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Literature of the African Diaspora - Essay Example

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The globalized notion of the African diaspora is a representation of multifaceted and multidimensional themes which essentially symbolize the development of the black identity through an understanding of historical contexts. …
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Literature of the African Diaspora
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Literature of the African Diaspora

Download file to see previous pages... The premise of this paper is based upon the concept of “new” world realities, which state that transatlantic moment and enslavement are two significant thematic elements which define the evolution of the diverse Black identity. Furthermore, this paper also integrates these factors of the African diaspora within the context of the African Slave Trade by relating the notion to the concept of “new” world realities and their significance in shaping the course of contemporary society. The analysis of transatlantic moment is one of the critical components which must be addressed thoroughly if the “new” world realities of the African diaspora are to be comprehended. The nuances of the transatlantic slave trade primarily relate to the interaction of European and Muslim cultures which became interlinked by the premise of labor exploitation of African labor. Even though, Muslim rule was marked by the presence of African captives this epoch in the African diaspora saw the movement of a staggering number of Africans in the period lasting from the eighteenth to nineteenth century (Gomez 59). Gomez reflects that the ramifications of this global transformation are of fundamental significance to the understanding of the modern world (59). As stated by the author: “Christian-Muslim conflict, international commerce, sugar, and New World incursions were foremost in creating circumstances whereby the African emerged as principal source of servile labor laying the foundations for the modern world” (59). The origin of the African slave trade that is associated with the theme of transatlantic moment can be traced back to the fourteenth century during which dependence on captive labor reached its peak, an intriguing change in the direction of events during this time emerged a century later when the source of this manual labor was altered (Gomez 60). Gomez attributes this modification to the political and territorial dynamics of Spain, where Muslim influence was constantly declining to a point of complete absence (60). Therefore, the centuries which followed the year of 1267 to 1492 saw Iberia lose its reputation as the foundation of servile labor to fulfill the needs of the Mediterranean, thus it became necessary to discover a new source of manual workers to meet steady demand (Gomez 60). The requirement of servile labor in the Mediterranean was present to accomplish various tasks on a range of plans and the farming sugar cane happened to be one of those major tasks at the time. Gomez recounts that the Italians and Portuguese had establishment a successful association in this regard with the former providing the monetary means for the project and the latter supplying the required manual power (61). Gradually, the Portuguese’s intervention in the commerce of the Indian Ocean introduced them to the richness of West Africa which was blessed in terms of resources, both natural and human. It is at this point that the population of West Africa became enslaved by the Portuguese who imported to the workers to Madeira in addition to the Mediterranean for the purpose of sugar cultivation. According to the data presented by Gomez, the trade of African workers reached as much as 1000 laborers on a yearly basis for a continuous period of 89 years starting from 1441 (61). This era was marked by the expansion of the African diaspora which saw the distribution of Africans in a number of adjoining regions of the Mediterranean in addition to Portugal and Spain (Gomez 61). Even though the occurrence of transatlantic slave trade had already prevailed, it is important to understand that Africans were neither introduced in the New World at this point nor had the African diasp ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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