Sylviane Anna Diouf

Historian of the African Diaspora


Sylviane A. Diouf is an award-winning historian of the African Diaspora. She is the author of Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons and Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas, both with NYU Press. The fifteenth anniversary edition of Servants of Allah—named Outstanding Academic Book in 1999—was released in October 2013. Slavery's Exiles was published in January 2014.

Diouf's book Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America (Oxford University Press) received the 2007 Wesley-Logan Prize of the American Historical Association, the 2009 Sulzby Award of the Alabama Historical Association and was a finalist for the 2008 Hurston/​Wright Legacy Award.

She is the editor of Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies (Ohio University Press) and the co-editor of In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience (National Geographic).

She has written books for children on African history and American slavery. Kings and Queens of West Africa, part of a four-book series, won the African Studies Association 2001 Africana Book Award for Older Readers. Her illustrated book Bintou's Braids has been translated into French and Portuguese.

The daughter of a Senegalese father and a French mother, she was born and grew up in France. She lived for a while in Gabon, Italy, and Senegal, and has been residing in New York for over twenty years.

A recipient of the Rosa Parks Award, the Dr. Betty Shabazz Achievement Award, and the Pen and Brush Achievement Award. Dr. Diouf is the Director of the Lapidus Center for the Historial Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery and a Curator at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library. She she has curated digital and on site exhibitions on Africans in India, African American migrations, the abolition of the slave trade, the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean world, and the black world in the 20th century.

Books

The first book on the American maroons' experience
In a tale worthy of a novelist, Sylviane Diouf provides a well-researched, nicely written, and moving account of the last slave ship to America, whose 110 captives arrived in Mobile in 1860 and, after the war, created their dream of Africa in Alabama. Howard Jones, author of Mutiny on the Amistad
The fascinating story of the East Africans who distinguished themselves in India
Thorough and ambitious. William and Mary Quarterly
Readers are presented with a wide range of evidence to show how Africans fought against slavery as well as the slave trade. Canadian Journal of History
A groundbreaking look at [the] bigger picture has been unveiled in a project called "In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience." The Washington Post
Children's Books
Bintou’s hair is short and fuzzy, but she wants beautiful braids “with gold coins and seashells” like the big girls, but everyone says no. The New York Times
Young readers will enjoy this fascinating look at [some] brave leaders. Children's Literature
Destroys the stereotype of the happy, ignorant slave child. Booklist

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