242 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 7 halftones, 2 maps, 5 graphs, 1 table
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4324-3
Published: October 2018
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4323-6
Published: October 2018
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4325-0
Published: August 2018
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Awards & distinctions
Outstanding First Book Award, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora
Prior to abolition, enslaved and escaped blacks found in the tropical forest a source for tools, weapons, and trade--but it was also a cultural storehouse within which they shaped their stories and records of confrontations with slaveowners and state authorities. After abolition, the black peasants' knowledge of local environments continued to be key to their aspirations, allowing them to maintain relationships with powerful patrons and to participate in the protest cycle that led Getúlio Vargas to the presidency of Brazil in 1930. In commonly referring to themselves by such names as "sons of the river," black Amazonians melded their agro-ecological traditions with their emergent identity as political stakeholders.
About the Author
Oscar de la Torre is associate professor of history and Africana and Latin American studies at University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
For more information about Oscar de la Torre, visit the Author Page.
“This fabulous book draws on a vast array of sources. . . . Using a variety of analytical methods and narrative strategies, de la Torre meticulously reconstructs complex land transactions, kinship structures, local folk stories, and shared memories.”--E.I.A.L (Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe)
“Offering important theoretical interventions and a compelling narrative, de la Torre demonstrates the fascinating range of ways that black Amazonians related to their environments at both physical and discursive levels. This book reveals how their gradual acquisition of prized environmental knowledge played into economic relationships and served a key role in their search of autonomy, identity, and citizenship.”—Thomas D. Rogers, Emory University
“This book provides a nuanced description and analysis of the roles played by the enslaved and their descendants in ‘humanizing’ Brazil’s Amazon region long before the wave of immigrants and government-sponsored infrastructure projects of the 1960s and 1970s. De la Torre sheds light on the vexing question of the relationship between material and natural environments and socio-cultural identities.”—John Soluri, Carnegie Mellon University