Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies / Edition 1

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Overview

While most studies of the slave trade focus on the volume of captives and on their ethnic origins, the question of how the Africans organized their familial and communal lives to resist and assail it has not received adequate attention. Our picture of the slave trade is incomplete without an examination of the ways in which men and women responded to the threat and reality of enslavement and deportation. Fighting the Slave Trade is the first book to explore in a systematic manner the strategies Africans used to protect and defend themselves and their communities from the onslaught of the Atlantic slave trade and how they assaulted it. It challenges widely held myths of African passivity and general complicity in the trade and shows that resistance to enslavement and to involvement in the slave trade was much more pervasive than has been acknowledged by the orthodox interpretation of historical literature.

Focused on West Africa, these essays examine in detail the defensive, protective, and offensive strategies of individuals, families, communities, and states. Some chapters discuss the manipulation of the environment, resettlement, the redemption of captives, the transformation of social relations, political centralization, and marronage. Others deal with violent assaults on ships and entrepots, shipboard revolts, and controlled participation in the slave trade as a way to procure the means to attack it. All told, Fighting the Slave Trade presents a much more complete picture of the West African slave trade than has previously been available.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780821415177
  • Publisher: Ohio University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2003
  • Series: Western African Studies
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

The author of the award-winning Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas, Sylviane A. Diouf also initiated and co-organized the conference “Fighting Back: African Strategies against the Slave Trade” held at Rutgers University. She is a researcher at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.

The author of the award-winning Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas, Sylviane A. Diouf also initiated and co-organized the conference “Fighting Back: African Strategies against the Slave Trade” held at Rutgers University. She is a researcher at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Pt. 1 Defensive Strategies
1 Lacustrine Villages in South Benin as Refuges from the Slave Trade 3
2 Slave-Raiding and Defensive Systems South of Lake Chad from the Sixteenth to the Nineteenth Century 15
3 The Myth of Inevitability and Invincibility: Resistance to Slavers and the Slave Trade in Central Africa, 1850-1910 31
4 The Impact of the Slave Trade on Cayor and Baol: Mutations in Habitat and Land Occupancy 50
5 Defensive Strategies: Wasulu, Masina, and the Slave Trade 62
Pt. 2 Protective Strategies
6 The Last Resort: Redeeming Family and Friends 81
7 Anglo-Efik Relations and Protection against Illegal Enslavement at Old Calabar, 1740-1807 101
Pt. 3 Offensive Strategies
8 Igboland, Slavery, and the Drums of War and Heroism 121
9 "A Devotion to the Idea of Liberty at Any Price": Rebellion and Antislavery in the Upper Guinea Coast in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries 132
10 Strategies of the Decentralized: Defending Communities from Slave Raiders in Coastal Guinea-Bissau, 1450-1815 152
11 The Struggle against the Transatlantic Slave Trade: The Role of the State 170
12 Shipboard Revolts, African Authority, and the Transatlantic Slave Trade 199
Epilogue: Memory as Resistance: Identity and the Contested History of Slavery in Southeastern Nigeria, an Oral History Project 219
Contributors 227
Index 231
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