In today's podcast we talked to Dr. Sandra Greene
about her book Slave Owners of West Africa. Decision Making in the Age of Abolition
published in 2017 by Indiana University Press. In this book Dr. Greene presents us with the biographies of three individuals who lived in the southeastern corner of what is today the Republic of Ghana between the mid-nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth century. These men became wealthy and prominent in their own communities largely through their trading activities. They had multiple wives and dependents many of whom were slaves. By documenting the lives of these three men---Amegashie Afeku of Keta, Nyaho Tamakloe of Anlo, and Noah Yawo of Ho Kpenoe---Dr. Greene examines the different ways in which they confronted the processes of European colonization and the abolition of slavery. As slaveholders, all three had much to lose from these transitions and yet, they all adopted different positions and strategies. What personal, political and economic factors informed these decisions are the central questions examined in Greene's book.
Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia is Associate Professor of History at Montclair State University. She specializes in modern intellectual history of Africa, historiography, World history and Philosophy of History. She is the co-author of
African Histories: New Sources and New Techniques for Studying African Pasts (Pearson, 2011).