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Africa Reimagined is a passionately argued appeal for a rediscovery of our African identity. Going beyond the problems of a single country, Hlumelo Biko calls for a reorientation of values, on a continental scale, to suit the needs and priorities of Africans. Building on the premise that slavery, colonialism, imperialism and apartheid fundamentally unbalanced the values and indeed the very self-concept of Africans, he offers realistic steps to return to a more balanced Afro-centric identity.
Historically, African values were shaped by a sense of abundance, in material and mental terms, and by strong ties of community. The intrusion of religious, economic and legal systems imposed by conquerors, traders and missionaries upset this balance, and the African identity was subsumed by the values of the newcomers. Biko shows how a reimagining of Africa can restore the sense of abundance and possibility, and what a rebirth of the continent on Pan-African lines might look like. This is not about the churn of the news cycle or party politics – although he identifies the political party as one of the most pernicious legacies of colonialism. Instead, drawing on latest research, he offers a practical, pragmatic vision anchored in the here and now.
By looking beyond identities and values imposed from outside, and transcending the divisions and frontiers imposed under colonialism, it should be possible for Africans to develop fully their skills, values and ingenuity, to build institutions that reflect African values, and to create wealth for the benefit of the continent as a whole.
In Critique Of Black Reason, eminent critic Achille Mbembe offers a capacious genealogy of the category of Blackness - from the Atlantic slave trade to the present - to critically reevaluate history, racism, and the future of humanity. Mbembe teases out the intellectual consequences of the reality that Europe is no longer the world's center of gravity while mapping the relations between colonialism, slavery, and contemporary financial and extractive capital.
Tracing the conjunction of Blackness with the biological fiction of race, he theorizes Black reason as the collection of discourses and practices that equated Blackness with the nonhuman in order to uphold forms of oppression. Mbembe powerfully argues that this equation of Blackness with the nonhuman will serve as the template for all new forms of exclusion.
With Critique Of Black Reason, Mbembe offers nothing less than a map of the world as it has been constituted through colonialism and racial thinking while providing the first glimpses of a more just future.
In this magnificent work of narrative history Lawrence James investigates how, within the space of a hundred years, Europe coerced Africa into becoming subordinate to an emerging modern world. Laced with the experiences of participants and onlookers, Empires in the Sun introduces the men and women – the high-minded, philanthropic, unscrupulous and insane – who stamped their wills indelibly upon the continent.
Between 1830 and 1945, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Italy and the United States exported their languages, laws, cultures, religions, scientific knowledge and economic systems to Africa. Justifying occupation as emancipation from slavery and savagery, they imposed administrations they argued would bring stability and peace to a continent they regarded as a lacuna of civilisation.
But by 1945 a transformed Africa was preparing to take charge of its own affairs, beginning a process of decolonisation that would take mere twenty or so years. In the wake of the damage wrought by its colonial powers, Africa’s new masters were left to choose a path of peace and order, or to answer force with force.
Empires in the Sun is a compelling account of a vast system of exploitation that radically changed the course of world history. Within this story of the capture and recapture of Africa, James also pauses to ask: what did not happen and why?
As negentienjarige ryloper in Spanje beland Frank Westerman toevallig in die dorpie Banyoles, waar ’n opgestopte “Kalahari-Boesman”, slegs bekend as El Negro, uitgestal word. Sy indrukke bly hom by – en wanneer hy dekades later weer van El Negro lees, die keer in ’n Franse koerant, is dit die begin van ’n ondersoeksreis wat belangrike vrae oor rasopvattings en die Westerse beskawing na vore bring. Wie was hierdie naamlose man? Wat se sy opgestopte “museumteenwoordigheid” oor Europese denke oor slawerny, rassisme en kolonialisme – en bied hy slegs ’n spieel op ’n vergange tyd, of ook op die hede?
This comprehensive overview traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after-effects.
