Ouidah · The Social History of a West African Slaving Port, 1727–1892 · By Robin Law

Ouidah, an African town in the Republic of Benin, was the principal precolonial commercial center of its region and the second-most-important town of the Dahomey kingdom. It served as a major outlet for the transatlantic slave trade. Between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries, Ouidah was the most important embarkation point for slaves in the region of West Africa known to outsiders as the Slave Coast.

Cover of 'Ouidah'


Negotiating Power and Privilege · Career Igbo Women in Contemporary Nigeria · By Philomina E. Okeke-Ihejirika

Even with a university education, the Igbo women of southeastern Nigeria face obstacles that prevent them from reaching their professional and personal potentials. Negotiating Power and Privilege is a study of their life choices and the embedded patriarchy and other obstacles in postcolonial Africa barring them from fulfillment. Philomina E. Okeke recorded life-history interviews and discussions during the 1990s with educated women of differing ages and professions.

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Slavery and Reform in West Africa · Toward Emancipation in Nineteenth-Century Senegal and the Gold Coast · By Trevor R. Getz

A series of transformations, reforms, and attempted abolitions of slavery form a core narrative of nineteenth-century coastal West Africa. As the region's role in Atlantic commercial networks underwent a gradual transition from principally that of slave exporter to producer of “legitimate goods” and dependent markets, institutions of slavery became battlegrounds in which European abolitionism, pragmatic colonialism, and indigenous agency clashed.

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Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier · The Life of the Borderlands since 1914 · By Paul Nugent

The first integrated history of the Ghana-Togo borderlands, Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier challenges the conventional wisdom that the current border is an arbitrary European construct, resisted by Ewe irredentism. Paul Nugent contends that whatever the origins of partition, border peoples quickly became knowing and active participants in the shaping of this international boundary.

Cover of 'Smugglers, Secessionists, and Loyal Citizens on the Ghana-Togo Frontier'


Lineages of State Fragility · Rural Civil Society in Guinea-Bissau · By Joshua B. Forrest

Lineages of State Fragility argues that despite European influences, the contemporary fragility of African states can be fully appreciated only by examining the indigenous social context in which these states evolved. Focusing on Guinea-Bissau, Forrest exposes the emergence of a strong and adaptable “rural civil society” that can be traced back to precolonial times.

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Fighting the Slave Trade · West African Strategies · Edited by Sylviane A. Diouf

While most studies of the slave trade focus on the volume of captives and on their ethnic origins, the question of how the Africans organized their familial and communal lives to resist and assail it has not received adequate attention. But our picture of the slave trade is incomplete without an examination of the ways in which men and women responded to the threat and reality of enslavement and deportation.

Cover of 'Fighting the Slave Trade'


Broken Lives and Other Stories · By Anthonia C. Kalu · Foreword by Emmanuel N. Obiechina

In her startling collection of short stories, Broken Lives and Other Stories, Anthonia C. Kalu creates a series of memorable characters who struggle to hold displaced but dynamic communities together in a country that is at war with itself. Broken Lives and Other Stories presents a portrait of the ordinary women, children, and men whose lives have been battered by war in their homeland.

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Soldiers, Airmen, Spies, and Whisperers · The Gold Coast in World War II · By Nancy Ellen Lawler

The Gold Coast became important to the Allied war effort in WWII, necessitating the creation of elaborate propaganda and espionage networks, the activities of which ranged from rumor-mongering to smuggling and sabotage.

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Between the Sea and the Lagoon · An Eco-social History of the Anlo of Southeastern Ghana c. 1850 to Recent Times · By Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong

This study offers a “social interpretation of environmental process” for the coastal lowlands of southeastern Ghana. The Anlo-Ewe, sometimes hailed as the quintessential sea fishermen of the West African coast, are a previously non-maritime people who developed a maritime tradition. As a fishing community the Anlo have a strong attachment to their land. In the twentieth century coastal erosion has brought about a collapse of the balance between nature and culture.

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Ghanaian Popular Fiction · 'Thrilling Discoveries in Conjugal Life' and Other Tales · By Stephanie Newell

This is a study of the ‘unofficial’ side of African fiction—the largely undocumented writing, publishing, and reading of pamphlets and paperbacks—which exists outside the grid of mass production. Stephanie Newell examines the popular fiction of Ghana produced since the 1930s, analyzing the distinctive ways in which narrative forms are borrowed and regenerated by authors and readers.

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Nkrumah & the Chiefs · The Politics of Chieftaincy in Ghana, 1951–1960 · By Richard Rathbone

Kwame Nkrumah, who won independence for Ghana in 1957, was the first African statesman to achieve world recognition. Nkrumah and his movement also brought about the end of independent chieftaincy—one of the most fundamental changes in the history of Ghana. Kwame Nkrumah's Convention Peoples' Party was committed not only to the rapid termination of British colonial rule but also to the elimination of chiefly power.

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Nigerian Video Films · Edited by Jonathan Haynes

Nigerian video films—dramatic features shot on video and sold as cassettes—are being produced at the rate of nearly one a day, making them the major contemporary art form in Nigeria. The history of African film offers no precedent for such a huge, popularly based industry. The contributors to this volume, who include film and television directors, an anthropologist, and scholars of film studies and literature, take a variety of approaches to this flourishing popular art.

Cover of 'Nigerian Video Films'


Paths of Accommodation · Muslim Societies and French Colonial Authorities in Senegal and Mauritania, 1880–1920 · By David Robinson

Between 1880 and 1920, Muslim Sufi orders became pillars of the colonial regimes and economies of Senegal and Mauritania. In Paths of Accommodation, David Robinson examines the ways in which the leaders of the orders negotiated relations with the Federation of French West Africa in order to preserve autonomy within the religious, social, and economic realms while abandoning the political sphere to their non-Muslim rulers.

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Religious Pluralism and the Nigerian State · By Simeon O. Ilesanmi

In the case of Nigeria, scholarship on religious politics has not adequately taken into account the pluralistic context and the idealistic pretensions of the state that inhibit the possibility of forging an enduring civic amity among Nigeria’s diverse groups. Ilesanmi proposes a new philosophy or model of religio-political interaction, which he calls dialogic politics.

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The Krobo People of Ghana to 1892 · A Political and Social History · By Louis E. Wilson

This book presents a broad analytical framework for the history of southeastern Ghana within the context of a representative study of one of the country’s most important political and economic forces. The 150,000 Krobo are the most numerous of the Adangme-speaking peoples. They are located in the mountains just inland from the coast and are the fourth largest ethnic group in the country.

Cover of 'The Krobo People of Ghana to 1892'