Mustakeem receives Wesley-Logan Prize for book

Sowande’ Mustakeem, associate professor of history and of African and African-American studies in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, has won the 2017 Wesley-Logan Prize in African diaspora history.

Sowande Mustakeem speaks in a classroom. (Photo: Kevin Lowder/Washington University)

Sponsored by the American Historical Association and the Association for the Study of African American Life & History, the prize is awarded annually for an outstanding book on the African diaspora. Established in 1992, it honors Charles H. Wesley and Rayford W. Logan, pioneers in the field.

Mustakeem received the honor for her book “Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage” (2016). Drawing from ship logs, records and personal documents, Mustakeem goes inside the Atlantic slave trade to explore how the oceanic transport of human cargoes — infamously known as the Middle Passage — comprised a violently regulated process that was foundational to the institution of bondage.

In addition, Mustakeem and her percussion band, Amalghemy, recorded a free “Slavery at Sea” soundtrack, which mirrors the feelings and vibrations forged in the book.

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