Slave Owners of West Africa

Slave Owners of West Africa

Decision Making in the Age of Abolition
Sandra E. Greene
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/22/2017
Format: Paperback 3 b&w illus., 4 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-02599-9
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In this groundbreaking book, Sandra E. Greene explores the lives of three prominent West African slave owners during the age of abolition. These first-published biographies reveal personal and political accomplishments and concerns, economic interests, religious beliefs, and responses to colonial rule in an attempt to understand why the subjects reacted to the demise of slavery as they did. Greene emphasizes the notion that the decisions made by these individuals were deeply influenced by their personalities, desires to protect their economic and social status, and their insecurities and sympathies for wives, friends, and other associates. Knowing why these individuals and so many others in West Africa made the decisions they did, Greene contends, is critical to understanding how and why the institution of indigenous slavery continues to influence social relations in West Africa to this day.

Author Bio

Sandra E. Greene is the Stephen ’59 and Madeline ’60 Professor of African History at Cornell University. She is author of Gender, Ethnicity and Social Change on the Upper Slave Coast, Sacred Sites and the Colonial Encounter (IUP) and West African Narratives of Slavery (IUP).


“The fact that Sandra E. Greene has uncovered so much verifiable information about these three West African men from the late 19th century is a miracle of archival and oral tradition research. It is truly profound and buttressed by an ethical and methodological framework that reflects the best in historical practice.”
 — Trevor R. Getz, author of Cosmopolitan Africa

“Sandra E. Greene has provided a valuable service by painstakingly excavating the life stories of the three slaveholders featured in this book. They give flesh to key processes in the social history of West Africa: namely, the imposition of European colonialism, the formal abolition of slavery, and the influence of Christian missionaries.”
 — Lisa A. Lindsay, author of Biography and the Black Atlantic

“Overall, this book makes an invaluable contribution to scholarship about an extremely complicated and sensitive subject by bringing to light the biographies of three individuals who represent a transformative turning point in African history. ”
 — African Studies Review

Slave Owners of West Africa is a welcome and timely addition to the historiography of slavery and abolition in West Africa. . . . It is a must-read book for anyone in the field. ”
 — African Studies Quarterly

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Table of Contents

1. Amegashie Afeku of Keta: Priest and Political Advisor, Businessman and Slave Owner
2. Nyaho Tamakloe of Anlo: Of Chieftaincy and Slavery, of Politics and the Personal
3. Noah Yawo of Ho-Kpenoe: The Faith Journey of a Slave Owner
4. Concluding Thoughts

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