New Books: The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography 


The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (Oxford University Press) is now available for purchase. This is the third biography collection published by OUP that focuses on people of African descent, and it is a project that will continue to grow online as part of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research (W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University).

Description (Oxford University Press): The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography is a major biographical reference work covering the lives and legacies of notable Afro-descendants from the Caribbean and Latin American, men and women from all eras and walks of life. This groundbreaking resource provides unprecedented coverage of the region through the lives of its people.

Biographical records on Afro-Latin American and Caribbean lives are in short supply. Even as new historical scholarship has invigorated the international study of Latin America and Atlantic history, and even as new departments of Latin American Studies have flourished, no large-scale biographical reference work devoted to black subjects in the region has ever been attempted. This is a surprise given the enormous influence the people of these areas have had on history, culture, and technological achievement.

The Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (DCALAB) includes over two thousand in-depth historical biographies of Caribbeans and Latin Americans. From Toussaint L’Ouverture to Celia Cruz to Pelé, the DCALAB provides rigorous scholarship on the people that have shaped the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. The print work is only the first step in an ongoing research and publishing project, which will continue to grow online as part of the African American Studies Center.

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