Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora
Origins, Experiences, and Culture
by Carole Boyce Davies, Editor
July 2008, 1110pp, 7x10
3 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-85109-700-5
$306, £227, 255€, A438
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-705-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In the last 500 years, African people have continuously established communities across the globe. Their adaptations to new cultures and the changes they brought about in their new lands—political, economic, and cultural—are the subject of this exhaustive encyclopedia.

The authoritative source for information on the people, places, and events of the African Diaspora, spanning five continents and five centuries.

The field of African Diaspora studies is rapidly growing. Until now there was no single, authoritative source for information on this broad, complex discipline. Drawing on the work of over 300 scholars, this encyclopedia fills that void. Now the researcher, from high school level up, can go to a single reference for information on the historical, political, economic, and cultural relations between people of African descent and the rest of the world community.

Five hundred years of relocation and dislocation, of assimilation and separation have produced a rich tapestry of history and culture into which are woven people, places, and events. This authoritative, accessible work picks out the strands of the tapestry, telling the story of diverse peoples, separated by time and distance, but retaining a commonality of origin and experience. Organized in A–Z sections covering global topics, country of origin, and destination country, the work is designed for easy use by all.


  • More than 500 A–Z entries
  • Contributions from hundreds of leading scholars
  • Maps showing key locations in the African Diaspora
Carole Boyce Davies is professor of African Diaspora Studies at Florida International University in Miami, FL. Her published works include Black Women Writing and Identity: Migrations of the Subject, The African Diaspora: African Origins and New World Identities and Decolonizing the Academy: African Diaspora Studies.


"This work is recommended for all African and African American Studies collections."—ARBA, October 1, 2008

". . .a scholarly account filled with maps revealing crucial locations and transit patterns of the African Diaspora, illustrated with eye-catching photography, Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora is at once both an accessible resource and a work of exacting research on Diaspora communities, locations, peoples, culture, arts, historical events, organizations, theories and more. Highly recommended especially for public and college library collections."—Midwest Book Review - Library Bookwatch, September 1, 2008

"This 3-Volume set Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora is a pick for any high school to college-level collection strong in African history and culture ... Highly recommended."—Midwest Book Review, November 1, 2008

"Because of its broad coverage and well-written entires, Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora is an excellent addition to any academic and large public library."—Booklist, December 1, 2008

"Davies's encyclopedia presents a comprehensive geographical view of the African Diaspora, including lesser-known African communities across the world. With over 500 entries encompassing a wide range of topics and personalities from several centuries of history, this substantial work is an impressive scholarly treatment of the subject...all academic libraries should consider this set. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers."—Choice, January 1, 2009

"Increasing interest among scholars in studying the dispersal, forced or voluntary, of African peoples throughout the world makes Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Cultures a timely publication. This addition to the growing body of literature on the topic draws on the editorial oversight and expertise of the faculty in Florida International University's African-New World Studies program. Contributors to the encyclopedia include an international group of scholars, graduate students, and independent researchers… It is recommended for the reference collections in junior high and high school libraries, in public libraries, and in college and university libraries."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, March 1, 2009

"Entries in this cross-referenced set cover geography, cultural and political movements, personalities, and theories. The volumes open with maps of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Americas, and treat a wide variety of topics, including Europe and the African world, slavery, and griots of West Africa, as well as more contemporary subjects such as hip-hop and the Nation of Islam."—School Library Journal, February 1, 2009

"This 3-volume A to Z encyclopedia includes the work of more than 300 scholars and presents more than 500 articles covering the historical, political, economic, and cultural connections between people of African descent and the rest of the world. Entries cover such diverse topics as: Afro-Fusion Dance, Art in the African Diaspora, Black Churches, the African experience in a variety of countries, Hip Hop Culture in the African Diaspora, Billie Holiday, the Nation of Islam, and Spellman College. Articles are scholarly but easily readable and range between one to 17 pages in length. (I wished some of the shorter articles were much longer.) The set fills a serious cultural void. For instance, I don’t believe any other reference in our library attacks the concept of signifying or hair in the African experience. Recommended for schools with larger reference collections."—Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, May 1, 2008

". . . the information is detailed enough to provide powerful introductory information backed by bibliographic references, make it both an all-in-one choice and an introduction for further research. Highly recommended."—Midwest Book Review - The Bookwatch, November 1, 2008
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