What were the experiences of those in Africa who suffered from the practice of slavery, those who found themselves captured and sold from person to person, those who died on the trails, those who were forced to live in fear? And what of those Africans who profited from the slave trade and slavery? What were their perspectives? How do we access any of these experiences and views? This volume explores diverse sources such as oral testimonies, possession rituals, Arabic language sources, European missionary, administrative and court records and African intellectual writings to discover what they can tell us about slavery and the slave trade in Africa. Also discussed are the methodologies that can be used to uncover the often hidden experiences of Africans embedded in these sources. This book will be invaluable for students and researchers interested in the history of slavery, the slave trade and post-slavery in Africa.
Alice Bellagamba is Associate Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology in the Department of Human Sciences for Education 'Riccardo Massa' at the University of Milan-Bicocca. Sandra E. Greene is Professor of African History in the Department of History at Cornell University. Martin A. Klein is Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of Toronto.
Introduction: sources and methods - writing about African slavery and the slave trade Alice Bellagamba, Sandra E. Greene and Martin A. Klein; 1. Excavating Arabic sources for the history of slavery and slave trade in Western Africa Ghislaine Lydon and Bruce Hall; 2. Christian missionaries on record: documenting slavery and the slave trade from the late fifteenth to the early twentieth century Sandra E. Greene; 3. Early-modern European-language sources on African slavery: the historian at work Pierluigi Valsecchi; 4. African intellectual ideas in the age of legal slavery and the slave trade Sandra E. Greene and Oluwatoyin Oduntan; 5. Looking for slavery in colonial archives: French West Africa Martin A. Klein; 6. Slave voices in African colonial courts: sources and methods Kristin Mann and Richard Roberts; 7. Understanding African slavery past through spirit possession Alessandra Brivio; 8. Yesterday and today: oral representations of the past and the legacy of African slavery Alice Bellagamba.