Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography

General Editors: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Franklin W. Knight (Johns Hopkins)
Executive Editor: Steven J. Niven

From Toussaint Louverture to Pelé, the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography will provide a comprehensive overview of the lives of Caribbeans and Afro-Latin Americans who are historically significant. The project will be unprecedented in scale, covering the entire Caribbean, and the African-descended populations throughout Latin America, including people who spoke and wrote Creole, Dutch, English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish. It will also encompass more than 500 years of history, with entries on figures from the first forced slave migrations in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to entries on living persons such as the Haitian musician and politician Wyclef Jean and the Cuban author and poet Nancy Morejón. Individuals will be drawn from all walks of life, including philosophers, politicians, activists, entertainers, scholars, poets, scientists, religious figures, kings, and everyday people whose lives have contributed to the history of the Caribbean and Latin America.

The project has been funded for three years (2011–2014) by the Mellon Foundation, and will be published in a 2000-entry print edition by Oxford University Press in late 2014. Entries include Francisca da Silva de Oliveira (“Xica da Sliva”) the daughter of a slave who rose to the heights of 18th century Brazilian, by Júnia Ferreira Furtado; Haitian revolutionary Toussaint Louverture, by Madison Smartt Bell, and Jamaican Pan Africanist, Marcus Garvey, by Daive Dunkley. All entries will later be added to the African American Studies Center, and the project will continue online at http://www.oxfordaasc.com/public/

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