The Atlantic Ocean was named by the ancient Greeks after either Atlas the Titan or the Atlas Mountains named for him; both involve the concept of holding up the sky. Transatlantic travel played a major role in the expansion of Western civilization into the Americas. It is the Atlantic that separates the “Old World” from the “New World”. In modern times, some idioms refer to the ocean in a humorously diminutive way as the Pond, describing both the geographical and cultural divide between North America and Europe, in particular between the English-speaking nations of both continents. Many British people refer to the United States and Canada as “across the pond”, and vice versa.
The “Black Atlantic” refers to the role of this ocean in shaping black people’s history, especially through the Atlantic slave trade. Irish migration to the US is meant when the term “The Green Atlantic” is used. The term “Red Atlantic” has been used in reference to the Marxian concept of an Atlantic working class, as well as to the Atlantic experience of indigenous Americans. Read more