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Abina and Important Men

Abina and Important Men - 12 edition

ISBN13: 978-0199844395

Cover of Abina and Important Men 12 (ISBN 978-0199844395)
ISBN13: 978-0199844395
ISBN10: 0199844399
Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 12
Copyright: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 2012
International: No

List price: $15.95

Abina and Important Men - 12 edition

ISBN13: 978-0199844395

Trevor R. Getz

ISBN13: 978-0199844395
ISBN10: 0199844399
Cover type: Paperback
Edition: 12
Copyright: 2012
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 2012
International: No
Summary

Abina and the Important Menis a compelling and powerfully illustrated ''graphic history'' based on an 1876 court transcript of a West African woman named Abina, who was wrongfully enslaved and took her case to court. The book is a microhistory that does much more than simply depict an event in the past; it uses the power of illustration to convey important themes in world history and to reveal the processes by which history is made.

The story of Abina Mansah--a woman ''without history'' who was wrongfully enslaved, escaped to British-controlled territory, and then took her former master to court--takes place in the complex world of the Gold Coast at the onset of late nineteenth-century colonialism. Slavery becomes a contested ground, as cultural practices collide with an emerging wage economy and British officials turn a blind eye to the presence of underpaid domestic workers in the households of African merchants. The main scenes of the story take place in the courtroom, where Abina strives to convince a series of ''important men''--a British judge, two Euro-African attorneys, a wealthy African country ''gentleman,'' and a jury of local leaders--that her rights matter. ''Am I free?'' Abina inquires. Throughout both the court case and the flashbacks that dramatically depict her life in servitude, these men strive to ''silence'' Abina and to impose their own understandings and meanings upon her. The story seems to conclude with the short-term success of the ''important men,'' as Abina loses her case. But it doesn't end there: Abina is eventually redeemed. Her testimony is uncovered in the dusty archives by Trevor Getz and, through Liz Clarke's illustrations, becomes a graphic history read by people around the world. In this way, the reader takes an active part in the story along with the illustrator, the author, and Abina herself.

Following the graphic history in Part I, Parts II-V provide detailed historical context for the story, a reading guide that re

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Table of Contents Part I: The graphic history Part II: The transcript Part III: Historical context The Gold Coast, c.1876 The British Civilizing Mission The Civilizing Mission in the Gold Coast Slavery in the Gold Coast The Atlantic Slave Trade and Abolition Abina Mansah and the Important Men Part IV: Reading guide Whose Story is This? Level One: A staircase of voices Level 2: Silences Level 3: Representation and Translation Is this a ''true'' story? Level 1: Reconstructing Abina's story Level 2: Deconstructing the courtroom transcript Level 3: Reconstructing Abina's ''truths'' or constructing our own? Is this ''authentic'' history? Level 1: Local forms of history-telling Level 2: The personal and the collective authentic Level 3: History as a forum or a temple Part IV: Abina in the classroom Abina for the world history classroom Abina for the African history/African studies classroom Abina and colonialism Abina and the history of slavery Gendering Abina's story Reading questions Introductory questions, for students at all levels Questions for students at the university or college level Additional questions for advanced undergraduate and graduate students Timeline of Events Further Resources Abina Mansah Slavery and Abolition on the Gold Coast About Colonialism and the Gold Coast General histories of Africa Imperialism and Colonialism Gender and African History Web Resources Glossary List of maps and images 1) Location of Gold Coast, 16th-18th century 2) Language distribution in Ghana today 3) Asante c. 1700 4) Asante and the Gold Coast in the 1870s, showing sites of Abina Mansah's enslavement 5) Page of transcript from Regina v. Quamina Eddoo Further readings