Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-6c8bd87754-trcsx Total loading time: 0.252 Render date: 2022-01-16T10:36:05.836Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2014

Sean Stilwell
Affiliation:
University of Vermont
Get access

Summary

Slavery and Slaving in African History is a synthetic and interpretive history of slavery in Africa from its earliest manifestations through to the early twentieth century, when slavery in most parts of the continent had ceased to exist. It reconstructs the processes that led to the consolidation of slavery with the broader goal of understanding – as best we can – the lived experience of slaves. Throughout the book, I integrate an analysis of the personal and relational aspect of slavery (between master and slave) into a broader examination of slavery as an institution. I focus especially on the way slavery emerged and changed over time. Mythologies about Africa have often made the study of slavery difficult. In popular imagination, the African past before the twentieth century is often portrayed as fundamentally rural, isolated, unspoiled, simple, and egalitarian. Slavery was rare, while slaves were not exploited as slaves but rather became part of African families. In other cases, Africa is portrayed as little more than the home to unknowable, savage “tribes” gleefully waging war only to sacrifice or sell their victims. An important purpose of Slavery and Slaving in African History is to present Africa, Africans, and slavery in a more realistic and accurate way. Africa was historically diverse; indeed, Africans would not have thought of themselves as “African” until quite recently. Before the twentieth century, the most important local allegiances were to kinship groups, religious orders, occupational groups, villages, cities, or states (among many other possibilities). Africans created cities, armies, polities, and religions over the course of centuries. Although African economies are commonly portrayed as subsistence orientated or fundamentally concerned with the redistribution of goods and resources, over time parts of the continent were increasingly orientated toward production and market exchange. People in some regions used currencies in the form of cowrie shells, for example, while groups of merchants sought actively to profit via the exchange of goods.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Preface
  • Sean Stilwell, University of Vermont
  • Book: Slavery and Slaving in African History
  • Online publication: 05 June 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139034999.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

  • Preface
  • Sean Stilwell, University of Vermont
  • Book: Slavery and Slaving in African History
  • Online publication: 05 June 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139034999.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Sean Stilwell, University of Vermont
  • Book: Slavery and Slaving in African History
  • Online publication: 05 June 2014
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139034999.001
Available formats
×