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 (NYU Press, 2014); and Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas( NYU Press, 1998). The fifteenth anniversary edition of Servants of Allah—named Outstanding Academic Book in 1999—was released in 2013.

Dr. 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, 2007) 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. The discovery in January 2018 of the possible wreck of the Clotilda received large media coverage and generated renewed interest in the book.

She is the editor of Black Power 50 (The New Press, 2016), Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies (Ohio University Press, 2003) and In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience (National Geographic, 2005).

Diouf wrote the historical note for the updated edition of the acclaimed book of both children's literature and art history The Middle Passage by Tom Feelings.
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.

She has curated digital and on site exhibitions on the Black Power movement, 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.

A recipient of the Rosa Parks Award, the Dr. Betty Shabazz Achievement Award, and the Pen and Brush Achievement Award, Dr. Diouf was the inaugural director of the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of The New York Public Library.

The daughter of a Senegalese father and a French mother, Sylviane Diouf was born and grew up in France and resides in New York.

Books

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 first book on the American maroons' experience
A major book on the various components of the Black Power movement, with photos, essays and testimonies.
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

Quick Links