Students of “black history” in the United States have accomplished a great deal over the past several decades, but they have been surprisingly slow to acknowledge in practice that the stage on which the African diaspora has unfolded over five centuries is an extraordinarily broad one. Most African Americans have always lived outside the United States; most aspects of black experience here have parallels elsewhere; and the study of African American experience anywhere ought therefore to be informed, wherever possible, by comparative perspectives. Similar blinders have handicapped a good many specialists in Caribbean and Latin American black history, causing them to miss the opportunities for useful comparison with North America and Brazil.

Though this tantalizing smorgasbord of a book, designed as a reader for undergraduate courses, is miscellaneous in coverage and only sporadically concerned with exercises in comparison, it can nevertheless contribute quite...

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