Bringing together for the first time selected articles by the distinguished anthropologist, this volume presents a comprehensive survey of Herskovits' exhaustive study of the Negro in the Western Hemisphere. The author came to perceive the Afroamerican field as a laboratory in which hypotheses of the widest scope in the study of acculturation could be tested, with ethnohistory as the control factor. Moreover, he regarded acculturation as a process of mutual exchange rather than a matter of members of minority groups taking over the cultural elements of a dominant majority. Herskovits also insisted that the study of culture be holisitc, and that the arts and values of a people be given full weight.
The volume is divided into eight major sections entitled The Afroamerican Field—A Laboratory for the Study of Man; Theory and Method; Ethnohistory—The Laboratory Control in Studies of Acculturation; Ethno-psychology; The Arts; Cult Life in Brazil; The World View of an Urban Community—Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana; and Reinterpretations.