This edited volume, the result of papers delivered at the 1999 Bantu into Black conference, represents an important contribution to African diaspora studies. It seeks to correct the lingering imbalance between the study of West Africa’s impact on New World cultures and the significance of Central Africa as an anchor site of diasporic formation. Scholars tend to stress Yoruba roots over Central African ones in the study of religion and culture. Since nearly half of all slaves that crossed the Atlantic hailed from Central Africa, a new appreciation of this population’s impact is warranted. While the work of scholars like John Thornton, Winifred Vass, Stuart Schwartz, Robert Farris Thompson, Mary Karasch, and others have made significant advances in our knowledge of Central African contributions, there is more to be done. In colonial Brazil, for example, we are just beginning to unravel the social,...

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