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Working the DiasporaThe Impact of African Labor on the Anglo-American World, 1650-1850$
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Frederick C. Knight

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780814748183

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814748183.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Working the Diaspora

Frederick C. Knight

NYU Press

This introductory chapter maps out the economic landscape of the Americas following the influx of slaves during the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries. First complementing and in most cases replacing indentured servants, enslaved workers from Africa cultivated the sugar, tobacco, indigo, cotton, and rice fields of the Anglo-American world. And while planters owned the land, hired overseers, and employed managers to maintain production, the process depended heavily upon the daily work of enslaved Africans. In the process, the Anglo-American colonies took on a distinctive African character and were deeply interconnected through trade and migration. Along with the movement of people came the flow of commercial goods and ideas across colonial borders. The forced migration of Africans to the British American colonies had its undeniably tragic dimensions, yet more than anyone else, planters reaped the fruits of this labor.

Keywords:   African slaves, sixteenth century, nineteenth century, Anglo-American colonies, trade, migration, commercial goods

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