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What is the Black Atlantic? My Comparative Perspective

Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic (1994) is a difficult read but it’s a very influential book. An author who builds further on Gilroy’s work and who writes very accessible books about blackness is Livio Sansone (professor of anthropology at the University of Bahia, Brazil). His book Blackness Without Ethnicity (2003) was a very insightful read that I recommend to anyone interested in the subject. In this book he compares black Brazilian experience and cultural production with the African American experience (check this blog on the difference between black US and black Brazil experiences). One of the chapters of the book even goes further and is based on his research among black youth in Amsterdam compared to black youth in Bahia and Rio. Generally Sansone has written interesting articles about balckness and Western Afro cultures (check this article). Below I will give my understandings and perspectives on the Black Atlantic, as an inherent part of the broad social and cultural entity called ‘The West’.

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