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African Americans and the Early Atlantic World

Exploration and Colonization, 1535-1771

Chronicles the earliest contributions of Africans to American life in its most formative era
Learn what makes this product unique
  • Almost every known printed work about African Americans from the early 1500s to the 1770s, sourced from the world’s leading repositories 
  • Documents the rich history of African arrival in the New World and the role of African Americans in European exploration and colonization 
  • A fully searchable online resource with applications for numerous academic disciplines

The story of African Americans in the Early Atlantic World is multi-layered and complex. While several research collections have explored enslavement and human trafficking, none have documented the broader participation of Africans in early American history. From the earliest years, New World Africans played prominent roles in territorial exploration and in the establishment, expansion, and survival of nascent American settlements. Peoples of African origin were pivotal to the advancement of law, politics, science, mathematics, and literature as the British colonies in America transitioned into a free and independent United States. African Americans and the Early Atlantic World gathers in a single place almost every known printed work from the period, offering researchers a more complete picture of the foundational contributions of Africans to American society. 

A curated collection that advances research across an array of disciplines 
Faculty and students often find this period in African American history difficult to study because of the lack of available resources at their institutions. Now, in one place, Readex has assembled more than 200,000 pages of primary materials sourced from premier repositories, including the renowned Afro-Americana Collection of The Library Company of Philadelphia and the Evans Collection of Imprints from the American Antiquarian Society. 

African Americans and the Early Atlantic World is a long-requested resource for cross-disciplinary research in history, political science, sociology, and anthropology. For faculty who teach entire courses devoted to the challenges African Americans faced during this formative period, this resource provides insight into a wide range of subject areas frequently covered in lectures and classwork, including: 

  • The Slave Coast 
  • Human rights and social justice 
  • African American political life 
  • The institution of slavery and the lives of enslaved people 
  • Faith and religion 
  • Literature and the arts 
  • African Americans in wars and conflicts 
  • Race, class, gender, society, and culture 

To facilitate research, this resource features Readex Text Explorer, a proprietary text-exploration tool utilizing Voyant technology and a Readex-designed workflow – a standard feature now available in nearly every Readex product. 

A distinctive and comprehensive collection — the first in a new series from Readex 
African Americans and the Early Atlantic World is the first of six series in Readex’s new Black American History Collection. Look for coverage of the African American experience during specific historic periods, including Revolutionary America, the Early American Republic, Antebellum America, the pre-Civil War period, and the American Civil War.

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Areas of Study
This product supports the following subjects
African American Studies
American Studies
Ethnic Studies
US History
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