Africa in Florida:
Five Hundred Years of African Presence in the Sunshine State

Edited by Amanda B. Carlson and Robin Poynor

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"An inspiring, original, and significant work that takes our notions of ‘diaspora’ to exciting places and offers new and thoughtful data on the presence and impact of ‘Africa’ in Florida history, lives, and objects. Africa in Florida is an important contribution to American history and to the continuing and transforming histories of African diasporas and Africa itself."--Henry John Drewal, editor of Sacred Waters

"Fascinating. Indispensable. With contributions by excellent scholars in the field of African and African diaspora studies and cultural studies, the volume provides diverse meanings and interpretations of contacts among Africans from the continent, Europeans, and indigenous people of Florida that resulted in works of creative arts, language, music, and food."--Jacob K. Olupona, author of City of 201 Gods

Over the course of centuries, immigrants from numerous countries in contemporary Africa have influenced the Sunshine State’s history and culture. Through a critical evaluation of the influences and effects of the numerous African and African-influenced cultures that have been a part of the state’s history, this collection of essays and art explores how Florida both shapes and is shaped by the multiple African diasporas that move through it. Africa in Florida challenges the way American history and southern studies have characterized African contributions to the development of the United States by showing how Africans, both free and enslaved, asserted themselves as explorers, farmers, slave owners, artists, and more.

Amanda B. Carlson, assistant professor of art history at the University of Hartford, is the author of Converging Territories. Robin Poynor, professor of art history at the University of Florida, is the author of African Art at the Harn Museum: Spirit Eyes, Human Hands and the coauthor of A History of Art in Africa and Kongo across the Waters.
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Florida Book Award for Visual Arts, Gold - 2014

"One of the pleasures of this book and what would make it an ideal supplementary text for a graduate seminar--is the discovery of illuminating narratives in what might appear to be trivial topics.” H-Net Reviews

Advances a needed dialogue between scholars of the African Diaspora and those who are engaged in cultivating these connections by remembering the relationship of African people to the state’s history and reimagining the inter-relationship between Africans and Floridians.-- American Studies

The lushly illustrated Africa in Florida [is] a look at the history of the Africans on the peninsula—beginning with Ponce de León’s 1513 voyage.-- Forum

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