THE SLAVE TRADE IN LITERATURE
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Balewa, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa, Shaihu Umar
Balewa, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa, Shaihu Umar,
A Novel About Slavery In Africa, Markus Wiener, 1989. (Set in the
trans-Sahara slave trade, first published in Hausa in 1955)
The first prime minister of Nigeria, Abubakr Tafawa Balewa, was in fact the son of a slave. (John Edward Philips email@example.com)
Behn, Aphra, Oroonoko (and other writings) OUP Worlds Classics
Oroonoko was first published in 1688. Behn
(born 1640?) went to Surinam as a young woman, around 1663, returning to
London probably in 1664.
xvi Paul Salzman in the Introduction, quoting Elaine Hobby: Aphra Behn's stories map out a world of female possibilities and limits: a bleak world, since the options open to her heroines are shown to be few indeed. It is resCued from despair only by the sparkling courage and daring of her women protagonists, who with great determination negotiate their way through a universe where men have all the power.
3 'Tis a short chronicle of those lives that possibly would be forgotten by other historians, or lie neglected there, however deserving an immortal fame . . .
9 Coromantien, a country of blacks so called, was one the those places in which they found the most advantageous trading for these slaves, and thither most of our great raiders in that mechandize trafficked . . .
10 The king of Coromantien was himself a man of a hundred and odd years old, and had no son, though had many beautiful black wives; for most certainly there are beauties that can charm of that colour.
37 'Tis worth my suffering to gain so true a knowledge both of you and of your gods by whom you swear.
39 I ought to tell you that the Christians never buy any slaves but they give 'em some name of their own, their native ones being likely very barbarous and hard to pronounce.
(See also Janet Todd's biography, The Secret Life of Aphra Behn, Pandora, 2000)
Brathwaite, Edward, Rights of Passage, OUP, 1967
See especially New World A-Coming
Brathwaite, Edward, Masks, OUP, 1968
See especially Korabra
Burdett, William The life and exploits of Mansony commonly called Three Fingered Jack 1800 fiction
Capp, Mary Elizabeth The African Princess or the Slave's Tale fiction
Chatwin, Bruce, The Viceroy of Ouidah Picador
Chatwin's writing is much admired. I think this is a terrible book.
"David Nathanson" 12-DEC-1998 15:58:45.29 in a posting
Lucille Clifton also has a tremendous poem on the topic which I believe is currently available on the "Language of Life" video produced by Moyers and PBS and can also be found in the book, _Every Shut Eye Ain't Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945_ (Little, Brown, and Company, 1994). The text of the poem can be found here:
Courlander, Harold , The African, Henry Holt, Owl paperback, 1993
First published in 1967. The Atlantic slave trade from an
African point of view.
D'Aguiar, Fred, The Longest Memory
Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, the history of, 1719.
de Saint-Lambert, Zimao the African tr. Rev. Weeden Butler London 1800 105 pp
Slave revolt, fiction
Emecheta, Buchi, The Slave Girl, Heinemann, 1977
Set in and about Onitsha, Nigeria, 1900
Gleason, Judith Illsley, Agotime, her legend. Grossman, NY 1970.
A wonderful, mystical book about a Dahomean queen sent to slavery in Brazil. But more about Vodu religion than about the slave trade. Unfortunately out of print. MH
Hugo, Victor The Slave King (novel) 1791
Jacobs, Rayda, The Slave Book, A Novel, Kwela Books, 1998
Set in and about Cape Town, South Africa, 1838.
Lee, Mrs. R (widow of T. E. Bowdich) The Boroom Slave in Stories of Strange Lands, London 1835
history of the Booroom Slave is taken from the narrative of a girl who
came from that country, and waited upon me: from her lips were many of
the details noted, and to them nothing has been added but what is in
strict consonance with the scenes spoken of, and of their inhabitants.
125 (note 11) These accounts come from those who have marched in the slave kaffle, and even fall short of reality: my little Adua, from Booroom, was not quite so badly treated, for she was soon sold to the Ashantee King, from whom I received her. She told me, that having met some of her countrymen on her way, she had sent a message to her mother to beg her to forward a ransom; but, added the child, "she no care for me, for she never buy me again."
More, Hannah, The sorrows of Yamba or the negros woman's
Poem about African woman taken as a slave to West Indies
Reiss, Maria F. dos, Ursula, novel, Brazil 1859
Skertchly, J A, Sport in Ashanti or Melinda the Caboceer A Tale of the Gold Coast in the days of King Koffee Kalcalli (1867-74) Frederick Warner & Co. London
Unsworth, Barry, Sacred Hunger, Penguin, 1992.
Booker Prize Winner, 1992; set on a slave
ship and in Florida in the mid 18c.; seen primarily from a European
point of view.
By all means don't overlook the brilliant Booker-Prize-winning novel by Barry Unsworth, SACRED HUNGER. I very much doubt whether a more vivid and accurate description of the Middle Passage has ever been written. I found it far more effective than Spielberg's film.
David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor, Yale University
The best novel I have read on the slave trade is Barry Unsworth, _Sacred Hunger_, largely because it has vivid and accurate descriptions of the world of the traders in England, of the West African coast and the boat -- and it ends with a colony of shipwrecked sailors and slaves that poses philosophical questions. The other book I like is Equiano's memoirs.
Martin Klein, University of Toronto firstname.lastname@example.org
Diedrich, Maria (Editor) Black Imagination and the Middle Passage (W.E.B. Du Bois Institute)
The African Diaspora and its Origins, Research in African Literatures, Vol 29, No. 4, Winter 1998, U of Indiana Press.