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The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
preview of book The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade
text of book The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
Publication Date: 2011
Category: General
Grades: Recommended
Number of Pages: 250
Appropriate for: Upper-division undergraduates and above
Choice rating: 
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Scholar eBook Scholar eBook ISBN: 9781580467391  
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About this title

The history of Ghana attracts popular interest out of proportion to its small size and marginal importance to the global economy. Ghana is the land of Kwame Nkrumah and the Pan-Africanist movement of the 1960s; it has been a temporary home to famous African Americans like W. E. B. DuBois and Maya Angelou; and its Asante Kingdom and signature kente cloth-global symbols of African culture and pride-are well known. Ghana also attracts a continuous flow of international tourists because of two historical sites that are among the most notorious monuments of the transatlantic slave trade: Cape Coast and Elmina Castles. These looming structures are a vivid reminder of the horrific trade that gave birth to the black population of the Americas.

The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade explores the fascinating history of the transatlantic slave trade on Ghana's coast between 1700 and 1807. Here author Rebecca Shumway brings to life the survival experiences of southern Ghanaians as they became both victims of continuous violence and successful brokers of enslaved human beings. The era of the slave trade gave birth to a new culture in this part of West Africa, just as it was giving birth to new cultures across the Americas. The Fante and the Transatlantic Slave Trade pushes Asante scholarship to the forefront of African diaspora and Atlantic World studies by showing the integral role of Fante middlemen and transatlantic trade in the development of the Asante economy prior to 1807.

About author
Rebecca Shumway

Rebecca Shumway is assistant professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh.


Shumway, Rebecca. The Fante and the transatlantic slave trade. Rochester, 2011. 232p bibl index afp (Rochester studies in African history and the diaspora, 52); ISBN 9781580463911. Reviewed in 2012apr CHOICE.

Shumway (Univ. of Pittsburgh) revises understanding of the 18th-century Gold Coast by using Fante coastal development to challenge the traditional Asante-centric perspective. The author focuses her work upon two main areas, the development of the decentralized Fante political system and the evolution of a cohesive Fante culture that counteracted the independence that existed within the confederation. The work explores the development of the Borbor Fante within the context of the transition from the gold to the slave trade and examines the development of what Shumway calls the "Coastal Coalition" of the Borbor Fante as they gained political and economic power in response to the development of both the Atlantic slave trade and the Asante. Beyond the coalition's development, which depended upon coastal big men who saw cooperation as a way to maintain and increase their position, Shumway explores the development of Fante culture. This involved the evolution of the Fante shrine of Nananom Mpow and the development of the local asafo military organizations. In this latter section, in which the evidence is sparse, the author seems to push the importance and cohesiveness of these unifying elements.

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- T. M. Reese, Univ. of North Dakota

Copyright 2013 American Library Association


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