Undoubtedly one of the most complete overall studies of slavery.... Ranges from detailing differences among African cultures to providing precise information on the changes traditional customs and religions underwent as a result of diaspora and enslavement."--School Library Journal
"Emphasizing the diversity of the African continent, historian Palmer looks in some detail at the development of the slave trade, the forced migration and enslavement of what is estimated to be between 10 million and 20 million people, and the roles that blacks plays in the New World in the sixteenth century.... While never playing down the atrocity and suffering, he describes how an enduring African American culture developed in the
diaspora."--Booklist (starred review)
"An important examination of the earliest recorded Black presence in the Americas."--National Black Employment Directory
"Although First Passage is the first volume in the Young Oxford History of African Americans, these works should be required reading for people of all ages and all races."--Copley News Service
"Probes the ordeal of the first blacks to cross over to the Americas."--Children's Bookwatch
"The First Passage is well-researched, well-written, and beautifully illustrated. It is an excellent introduction to the history of African Americans."--Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Series: Young Oxford History of African Americans : Book 1
For Ages: 12 - 14 years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Number Of Pages: 126
Published: 1st January 1995
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 20.32
Weight (kg): 0.46