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Cosmopolitan Africa, 1700-1875
Cosmopolitan Africa, 1700-1875, offers an alternative interpretation of the 175 years leading up to the formal colonization of Africa by Europeans. In this brief and affordable text, author and series editor Trevor R. Getz demonstrates how African...
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Kenneth R. Curtis, California State University, Long Beach
Abina and the Important Men makes a signal contribution to the teaching and learning of history by engaging students at multiple levels. The use of graphic representations and a compelling character-driven narrative succeeds in immersing students in a foreign time and place, and in doing so restores voice to a woman whose story would otherwise have been lost to history.
Chris Padgett, American River College Abina and the Important Men stands alone. It is neither a textbook nor a primary source reader, because unlike those types, it offers a discrete, contained, contextualized, and concentrated discussion/analysis of a single primary source, a remarkable document that serves naturally as a bridge to an equally remarkable discussion for students of what it means to "do" history, and to think and write historically. Thus, by so creatively contextualizing a historical
corner of Africa, it is both a fantastic introduction to African history and an illuminating introduction to the cognitive challenges and benefits of historical thinking. Whereas standard textbooks are typically information driven and beholden to content coverage requirements - and, therefore, rather like
the Platte River, a mile wide and an inch deep - Abina offers the great luxury of narrating and investigating a dramatic moment in time.
Charles V. Reed, Elizabeth City State College Abina and the Important Men is, without question, the best and most accessible introduction to historical thinking that I have encountered. Students are engrossed by the story and the illustrations; it excites them in ways that no other text has. It obviously tells an important story about slavery and colonialism in nineteenth-century Africa, of great use to any course that touches on these subjects. But, it's greatest contribution to the classroom is conveying to
students, through Trevor Getz's encounter with Abina, what historians do and why our work is important. Reading this text makes students understand that history is more than a set of facts and dates; removing this mental barrier opens up new possibilities for engaging them in the excitement and value
of studying the past.
Sarah Zimmerman, Western Washington University
The quality of the illustrations in this text makes the life history of Abina Mansah more accessible to undergraduates with little experience in African history or the history of slaves. Additionally, by providing the court transcript in the book, this text enables professors to address the difficulties of methodologies and recreating historical contexts with piecemeal empirical evidence.
Randy Sparks, Tulane University
Abina's heroic efforts to gain her freedom and her moving trial provide a strong narrative that engages students in the young woman's struggle against the rich and powerful men who seek to control her. Getz's is a talented historian who does a wonderful job contextualizi...
Trevor R. Getz is Professor of History at San Francisco State University. Liz Clarke is a professional illustrator based in Cape Town, South Africa.
CONTENTS ; Maps and Figures xiii ; Letter to the Reader xv ; Acknowledgments xvii ; A Note on Ghanaian Ideograms xix ; PART I ; THE GRAPHIC HISTORY 1 ; Chapter 1: Abina Awakes 3 ; Chapter 2: The Breaking of the Beads 15 ; Chapter 3: The Truth 25 ; Chapter 4: Life at Quamina Eddoo's House 39 ; Chapter 5: He Did Nothing Good for Me 53 ; Chapter 6: Abina Silenced, Abina Redeemed 65 ; PART II ; THE TRANSCRIPT 81 ; The Testimony of Abina Mansah ? ; The Testimony of Eccoah Coom ? ; The Testimony of Adjuah N'Yamiweh ? ; The Testimony of Yowahwah ? ; PART III ; HISTORICAL CONTEXT 95 ; The Gold Coast, ca. 1876 99 ; The British Civilizing Mission 104 ; The Civilizing Mission in the Gold Coast 105 ; Slavery in the Gold Coast 106 ; The Atlantic Slave Trade and Abolition 107 ; Abina Mansah and the Important Men 109 ; PART IV ; READING GUIDE 113 ; Whose Story Is This? 116 ; Is This a "True" Story? 122 ; Is This "Authentic" History? 130 ; PART V ; ENGAGING ABINA 139 ; Gendering Abina 141 ; Was Abina a slave? 144 ; Sandra Greene, "Who was Abina Mansah?" 145 ; Kwasi Konadu, "Was Abina Mansah a 'Slave'?" 146 ; Antoinette Burton, "Sex and Slavery in the 1876 Case of Abina Mansah" 147 ; Reading Questions 149 ; Introductory Questions, for Students at All Levels 149 ; Questions for Students at the University or College Level 150 ; Additional Questions for Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate Students 152 ; Timeline 155 ; Further Resources 159 ; Abina Mansah 159 ; Slavery and Abolition on the Gold Coast 160 ; About Colonialism and the Gold Coast 161 ; General Histories of Africa 162 ; Imperialism and Colonialism 162 ; Gender and African History 163 ; Web Resources 164 ; Preliminary Sketches 165 ; Glossary 175