This book is a collection of essays addressing multiple aspects of African maritime history in attempt to counter the lack of academic research that exists in comparison to other nations and continents, and to assert the value of African topics to the global study of maritime history. Each essay addresses African maritime history whilst also demonstrating an inextricable link to the global maritime stage. The topics discussed include early human migration to Africa; early European contact with Africa; the role of West African maritime communities in the Atlantic slave trade; New World slaveholders and the exploitation of African maritime skillsets; the construction of Atlantic world racial discourses; the rise and fall of colonial rule; and African immigrant communities in Europe. These essays cover maritime topics such as seafaring labour, navigational technology, swimming, diving, surfing; plus political subjects that include colonisation, decolonisation, immigration and citizenship. The book consists of eight essays and an introduction that evaluates the existing research into African maritime history. It includes case studies from every major geographical part of the continent, bar North Africa, and covers the Early Modern period up to the twentieth century. The purpose is not to provide a comprehensive chronological history, but rather a diverse collection of topics across a range of periods and locations to reflect the wealth of maritime topics in the history of Africa and their global significance. It concludes with a call for further research into non-European maritime activity, to deepen the global historiography.
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