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

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.


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

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. ― Choic

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.October 2011 ― African Studies Review


Greene’s analysis is as valuable as the documents themselves.


Greene’s analysis is as valuable as the documents themselves. — Martin Klein ― University of Toronto

About the Author

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

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Indiana University Press; 1st edition (February 16, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 280 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 025322294X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0253222947
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches

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