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The World They Made Together: Black and White Values in Eighteenth-Century Virginia

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In the recent past, enormous creative energy has gone into the study of American slavery, with major explorations of the extent to which African culture affected the culture of black Americans and with an almost totally new assessment of slave culture as Afro-American. Accompanying this new awareness of the African values brought into America, however, is an automatic assu In the recent past, enormous creative energy has gone into the study of American slavery, with major explorations of the extent to which African culture affected the culture of black Americans and with an almost totally new assessment of slave culture as Afro-American. Accompanying this new awareness of the African values brought into America, however, is an automatic assumption that white traditions influenced black ones. In this view, although the institution of slaver is seen as important, blacks are not generally treated as actors nor is their "divergent culture" seen as having had a wide-ranging effect on whites. Historians working in this area generally assume two social systems in America, one black and one white, and cultural divergence between slaves and masters. It is the thesis of this book that blacks, Africans, and Afro-Americans, deeply influenced white's perceptions, values, and identity, and that although two world views existed, there was a deep symbiotic relatedness that must be explored if we are to understand either or both of them. This exploration raises many questions and suggests many possibilities and probabilities, but it also establishes how thoroughly whites and blacks intermixed within the system of slavery and how extensive was the resulting cultural interaction.


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In the recent past, enormous creative energy has gone into the study of American slavery, with major explorations of the extent to which African culture affected the culture of black Americans and with an almost totally new assessment of slave culture as Afro-American. Accompanying this new awareness of the African values brought into America, however, is an automatic assu In the recent past, enormous creative energy has gone into the study of American slavery, with major explorations of the extent to which African culture affected the culture of black Americans and with an almost totally new assessment of slave culture as Afro-American. Accompanying this new awareness of the African values brought into America, however, is an automatic assumption that white traditions influenced black ones. In this view, although the institution of slaver is seen as important, blacks are not generally treated as actors nor is their "divergent culture" seen as having had a wide-ranging effect on whites. Historians working in this area generally assume two social systems in America, one black and one white, and cultural divergence between slaves and masters. It is the thesis of this book that blacks, Africans, and Afro-Americans, deeply influenced white's perceptions, values, and identity, and that although two world views existed, there was a deep symbiotic relatedness that must be explored if we are to understand either or both of them. This exploration raises many questions and suggests many possibilities and probabilities, but it also establishes how thoroughly whites and blacks intermixed within the system of slavery and how extensive was the resulting cultural interaction.

30 review for The World They Made Together: Black and White Values in Eighteenth-Century Virginia

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rudyard L.

    This book was simultaneously interesting and boring. The thesis makes a lot of sense, Africans were 40 percent of Virginia’s population and thus it would make an immense amount of sense if the Black community influenced the White. However, the thesis was somewhat muddled. For a lot these, the author posited an African origin for a cultural factor, but also posited an English or geographic origin that negated it. This book was interesting and I learned a lot, but it felt generally underwhelming.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    There were some interesting points, but the first time it was repetative and a hard read in the sense of making myself finish it. I was required to read the book a second time for another class and I found it much easier and more interesting the second time around.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larry Lamar Yates

    This book, written by an Israeli scholar, is another “outsider” look at a time we think we know. It shows from contemporary documents how much whites and people of African descent interacted and influenced each other in the early years of the United States.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    interesting, covers several aspects of interaction and influence between white and black people in virginia, discussing how values and attitudes changed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Salvatore

    Very interesting look at early slavery in North America.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Becky Fifield

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

  8. 5 out of 5

    Julie

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rob Leverett

  11. 5 out of 5

    Janine

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul

  15. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mille Libri

  20. 5 out of 5

    Blair

  21. 4 out of 5

    Craig

    Just couldn't get into this one at all. Just couldn't get into this one at all.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nic Elliott

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura Kamoie

  24. 4 out of 5

    John

  25. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

  26. 4 out of 5

    Robert Heins

  27. 5 out of 5

    Daniela

  28. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin Nicole

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

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