Slavery And The Birth Of An African City : Lagos, 1760-1900

972 Words4 Pages
Kristin Mann’s novel titled “Slavery and the Birth of an African City: Lagos, 1760-1900” is an investigation into the history of a small but globally significant portion of the West African coast and its relationship with the economy and the culture of the Atlantic world. Mann alludes to a shift in consciousness by the dominant power of Britain to the ‘reconceptualization’ (Mann 2007, 1) of Europe’s relationship with Africa as well as the abolishment of the trading of slaves. Her central focus is on Lagos – the former capital city of Africa’s most populous nation, Nigeria – from its rise to pre-eminence as a slave port to its relationship with the political economy and culture of the Atlantic world. This book is primarily concerned with the African side of the story and does this by examining how the inhabitants of Lagos were affected by their Atlantic encounters in the eras of slavery and abolition. Mann uncovers how the world that the people of Lagos lived in changed overtime from the centre of Atlantic commerce into a British imperial capital through the following means: i) the trading of slaves, ii) the production of and trade in palm produce (2). Mann’s book also highlights the shifting balance of power between owners and slaves and the relationships between rich men, women and other dependents and how they adapt to new opportunities and constraints. Her study aims to advance the knowledge concerning several problems in African history, Atlantic history, and slave
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