Though peace was achieved in 1992 through international mediation, Mozambique's remarkable recovery has shown signs of stalling. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the north, centre and south, inherited from the compartmentalised approach of concession companies. Following the nationalist guerrillas' victory against the Portuguese in 1975, these regional divisions resurfaced in a civil war pitting the south against the north and centre, over attempts at far-reaching socioeconomic change. The settlement of the early 1990s is now under threat from a revived insurgency, and the ghosts of the past remain.
This book seeks to distill this complex history, and to understand why, twenty-five years after the Peace Accord, Mozambicans still remain among the poorest people in the world.
In this timely and very readable new work, Walvin focuses not on abolitionism or the brutality and suffering of slavery, but on resistance, the resistance of the enslaved themselves - from sabotage and absconding to full-blown uprisings - and its impact in overthrowing slavery. He also looks that whole Atlantic world, including the Spanish Empire and Brazil. In doing so, he casts new light on one of the major shifts in Western history in the past five centuries. In the three centuries following Columbus's landfall in the Americas, slavery became a critical institution across swathes of both North and South America. It saw twelve million Africans forced onto slave ships, and had seismic consequences for Africa. It led to the transformation of the Americas and to the material enrichment of the Western world. It was also largely unquestioned. Yet within a mere seventy-five years during the nineteenth century slavery had vanished from the Americas: it declined, collapsed and was destroyed by a complexity of forces that, to this day, remains disputed, but there is no doubting that it was in large part defeated by those it had enslaved. Slavery itself came in many shapes and sizes. It is perhaps best remembered on the plantations - though even those can deceive. Slavery varied enormously from one crop to another- sugar, tobacco, rice, coffee, cotton. And there was in addition myriad tasks for the enslaved to do, from shipboard and dockside labour, to cattlemen on the frontier, through to domestic labour and child-care duties. Slavery was, then, both ubiquitous and varied. But if all these millions of diverse, enslaved people had one thing in common it was a universal detestation of their bondage. They wanted an end to it: they wanted to be like the free people around them. Most of these enslaved peoples did not live to see freedom. But an old freed man or woman in, say Cuba or Brazil in the 1880s, had lived through its destruction clean across the Americas. The collapse of slavery and the triumph of black freedom constitutes an extraordinary historical upheaval - and this book explains how that happened.
On the 27th August, 1963, the day before Martin Luther King electrified the world from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the immortal words, "I Have a Dream", the life of another giant of the Civil Rights movement quietly drew to a close in Accra, Ghana: W.E.B. Du Bois. In this new biography, Bill V. Mullen interprets the seismic political developments of the Twentieth Century through Du Bois's revolutionary life. Du Bois was born in Massachusetts in 1868, just three years after formal emancipation of America's slaves. In his extraordinarily long and active political life, he would emerge as the first black man to earn a PhD from Harvard; surpass Booker T. Washington as the leading advocate for African American rights; co-found the NAACP, and involve himself in anti imperialist and anti-colonial struggles across Asia and Africa. Beyond his Civil Rights work, Mullen also examines Du Bois's attitudes towards socialism, the USSR, China's Communist Revolution, and the intersectional relationship between capitalism, poverty and racism. An accessible introduction to a towering figure of American Civil Rights, perfect for anyone wanting to engage with Du Bois's life and work.
Celebrated Africanist David Birmingham draws on decades of extensive scholarly research, and the ‘accidental adventures’ that make up his life as an historian, to offer this comprehensive account of Angola’s modern history.
Beginning in 1820, Birmingham details the Portuguese attempt to create a third, African, empire in Angola after the virtual loss of Asia and America. He charts the great flows of migrant people to and from the country that underpinned these colonial efforts and the burgeoning slave trade that went hand in hand with it. The book is a journey through the 20th century in Angola – the playing out of its politics, trade and labour practices against the backdrop of white settlement, and the eventual fall of Portuguese colonialism and Angola’s struggle for national identity. It concludes with an examination of the civil war that ravaged the country in the 70s and 80s, which ended in 2002, but from whose legacy the Angolan people are still trying to rebuild today.
Beyond A Short History of Modern Angola’s concise and comprehensive historical narrative, Birmingham illustrates the fascinating link between the British Cadbury chocolate company and Angola, as well as the origins of the term ‘Lusophone’.
