Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Black in Latin America. New York University, 2011. 259p bibl index afp; ISBN 9780814732984, $26.95; ISBN 9780814732991 e-book, contact publisher for price. Reviewed in 2012feb CHOICE.
Many people in the US do not realize that about 95 percent of the more than 11 million slaves shipped out of Africa during the Middle Passage arrived in Latin America and the Caribbean. Gates's realization of this fact led him to explore the history and culture of the African diaspora in the multicultural worlds of Latin America and the Caribbean. This is the third volume of a trilogy, following Wonders of the African World (1999), which focused on the African continent, and America behind the Color Line (2004), which examined the African American experience. As with these two earlier projects, this travelogue accompanies a similarly titled, four-hour PBS video. Gates (Harvard) focuses on African culture, politics, and religion in the six countries of Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, and Peru. Readers desiring a deeper, more academic, and more comprehensive treatment of the African diaspora will be better served by George Reid Andrews, Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000 (CH, Mar'05, 42-4193). Gates's highly readable and quickly paced book, however, serves a critically important role in bringing popular attention to the significant contributions of African descendants in Latin America and the Caribbean. Summing Up: Recommended. General collections/public libraries. -- M. Becker, Truman State University
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