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Abolitionists Abroad / Edition 1

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Overview

In 1792, nearly 1,200 freed American slaves crossed the Atlantic and established themselves in Freetown, West Africa, a community dedicated to anti-slavery and opposed to the African chieftain hierarchy that was tied to slavery. Thus began an unprecedented movement with critical long-term effects on the evolution of social, religious, and political institutions in modern Africa.

Lamin Sanneh's engrossing book narrates the story of freed slaves who led efforts to abolish the slave trade by attacking its base operation: the capture and sale of people by African chiefs. Sanneh's protagonists set out to establish in West Africa colonies founded on equal rights and opportunity for personal enterprise, communities that would be havens for ex-slaves and an example to the rest of Africa. Among the most striking of these leaders is the Nigerian Samuel Ajayi Crowther, a recaptured slave who joined a colony in Sierra Leone and subsequently established satellite communities in Nigeria. The ex-slave repatriates brought with them an evangelical Christianity that encouraged individual spirituality--a revolutionary vision in a land where European missionaries had long assumed they could Christianize the whole society by converting chiefs and rulers.

Tracking this potent African American anti-slavery and democratizing movement through the nineteenth century, Lamin Sanneh draws a clear picture of the religious grounding of its conflict with the traditional chieftain authorities. His study recounts a crucial development in the history of West Africa.

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Editorial Reviews

Books & Culture

In his most recent work, Lamin Sanneh offers a novel perspective on nineteenth-century antislavery movements. Instead of the usual narratives of William Wilberforce in England or William Lloyd Garrison in America, Sanneh tells of the vital role Africans—albeit often Americanized or Anglicized Africans—played in the abolition of slavery both on their own continent and around the globe...Sanneh's narrative poses some of the broadest and most important questions in the history of global colonization and modernization. Should we agree with him that the imposition of Western liberal cultural values and social organization in Africa—when these values were promoted by Africans themselves—was unambiguously a good thing? Should the entire world therefore be made over in the image of the United States with its notion of individual rights?
— Stewart Davenport and Wiebe Boer

Booklist

Sanneh focuses on the colonization or 'back to Africa movement' as an outgrowth of the abolitionist-antislavery movement...[He] recounts the experiences of the black abolitionists to illustrate the conflicts and cross currents in the slave trade debate that are not generally discussed...Sanneh's work reflects the conflict of Christian values with domestic politics, which provided the opportunity for black Americans to influence the development of modern West Africa.
— Vernon Ford

The International History Review

Lamin Sanneh's book seeks to redirect the study of black abolitionism by accentuating the importance of Black Loyalists' return to Africa after the American Revolution…Sanneh's provocative interpretation broadens the study of abolitionism into an Atlantic perspective and re-centres abolitionism to include the Black Loyalists.
— Graham Russell Hodges

