The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness Short Essay - Answer Key

Paul Gilroy
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1. What group does Gilroy say his book focuses on?

In The Black Atlantic Gilroy is talking about the people taken from Africa into slavery who now live in the U.S. and England.

2. What critique does Gilroy make of the concepts that governed race and ethnicity when he wrote The Black Atlantic?

Gilroy says that concepts of race and economy are too homogenous and simple, and they obscure the complexities of lived reality of black people in England and the U.S.

3. What view does Gilroy say we should take of black experiences?

In Gilroy's opinion we should see the history of race as a combined and overlapping race of whites and blacks and the numerous ways they relied on each other and built a culture together.

4. What symbol does Gilroy use to symbolize the black Atlantic?

Gilroy says that the slave ship is a fitting symbol because it navigates the waters that unite the Atlantic states where slavery was an institution. He sees the slave ship as a microculture, and a microcosm of the political system that governed the relationship between blacks and whites.

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