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18 - Writing about the Slave Trade

Early-Twentieth-Century Colonial Textbooks and Their Authors

from Part Three - Documenting Our Own Histories and Cultural Practices

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2013

Alice Bellagamba
Affiliation:
University of Milan-Bicocca
Sandra E. Greene
Affiliation:
Cornell University, New York
Martin A. Klein
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
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Summary

Analyses of textbooks that were written during the early part of the twentieth century for use in the colonies can, in fact, reveal a great deal about the ways in which both European officials and African educators sought to use history in the context of colonialism. The slave trade is a particularly interesting topic for review. While early textbooks in the Gold Coast generally treated the slave trade only briefly and did not provide any remarkable details about it, E. J. P. Brown's book Gold Coast and Asianti Reader was an important exception. The overall goal of Brown's text was certainly in line with a nationalist agenda, particularly in its focus on African agency. After announcing his intent to focus on the slave trade in the subtitle, he went on to explain that Birempon Kwadwo was a prominent member of the elite coastal African trading community during the slave trade.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2013

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