Books & Culture - Stewart Davenport And Wiebe Boer
In his most recent work, Lamin Sanneh offers a novel perspective on nineteenth-century antislavery movements. Instead of the usual narratives of William Wilberforce in England or William Lloyd Garrison in America, Sanneh tells of the vital role Africans--albeit often Americanized or Anglicized Africans--played in the abolition of slavery both on their own continent and around the globe...Sanneh's narrative poses some of the broadest and most important questions in the history of global colonization and modernization. Should we agree with him that the imposition of Western liberal cultural values and social organization in Africa--when these values were promoted by Africans themselves--was unambiguously a good thing? Should the entire world therefore be made over in the image of the United States with its notion of individual rights?
Booklist - Vernon Ford
Sanneh focuses on the colonization or 'back to Africa movement' as an outgrowth of the abolitionist-antislavery movement...[He] recounts the experiences of the black abolitionists to illustrate the conflicts and cross currents in the slave trade debate that are not generally discussed...Sanneh's work reflects the conflict of Christian values with domestic politics, which provided the opportunity for black Americans to influence the development of modern West Africa.
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Abolitionists Abroad tells the story of the cultural revolution engineered by freed slaves who traversed the Atlantic--again--to help destroy Africa's peculiar institution. Engrossing, inspiring, impeccably researched, Sanneh's book will change the way you think about Africa.
The International History Review - Graham Russell Hodges
Lamin Sanneh's book seeks to redirect the study of black abolitionism by accentuating the importance of Black Loyalists' return to Africa after the American Revolution…Sanneh's provocative interpretation broadens the study of abolitionism into an Atlantic perspective and re-centres abolitionism to include the Black Loyalists.
Booklist
Sanneh focuses on the colonization or 'back to Africa movement' as an outgrowth of the abolitionist-antislavery movement...[He] recounts the experiences of the black abolitionists to illustrate the conflicts and cross currents in the slave trade debate that are not generally discussed...Sanneh's work reflects the conflict of Christian values with domestic politics, which provided the opportunity for black Americans to influence the development of modern West Africa.
— Vernon Ford
Books & Culture
In his most recent work, Lamin Sanneh offers a novel perspective on nineteenth-century antislavery movements. Instead of the usual narratives of William Wilberforce in England or William Lloyd Garrison in America, Sanneh tells of the vital role Africans--albeit often Americanized or Anglicized Africans--played in the abolition of slavery both on their own continent and around the globe...Sanneh's narrative poses some of the broadest and most important questions in the history of global colonization and modernization. Should we agree with him that the imposition of Western liberal cultural values and social organization in Africa--when these values were promoted by Africans themselves--was unambiguously a good thing? Should the entire world therefore be made over in the image of the United States with its notion of individual rights?
— Stewart Davenport and Wiebe Boer
The International History Review
Lamin Sanneh's book seeks to redirect the study of black abolitionism by accentuating the importance of Black Loyalists' return to Africa after the American Revolution…Sanneh's provocative interpretation broadens the study of abolitionism into an Atlantic perspective and re-centres abolitionism to include the Black Loyalists.
— Graham Russell Hodges
Books & Culture
In his most recent work, Lamin Sanneh offers a novel perspective on nineteenth-century antislavery movements.
Stewart Davenport and Wiebe Boer
Library Journal
Sanneh (history and world Christianity, Yale Univ.) argues that modern antislavery in Europe and America emerged from an evangelical Christianity centered on personal salvation that empowered a bottom-up social movement of ex-slaves, ex-captives, and their allies (Olaudah Equiano, David George, Paul Cuffee, and Samuel Ajayi Crowther, for example). These downtrodden outcasts created an "antistructure" in the form of an alternative community that broke old structural traditions as best illustrated by the Sierra Leone colony created by blacks displaced during the American Revolution. There, Sanneh argues, a new society based on freedom and human dignity formed a foundation for modern West Africa. Sanneh's complex argument demands close reading and promises to compel scholarly attention as it shifts the focus of antislavery to an Africa-based movement. For collections on anti-slavery movements, the Atlantic world, African American and African history, and the history of social activism in religion in general and Christianity in particular.--Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674007185
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 11/5/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,047,330
  • Product dimensions: 0.67 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Lamin Sanneh is Professor of History and D. Willis James Professor of World Christianity, Yale University.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

The Transatlantic Corridor

Antislavery

Establishment Structures

Antistructure

The American Factor

The Frame of Interpretation

Historiography

1. The American Slave Corridor and the New African Potential

The Historical Significance of Olaudah Equiano

Antislavery and Black Loyalists in the American Revolution

The Black Poor in London

The Sierra Leone Resettlement Plan

Antislavery and Early Colonization in America

Thomas Peters: Moving Antislavery to Africa

Freedom and the Evangelical Convergence

Upsetting the Natural Order

New Light Religion:Pushing at the Boundaries

2. "A Plantation of Religion" and the Enterprise Culture in Africa

Antislavery and Antistructure

David George

Moses Wilkinson

The Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion

Paul Cuffee

The Voluntarist Impulse

Christianity and Antinomianism

3. Abolition and the Cause of Recaptive Africans

Sir Charles MacCarthy:Christendom Revisited

Recaptives and the New Society

The Example of Samuel Ajayi Crowther

The Strange Career of John Ezzidio

4.The Niger Expedition, Missionary Imperatives, and African Ferment Change in the Old Order

Recaptives and the New Middle Class: Brokers or Collaborators?

Thomas Jefferson Bowen and the Manifest Middle Class

Crowther and the Niger Expedition

The Niger Mission Resumed

Antislavery and Its New Friends

The Native Pastorate and Its Nemesis

Martin Delany: Anatomy of a Cause

Debacle

Reaction and Resistance

5. American Colonization and the Founding of Liberia Colonization Sentiments

Commercial Motives: Purse and Principle

The Humanitarian Motive and the Evangelical Impulse

Colonization without Empire: America 's Spiritual Kingdom

Colonization before Antislavery: Mission of Inquiry

African Resettlement: Fact and Fiction

The Founding of Liberia: Privatization of Public Responsibility

Lott Carey and Liberia

Expansion and Exclusion

Black Ideology

Conclusion Antislavery

Antistructure

The American Factor

Crowther, the CMS, and Evangelical Religion

Colonialism, Christendom, and the Impact of Antistructure New World Lessons

Notes

Sources

Index

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