Neglected Gems: Richard Wade and Lisa Tolbert

By Richard Harris Richard Wade. 1964. Slavery in the Cities. The South, 1820-1860. New York: Oxford University Press. Lisa Tolbert. 2017. Henry, a slave, v. State of Tennessee. The public and private space of slaves in a small town. In Clifton Ellis and Rebecca Ginsburg, eds., Slavery in the City. Architecture and Landscapes of Urban […]

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An Obscure Afro-Brazilian “Colony” in Ghana: Accra’s Tabon Community

By Hermann W. von Hesse In the summer of 2017, I returned from Madison, Wisconsin to Accra – my hometown and Ghana’s capital since 1877 – to do my pre-dissertation research. Besides my main dissertation interests, I had since childhood been interested in the music and religion of Accra’s Afro-Brazilian descended community. Though not of […]

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Accra, an Archive of Mobility: A Bibliography of the West African Metropolis

Movement, both unfettered and brutally curtailed, has long been central to Accra’s urban culture. From its days as a slave entrepot, through its decades as a colonial possession, well into its car-driven post-independence boom years, Accra has always been defined by movement–of the enslaved, by colonial administrators, of goods, and of postcolonial citizens. Take for […]

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Reimagining Slavery and Freedom: Afro-Brazilians in Lagos during the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century

By Susan A.C. Rosenfeld During the second half of the nineteenth century, Lagos became an increasingly diverse, urban node on the Atlantic circuit, where slavery and freedom defined individual identities and shaped the city itself. A series of political and economic transformations contributed to the social dynamics of Lagos. The nineteenth-century transition from the trans-Atlantic […]

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Au revoir New Orleans, Hola Mexico City

On February 3, 2013, New Orleans became the American capitol for the day while the city hosted Super Bowl XLVII. The 2013 Super Bowl is most remembered for two events unrelated to the football game: the blackout and the halftime show. Beyoncé Carter-Knowles headlined, garnering praise for her performance of hits like “Run the World […]

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10 Questions for Emily Landau, author of Spectacular Wickedness

In the process of building a bibliography for New Orleans, fellow scholars repeatedly recommended Emily Landau’s Spectacular Wickedness: Race, Sex, and Memory in Storyville, New Orleans. In Spectacular Wickedness, Landau provides a window in the the Progressive Era politics that dominated the nation during the first two decades using the notorious Storyville neighborhood of New Orleans. Landau was kind enough […]

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The Power of Urban Improvisation: Lawrence Powell’s The Accidental City

Famed geographer Carl Suer once wrote: “Culture is the agent, the natural area the medium, the cultural landscape the result.” To put it less eloquently, people shape the landscape through husbandry, conservation, and architecture, and the end results speak volumes. While New Orleans might not be the perfect encapsulation of such an idea, as evidenced […]

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