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By Alexander X. Byrd

Jamestown and Plymouth function iconic pictures of British migration to the hot international. A century later, in spite of the fact that, while British migration was once at its height, nearly all of males, ladies, and kids crisscrossing the Atlantic on English ships have been of African, now not English, descent. Captives and Voyagers, a compelling examine from Alexander X. Byrd, strains the departures, voyages, and landings of enslaved and unfastened blacks who left their homelands within the eighteenth century for British colonies and examines how displacement and resettlement formed migrant society and, in flip, Britain's Atlantic empire. Captives and Voyagersbreaks clear of the normal photo of transatlantic migration and illustrates how black women and men, enslaved and unfastened, got here to populate the sides of an Anglo-Atlantic international. no matter if as settlers in Sierra Leone or as slaves in Jamaica, those migrants introduced a deep and affecting adventure of being in movement to their new homelands, and as they turned firmly ensconced within the details in their new neighborhood conditions they either formed and have been themselves molded by means of the calls for of the British Atlantic international, of which they have been an important part.Byrd makes a speciality of the 2 biggest and most vital streams of black dislocation: the pressured immigration of Africans from the Biafran inside of present-day southeastern Nigeria to Jamaica as a part of the British slave alternate and the emigration of loose blacks from nice Britain and British North the US to Sierra Leone in West Africa. through paying specific cognizance to the social and cultural results of transatlantic migration at the teams themselves and focusing in addition on their position within the British Empire, Byrd illuminates the which means and event of slavery and liberty for individuals whose trips have been equally beset by way of severe violence and catastrophe.By following the move of this consultant inhabitants, Captives and Voyagers offers a very important view of the British colonial world--its intersection with the African diaspora.

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Extra info for Captives and Voyagers: Black Migrants Across the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World (Antislavery, Abolition, and the Atlantic World)

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21 As such, when carefully considered and contextualized, Vassa’s account throws considerable light on the subject of the origins of the Igbo nation in the eighteenth-century diaspora and the slave trade within and from the Biafran interior. In the popular imagination, the middle passage stands out as the defining moment of the Atlantic slave trade. Yet in time, the overseas voyage from the African littoral to the Americas represented perhaps the shortest leg of captives’ whole disparaging odyssey.

Sometimes this incorporation led to a captive achieving status as a full member of their new society. More often it did not. 33 There is little evidence concerning what was on the minds of other eighteenth-century slaves pushed through the Biafran interior, but we do know that the displacement that formed Equiano’s experienced was not at all uncommon. Alexander Falconbridge—an abolitionist, formerly a surgeon in the Guinea trade, and familiar with affairs along the Niger Delta—believed that none of the slaves he saw boarded at Bonny were natives of the coast.

4 Historically, the area was dotted with hundreds of independent polities, best referred to as village groups. In the main, these village groups were arrays of smaller settlements where ties of kith, kin, and proximity informed political and economic cooperation, as well as a certain corporate feeling and identification. Village groups themselves divided into smaller settlements, which were in turn sets of individual, patrifocal compounds physically connected one to another by series of paths. Spatially and politically, the internal organization of individual village groups varied throughout the region.

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