From Africa to Brazil traces the flows of enslaved Africans from the broad region of Africa called Upper Guinea to Amazonia, Brazil. These two regions, though separated by an ocean, were made one by a slave route. Walter Hawthorne considers why planters in Amazonia wanted African slaves, why and how those sent to Amazonia were enslaved, and what their Middle Passage experience was like. The book is also concerned with how Africans in diaspora shaped labor regimes, determined the nature of their family lives, and crafted religious beliefs that were similar to those they had known before enslavement. It presents the only book-length examination of African slavery in Amazonia and identifies with precision the locations in Africa from where members of a large diaspora in the Americas hailed. From Africa to Brazil also proposes new directions for scholarship focused on how immigrant groups created new or recreated old cultures.
Walter Hawthorne is Associate Professor of African History at Michigan State University. He is the author of Planting Rice and Harvesting Slaves: Transformations along the Guinea-Bissau Coast, 1400-1900 (2003) and has published in scholarly journals such as the Journal of African History, the Luso-Brazilian Review, Slavery and Abolition, Africa, the Journal of Global History, and the American Historical Review. Before joining the History Department at Michigan State University, he was a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont and Assistant and Associate Professor at Ohio University.
Introduction; Part I. The Why and How of Enslavement and Transportation: 1. From Indian to African slaves; 2. Slave production; 3. From Upper Guinea to Amazonia; Part II. Culture Change and Cultural Continuity: 4. Labor over 'brown' rice; 5. Violence, sex and the family; 6. Spiritual beliefs; Conclusion.