Elsa Goveia Book Prize in Caribbean History, 2015
This year’s Elsa Goveia Book Prize committee received a total of 40 books for consideration, making for a remarkably strong competition. At the end of the deliberations, the committee is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient is Gregory O’Malley’s Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, 1619-1807, published by the Omohondro Institute of Early American History (together with the University of North Carolina Press) in 2014. Focusing on the re-shipments of enslaved Africans who survived the Middle Passage, and using the Slave Trade Database as a starting point, O’Malley transforms our understanding of the dynamics of the slave trade in the New World and redraws the map of the final destinations of forced African immigrants during the slave trade era.
This book uses an impressive and innovative array of primary sources imaginatively examined to investigate the hows and whys of the slave trade after the Middle Passage [legal and illegal trading between the Caribbean islands and North and South America]. It is a major contribution both to the history of slavery, the African diaspora, and to the history of trans-Atlantic and inter-Caribbean commerce during the seventeenth and the eighteenth centuries.
The committee would also like to give a special mention to two other works on our short list: Lara Putnam’s Radical Moves, Caribbean Migrants, and the Politics of Race in the Jazz Age, a wide-ranging examination of the mass migrations from the British Caribbean in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the immigrants’ role in constructing discourses of “black internationalism,” and Kathleen Lopez’s Chinese Cubans: A Transnational History, which, while more narrow in scope, is a beautifully written investigation of the Chinese immigrant community in Cuba.
Dr. O’Malley was able to receive his Elsa Goveia prize in person at this year’s conference in Nassau, Bahamas.