When slavery was a routine part of life in America's South, a secret network of activists and escape routes enabled slaves to make their way to freedom in what is now Canada. The 'underground railroad' has become part of folklore, but one part of the story is only now coming to light. In New York, a city whose banks, business and politics were deeply enmeshed in the slave economy, three men played a remarkable part, at huge personal risk. In Gateway to Freedom, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner tells the story of Sydney Howard Gay, an abolitionist newspaper editor; Louis Napoleon, furniture polisher; and Charles B. Ray, a black minister. Between 1830 and 1860, with the secret help of black dockworkers, the network led by these three men helped no fewer than 3,000 fugitives to liberty. The previously unexamined records compiled by Gay offer a portrait of fugitive slaves who passed through New York City - where they originated, how they escaped, who helped them in both North and South, and how they were forwarded to freedom in Canada.
In 1791, inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution, the slaves of San Domingo rose in revolt. Despite invasion by a series of British, Spanish and Napoleonic armies, their twelve-year struggle led to the creation of Haiti, the first independent black republic outside Africa. Only three years later, the British and Americans ended the Atlantic slave trade.In this outstanding example of vivid, committed and empathetic historical analysis, C.L.R. James brilliantly illuminates these epoch-making events. He explores the appalling economic realities of the Caribbean economy, the roots of the world’s only successful slave revolt and the utterly extraordinary former slave – Toussaint L’Ouverture – who led them. Explicitly written as part of the fight to end colonialism in Africa, The Black Jacobins puts the slaves themselves centre stage, boldly forging their own destiny against nearly impossible odds. It remains one of the essential texts for understanding the Caribbean – and the region’s inextricable links with Europe, Africa and the Americas.
The Game Ranger, The Knife, The Lion And The Sheep offers spell-binding stories of some amazing, little known characters from South Africa, past and very past. Let us introduce you to some of the characters you’ll meet inside.
Starting with Krotoa, the Khoi maiden who is found working in the Van Riebeeck household as both servant and interpreter. In time she becomes the concubine of Danish surgeon Pieter Merhoff and later his wife. But did she jump (allured by the European glitz and good food) or was she pushed (abducted or sold to the Van Riebeeck’s by her uncle Atshumatso, otherwise Herry)? Was she raped or a willing sexual parter of Meerhoff? Women, like fresh meat and vegetables, were in short supply in those early colonial years in the Cape.
Then there is Mevrou Maria Mouton who preferred to socialise with the slaves than her husband on their farm in the Swartland, and with whom she conspired to murder him. What became of them is … best those gory details are glossed over for now.
And the giant Trekboer Coenraad de Buys, rebel, renegade, a man with a price on his head who married many women (none of them white) and fathered a small nation. The explorer Lichtenstein called him a modern-day Hercules. Then there are the men of learning and insight, such as Raymond Dart and Adrian Boshier, who opened up the world of myths and ancient artefacts so we now better understand the ancients and the world they created for us to inherit. Or James Kitching who broke open rocks in the Karoo to reveal creatures that inhabited this region long before even Africa was born.
And so, without further ado, we give you our selection of stories about remarkable characters from the veld. These stories will excite, entertain and enthral you! You will finish reading them wishing you had more!
A NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and TIME TOP 10 BOOK OF THE YEAR The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, often to large crowds, using his own story to condemn slavery. He broke with Garrison to become a political abolitionist, a Republican, and eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Douglass became the most famed and widely travelled orator in the nation. He denounced the premature end of Reconstruction and the emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. He sometimes argued politically with younger African Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historian have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass's two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight's Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.
UCT Press is delighted to announce its latest title, Children of Hope: The Odyssey of the Oromo Slaves from Ethiopia to South Africa. In this book, historian Sandra Rowoldt Shell traces the lives of 64 Oromo children who were enslaved in Abyssinia (old Ethiopia) in the late nineteenth century. They were crammed into dhows bound for Arabia, liberated by the British navy and ultimately sent for their safety to Lovedale Institution, a Free Church of Scotland mission in the Eastern Cape, which became famous as an educational institution for black teachers. Because Scottish missionaries in Yemen interviewed each of the Oromo children shortly after their liberation, using a questionnaire, we have 64 structured life histories told by the children themselves. This is a unique group biography, or prosopography.
