"In this groundbreaking and superbly written work Craig Wilder provides a gendered and richly textured discussion of the African origins of black political consciousness and moral traditions in the United States. Through a skillful comparative discussion of African associations in North America, the Caribbean, Brazil and Africa he demonstrates the connections between African systems of values and beliefs, masculinity and the black public sphere. This book is essential reading in African American history, Diaspora studies and American studies."
-Irma Watkins-Owens,author of Blood Relations: Caribbean Immigrants and the Harlem Community 1900-1930 "In the historiography on blacks in the colonial and antebellum periods, Craig Steven Wilder"s In the Company of Black Men stands out as one of the finest works of scholarship in the last decade."
-Journal of American Ethnic History "Wilder explores cultural expression with and through African societies in New York City. . . . He follows them from their origin, through their heyday, to their decline as capitalist culture overwhelmed the voluntary tradition."
-Book News "Though stony the road they trod, a small band of men developed and passed on an ethos of mutuality and collectivism brought from Africa. America owes a great debt to those men, and scholars owe a great debt to Craig Wilder, who has combined vast research and keen intelligence to tell their story. Wilder's work will force a new look at a familiar landscape. Imagine-an African city at the base of the Hudson!"
-Noel Ignatiev,author of How the Irish Became White "A beautifully researched, subtly argued exploration of the moral and intellectual life of New York's African American community in its first two hundred years. As Wilder shows how African societies provided a foundation for black religion, politics, and cultural institutions, he opens a new window on New York history. We hear the voice and aspirations of black New Yorkers as we have never heard them before. Written with verve, In the Company of Black Men repeatedly rewards its readers with fresh insights and provocative arguments that leaves one thinking long after it has been set aside."
-Elizabeth Blackmar,Columbia Universityshow more