This rich collection of biographies of African men and women adds a crucial human dimension to our understanding of African history since 1800. The last two centuries have been a time of enormous change on the continent, and these life stories show how people survived by resisting European conquest and colonial rule, by collaborating with colonial powers, or by finding a middle way to live their lives through tumultuous times. Bringing the story to the present, the book traces the era of independence since the 1960s through challenges to the rule of African dictators, struggles for the rights of women and mothers, the exploitation of youth and child soldiers, and economic booms and busts.
By recounting the lives of real, identifiable people from societies across Africa south of the Sahara and from African communities in Europe, this unique book underscores the importance and power of individual agency in understanding the recent African past, a vital complement to analyses of broader, impersonal social and economic factors.
Contributions by: Agnès Adjamagbo, Maryan Muuse Boqor, Dennis D. Cordell, José C. Curto, Mamadou Diouf, Andreas Eckert, Laura Fair, Tovin Falola, Doug Henry, Lidwien Kapteijns, Issiaka Mandé, Cora Ann Presley, Carolyn F. Sargent, Pamela Scully, Ibrahim Sundiata, and Marcia Wright.
About the Author
Dennis D. Cordell is professor of history and associate dean at Southern Methodist University.
Table of Contents
Introduction: People and History in Modern Africa
Dennis D. Cordell
Part I: Encounters: Two Worlds and New Worlds, 1800–1850
Chapter 1: José Manuel and Nbena in Benguela in the Late 1810s: Encounters with Enslavement
José C. Curto
Chapter 2: Efusetan Aniwura of Ibadan (1820s–1874): A Woman Who Rose to the Rank of a Chief but Whom Male Rivals Destroyed
Chapter 3: Moka of Bioko (late 1820s–1899): The Chief Who United a Central African Island
Part II: Fashioning African Identities in the Era of European Conquest, 1850–1910
Chapter 4: Hamet Gora Diop (1846–1910): Merchant and Notable from Saint-Louis in Senegal
Chapter 5: Samuel Johnson (1846–1901) and The History of the Yorubas: Christianity and a New Intelligentsia in West Africa
Chapter 6: Stories of Cape Slavery and Emancipation in the Nineteenth Century
Chapter 7: Mama Adolphina Unda (c. 1880–1931): The Salvation of a Dynastic Family and the Foundation of Fipa Catholicism, 1898–1914
Part III: The Contradictions of Colonialism, 1910–1960: Exploitation and New Rights
Chapter 8: Colonial Administrator Adolphe A. M. Taillebourg (1874–1934): Strict Interpreter of the Law or Humanitarian?
Chapter 9: Louis Brody (1892–1951) of Cameroon and Mohammed Bayume Hussein (1904–1944) of Former German East Africa: Variety Show Performers and the Black Community in Germany between the Wars
Chapter 10: Siti binti Saad (c. 1885–1950): “Giving Voice to the Voiceless,” Swahili Music, and the Global Recording Industry in the 1920s and 1930s
Chapter 11: Maryan Muuse Boqor (b. 1938) and the Women Who Inspired Her: Memories of a Mogadishu Childhood
Lidwien Kapteijns and Maryan Muuse Boqor
Part IV: Globalization, Family Strategies, and New Threats in the Era of Independence, 1960–2012
Chapter 12: Wambui Waiyaki Otieno Mbugua (b. 1928): Gender Politics in Kenya from the Mau Mau Rebellion to the Pro-Democracy Movement
Cora Ann Presley
Chapter 13: Tina (b. 1942) of Côte d’Ivoire: Success in the Masculine World of Plantation Managers
Chapter 14: Samba Sylla (b. 1948), Doulo Fofanna (b. 1948 or 1949), and Djénébou Traore (b. 1972): The Colonies Come to France
Dennis D. Cordell and Carolyn F. Sargent
Chapter 15: Foday (b. ca. 1974) Meets the Rebels in 1991: Diamonds Are Not a Boy’s Best Friend