The contribution of slavery to the economic and social development of South Africa is an important part of our heritage, particularly in the Cape. In this informative and accessible account, Alan Mountain describes the history and experiences of slaves ? and slave owners. He recounts many and varied aspects of cultural, social and economic life at the time.
Part I covers the period from 1654 to emancipation in 1834, during which time many slaves were brought from Indonesia, India and parts of Africa. In the process Islam was introduced to our shores. With the demise of slavery, an epoch in South Africa?s past came to an end.
Part II tackles the legacy of slavery and the significant contribution it made to the development of the country.
The third part of the book is a user?friendly guide to the many sites that are linked to slavery in the Western Cape. Many of them have been declared heritage sites. Full?colour photographs, maps and location details are included, making An Unsung Heritage the ideal reference for locals and visitors alike.
Alan Mountain is the author of a number of books including First People of the Cape. He is also a skilled photographer.
This volume offers the first, in depth comparison of the Holocaust and new world slavery. Providing a reliable view of the relevant issues, and based on a broad and comprehensive set of data and evidence, Steven Katz analyses the fundamental differences between the two systems and re-evaluates our understanding of the Nazi agenda. Among the subjects he examines are: the use of black slaves as workers compared to the Nazi use of Jewish labor; the causes of slave demographic decline and growth in different New World locations; the main features of Jewish life during the Holocaust relative to slave life with regard to such topics as diet, physical punishment, medical care, and the role of religion; the treatment of slave women and children as compared to the treatment of Jewish women and children in the Holocaust. Katz shows that slave women were valued as workers, as reproducers of future slaves, and as sexual objects, and that slave children were valued as commodities. For these reasons, neither slave women nor children were intentionally murdered. By comparison, Jewish slave women and children were viewed as the ultimate racial enemy and therefore had to be exterminated. These and other findings conclusively demonstrate the uniqueness of the Holocaust compared with other historical instances of slavery.
William Hague has written the life of William Wilberforce who was both a staunch conservative and a tireless campaigner against the slave trade. Hague shows how Wilberforce, after his agonising conversion to evangelical Christianity, was able to lead a powerful tide of opinion, as MP for Hull, against the slave trade, a process which was to take up to half a century to be fully realised. Indeed, he succeeded in rallying to his cause the support in the Commons Debates of some the finest orators in Parliament, having become one of the most respected speakers of those times. Hague examines twenty three crucial years in British political life during which Wilberforce met characters as varied as Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, Tsar Alexander of Russia, and the one year old future Queen Victoria who used to play at his feet. He was friend and confidant of Pitt, Spencer Perceval and George Canning. He saw these figures raised up or destroyed in twenty three years of war and revolution. Hague presents us with a man who teemed with contradictions: he took up a long list of humanitarian causes, yet on his home turf would show himself to be a firm supporter of the instincts, interests and conservatism of the Yorkshire freeholders who sent him to Parliament. William Hague's masterful study of this remarkable and pivotal figure in British politics brings to life the great triumphs and shattering disappointments he experienced in his campaign against the slave trade, and shows how immense economic, social and political forces came to join together under the tireless persistence of this unique man.
A thought-provoking and important book that raises essential issues crucial not only for our past but also the present day. In this panoramic history, Jeremy Black tells how slavery was first developed in the ancient world, and reaches all the way to present day and the contemporary crimes of trafficking and bonded labour. He shows how slavery has taken many forms throughout history and across the world - from the uprising of Spartacus, the plantations of the Indies, and the murderous forced labour of the gulags and concentration camps. Slavery helped consolidated transoceanic empires and helped mould new world societies such as America and Brazil. In the Atlantic trade, Black also looks at the controversial area of how complicit the African peoples were in the trade. He then charts the long fight for abolition in the 19th century, including both the campaigners as well as the lost voices of the slaves themselves who spoke of their misery. Finally, as Black points out, slavery has not been completely abolished today and coerced labour can be found closer to home than is comfortable.
