Gold Coast Diasporas: Identity, Culture, And Power

Hardcover | September 28, 2015

byWalter C. Rucker

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Although they came from distinct polities and peoples who spoke different languages, slaves from the African Gold Coast were collectively identified by Europeans as "Coromantee" or "Mina." Why these ethnic labels were embraced and how they were utilized by enslaved Africans to develop new group identities is the subject of Walter C. Rucker's absorbing study. Rucker examines the social and political factors that contributed to the creation of New World ethnic identities and assesses the ways displaced Gold Coast Africans used familiar ideas about power as a means of understanding, defining, and resisting oppression. He explains how performing Coromantee and Mina identity involved a common set of concerns and the creation of the ideological weapons necessary to resist the slavocracy. These weapons included obeah powders, charms, and potions; the evolution of "peasant" consciousness and the ennoblement of common people; increasingly aggressive displays of masculinity; and the empowerment of women as leaders, spiritualists, and warriors, all of which marked sharp breaks or reformulations of patterns in their Gold Coast past.

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From the Publisher

Although they came from distinct polities and peoples who spoke different languages, slaves from the African Gold Coast were collectively identified by Europeans as "Coromantee" or "Mina." Why these ethnic labels were embraced and how they were utilized by enslaved Africans to develop new group identities is the subject of Walter C. Ru...

Walter C. Rucker, Associate Professor of African diaspora and Atlantic history at Rutgers University, is the author of The River Flows On: Black Resistance, Culture, and Identity Formation in Early America.

other books by Walter C. Rucker

The River Flows On: Black Resistance, Culture, and Identity Formation in Early America
The River Flows On: Black Resistance, Culture, and Iden...

Kobo ebook|Jan 1 2008

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:342 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:September 28, 2015Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253016940

ISBN - 13:9780253016942

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Part One: Social Life and Death
1. Gold Coast Backgrounds
2. Making the Gold Coast Diaspora
3. Slavery, Ethnogenesis, and Social Resurrection
Part Two: Social Resurrection and Empowerment
4. State, Governance, and War
5. Obeah, Oaths, and Ancestral Spirits
6. Women, Regeneration, and Power
Postscript
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

"An impressive monograph highlighted by a prodigious body of original research spanning three continents.Gold Coast Diasporas reveals a deepengagement with the mostimportant work in the field even as it pushes the historiography forward in wonderfully innovative ways. This book is both a call to action and a model for future research.His discussion of 'commoner consciousness' and 'social resurrection' will likely guide the way we discuss cultural identity in the African diaspora for years to come." -Jason Young, University of Buffalo