African Systems of Slavery continues a discussion opened by Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff in 1977 with their seminal collection Slavery in Africa. The present volume contains new offerings by original contributors as well as valuable studies by newcomers who share the original editors’ perspectives. These include a nuanced understanding of African institutions of human subordination and a preference for definitions and terminology rooted in African culture. While some African historical situations attained a status that would justify the application of concepts imported from the world of Atlantic or Islamic slavery, many did not, and the burden of this volume is to oppose the politically popular but intellectually highly reductionist tendency to do so. African slavery, in the first instance, should be approached on its own terms.
Table of Contents:
Introduction / Stephanie Beswick and Jay Spaulding
Slavery in the Western Soudan / Martin A. Klein
Slaves without rulers : domestic slavery among the Diola of Senegambia / Robert Baum
The work of slaves in the Akan and Adangme regions of Ghana in the nineteenth century / Raymond E. Dumett
When deities marry : indigenous “slave” systems expanding and metamorphosing in the Igbo hinterland / Nwando Achebe
Death’s waiting room : Equatorial Guinea’s long history of slavery / Randall Fegley
Slaves in the politically decentralized societies of Equatorial Africa / Robert Harms
Indigenous slavery and the Atlantic trade : Kongo texts / Wyatt MacGaffey
Bound to violence : Uganda’s child soldiers as slaves / Randall Fegley
South Sudanese systems of slavery : state expansion and slave mobility among the Bari and Azande of South Sudan (c. 1700-1900) / Stephanie Beswick
“Slaves of the king?” : rhetoric and reality in the Nubian state tradition / Jay Spaulding.