Jeffrey R. Kerr-Ritchie's Freedom's Seekers offers a bold and innovative intervention into the study of emancipation as a transnational phe-nomenon and serves as an important contribution to our understanding of the remaking of the nineteenth-century Atlantic Americas.
Drawing on decades of research into slave and emancipation societies, Kerr-Ritchie is attentive to those who sought but were not granted freedom, and those who resisted enslavement individually as well as collectively on behalf of their communities. He explores the many roles that fugitive slaves, slave soldiers, and slave rebels played in their own societies. He likewise explicates the lives of individual freedmen, freedwomen, and freed children to show how the first free-born generation helped to shape the terms and conditions of the post-slavery world.
Freedom's Seekers is a signal contribution to African Diaspora studies, especially in its rigorous respect for the agency of those who sought and then fought for their freedom, and its consistent attention to the transnational dimensions of emancipation.
'Astonishing, staggering ... a book that shakes the received perception of history' Ben Okri, Daily Telegraph A groundbreaking new history that will transform our view of West Africa By the time of the 'Scramble for Africa' in the late nineteenth century, Africa had already been globally connected for many centuries. Its gold had fuelled the economies of Europe and Islamic world since around 1000, and its sophisticated kingdoms had traded with Europeans along the coasts from Senegal down to Angola since the fifteenth century. Until at least 1650, this was a trade of equals, using a variety of currencies - most importantly shells: the cowrie shells imported from the Maldives, and the nzimbu shells imported from Brazil. Toby Green's groundbreaking new book transforms our view of West and West-Central Africa. It reconstructs the world of kingdoms whose existence (like those of Europe) revolved around warfare, taxation, trade, diplomacy, complex religious beliefs, royal display and extravagance, and the production of art. Over time, the relationship between Africa and Europe revolved ever more around the trade in slaves, damaging Africa's relative political and economic power as the terms of monetary exchange shifted drastically in Europe's favour. In spite of these growing capital imbalances, longstanding contacts ensured remarkable connections between the Age of Revolution in Europe and America and the birth of a revolutionary nineteenth century in Africa. A Fistful of Shells draws not just on written histories, but on archival research in nine countries, on art, praise-singers, oral history, archaeology, letters, and the author's personal experience to create a new perspective on the history of one of the world's most important regions.
Skillfully weaving an African worldview into the conventional historiography of British abolitionism, Claudius K. Fergus presents new insights into one of the most intriguing and momentous episodes of Atlantic history. In Revolutionary Emancipation, Fergus argues that the 1760 rebellion in Jamaica, Tacky s War the largest and most destructive rebellion of enslaved peoples in the Americas prior to the Haitian Revolution provided the rationale for abolition and reform of the colonial system. Fergus shows that following Tacky s War, British colonies in the West Indies sought political preservation under state-regulated amelioration of slavery. He further contends that abolitionists successes from partial to general prohibition of the slave trade hinged more on the economic benefits of creolizing slave labor and the costs of preserving the colonies from destructive emancipation rebellions than on a conviction of justice and humanity for Africans. In the end, Fergus maintains, slaves commitment to revolutionary emancipation kept colonial focus on reforming the slave system. His study carefully dissects new evidence and reinterprets previously held beliefs, offering historians the most compelling arguments for African agency in abolitionism.
Abducted from Africa, sold in America. "A deeply affecting record of an extraordinary life"- Daily Telegraph A major literary event: a newly published work from the author of the American classic Their Eyes Were Watching God, with a foreword from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. This account illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of one of the last-known survivors of the Atlantic slave trade. In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, just outside Mobile, to interview eighty-six-year-old Cudjo Lewis, who was abducted from Africa on the last "Black Cargo" ship to arrive in the United States. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation's history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo's firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States. In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo's past-memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilda, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War. Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo's unique vernacular, and written from Hurston's perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon masterfully illustrates the tragedy of slavery and of one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.
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