Jorge L. Giovannetti-Torres, Black British Migrants in Cuba: Race, Labor, and Empire in the Twentieth-Century Caribbean, 1898-1948 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018).
ASWAD’s Sterling Stuckey Book Prize Committee judges: Sandra Adell, Ayo A. Coly, and Herman Bennett.
Oscar de la Torre, People of the River: Nature and Identity in Black Amazonia, 1835-1945 (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2018)
ASWAD’s First Book Prize Committee judges: Monique Bedasse, Jesse Shipley, Abosede George, and Benjamin Talton.
The committee was impressed by the work’s scholarship and unique methodological innovation in African diaspora studies. The book is a rich history of the black peasants of Amazonia, Oscar de la Torre highlights Afro-Brazilians’ experiences from the mid-nineteenth to the twentieth century, as they made the transition from slavery to freedom. This is a stimulating work of social and environmental history, and Torre skillfully demonstrates the extent to which their lives were intertwined with the natural landscape and with indigenous peoples. His careful and informative description of Afro-Brazilians’ intimate connection to and profound knowledge of the natural environment makes plain the imperative of centering the natural landscape and their engagement with it in the narrative. It is through this prism that he illuminates Afro-Brazilians’ identity formation around kinship structures and folk stories, as well as their efforts to maintain autonomous communities as they struggled over land, labor and citizenship. An ambitious work of History that also incorporates theoretical insights and methods from the discipline of Anthropology, de la Torre makes an important contribution to the history of the African diaspora.Finalist: Yuko Miki, Frontiers of Citizenship: A Black and Indigenous History of Postcolonial Brazil (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018)
Sara E. Johnson, “‘Your Mother Gave Birth to a Pig’: Power, Abuse, and Planter Linguistics in Baudry des Lozières’s Vocabulaire Congo,” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 16.1 (2018): 7-40.
ASWAD’s Outstanding Article Prize committee: Hanétha Vete-Congolo, Charisse Burden-Stelly, Minkah Makalani, and Yvonne Captain-Hidalgo.