Slave Culture

Sterling Stuckey’s Notes on Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America is an impressive survey of the roots of African-American nationalism from the earliest slave period until the mid-twentieth century. The book weaves accounts of African rituals, customs, and spirituality into historical accounts of events in the United States. By drawing on the lives of Simon Brown, Denmark Vesey, David Walker, Henry Highland Garnet, Alexander Crummell, William Hamilton, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Paul Robeson, the book provides access and perspective on the ongoing debate within African-American communities about integration versus nationalism. The author masterfully documents and explains the connections between African and African-American culture, both slave and free, and how they drive the political awareness and action of African-Americans and, to some extent, Africans everywhere.