West African Narratives of Slavery: Texts from Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Ghana

West African Narratives of Slavery: Texts from Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Ghana

by Sandra E. Greene
     
 

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Slavery in Africa existed for hundreds of years before it was abolished
in the late 19th century. Yet, we know little about how enslaved individuals,
especially those who never left Africa, talked about their experiences. Collecting
never before published or translated narratives of Africans from southeastern Ghana,
Sandra E. Greene explores how

Overview

Slavery in Africa existed for hundreds of years before it was abolished
in the late 19th century. Yet, we know little about how enslaved individuals,
especially those who never left Africa, talked about their experiences. Collecting
never before published or translated narratives of Africans from southeastern Ghana,
Sandra E. Greene explores how these writings reveal the thoughts, emotions, and
memories of those who experienced slavery and the slave trade. Greene considers how
local norms and the circumstances behind the recording of the narratives influenced
their content and impact. This unprecedented study affords unique insights into how
ordinary West Africans understood and talked about their lives during a time of
change and upheaval.

Editorial Reviews

Choice

"What makes this book tremendously valuable, particularly for undergraduates, is how Greene examines the historical, literary, and cultural contexts in which each narrative was produced.... A must have for academic libraries supporting an undergraduate curriculum in Africana studies....Essential." —Choice, October 2011

Martin Klein

"Greene's analysis is as valuable as the documents themselves." —Martin Klein, University of Toronto

Joseph C. Miller

"These rare examples... compellingly reveal the chaos left behind. Greene sensitively reveals the human experiences of warfare, scattering of communities, and capture of the survivors that wracked the Gold Coast region." —Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia

S. T. Durrant

Greene (Cornell) presents and analyzes five previously unpublished or untranslated narratives of slavery to make a substantial contribution to historical scholarship on slavery in West Africa. These narratives take a variety of forms--a life history, two biographical accounts, a diary, and an oral history--and describe the experiences of
individuals and communities with the institution of slavery. What makes this book tremendously valuable, particularly for undergraduates, is how Greene examines the historical, literary, and cultural contexts in which each narrative was produced. In particular, the author pays careful attention to how the narratives were recorded and by
whom. Each narrative is preceded by a map with locations of the places discussed in the text as well as a chronology of important events, providing readers with the appropriate tools to engage in an informed reading of the narratives. A must have for academic libraries supporting an undergraduate curriculum in Africana studies. Summing Up:
Essential. General and undergraduate collections. --ChoiceS. T. Durrant, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

Biography

"It is an important contribution to the expanding literature on African enslavement during the decline of trans-Atlantic transportation and its displacement by 'legitimate' commerce, and essential reading for those seeking to understand the lived experience of African slaves." —Biography

From the Publisher
"These rare examples... compellingly reveal the chaos left behind. Greene sensitively reveals the human experiences of warfare, scattering of communities, and capture of the survivors that wracked the Gold Coast region." —Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia

Greene (Cornell) presents and analyzes five previously unpublished or untranslated narratives of slavery to make a substantial contribution to historical scholarship on slavery in West Africa. These narratives take a variety of forms—a life history, two biographical accounts, a diary, and an oral history—and describe the experiences of
individuals and communities with the institution of slavery. What makes this book tremendously valuable, particularly for undergraduates, is how Greene examines the historical, literary, and cultural contexts in which each narrative was produced. In particular, the author pays careful attention to how the narratives were recorded and by
whom. Each narrative is preceded by a map with locations of the places discussed in the text as well as a chronology of important events, providing readers with the appropriate tools to engage in an informed reading of the narratives. A must have for academic libraries supporting an undergraduate curriculum in Africana studies. Summing Up:
Essential. General and undergraduate collections. —ChoiceS. T. Durrant, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

"What makes this book tremendously valuable, particularly for undergraduates, is how Greene examines the historical, literary, and cultural contexts in which each narrative was produced.... A must have for academic libraries supporting an undergraduate curriculum in Africana studies....Essential." —Choice, October 2011

"The book not only sheds light on a little understood but pervasive aspect of Ghanaian history and culture, it also invites and makes possible the comparative study of North American slave narratives with those that represent the experience of slavery for Africans who remained in Africa." —African Studies Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780253005052
Publisher:
Indiana University Press
Publication date:
02/16/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
300
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Sandra E. Greene is Professor of History at Cornell University. She is
author of Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter (IUP, 2002).

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