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Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies----Sylviane Anna Diouf (2881 hits)

Between the early 1500s and the late 1860s, an estimated 12.5 million African men, women, and children were forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean.

If the idea that they all walked quietly into servitude has lost ground in some intellectual circles, it is still going strong in popular culture; as are the supposed passivity/​complicity of the rest of their compatriots, and their lack of remorse for having allowed or participated in this massive deportation.

In recent years, a few works have investigated the feeling of guilt apparent in some tales and practices linked to the Atlantic slave trade, but the Africans’ actions during these times, except in their dimension of collaboration, have hardly been explored.

This collection of essays seeks to offer a more balanced perspective.
Posted By: powell robert
Saturday, May 3rd 2014 at 9:06AM
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In twelve chapters and an epilogue, Diouf has collected a far wider and sometimes more incisive set of analyses of West Africans' resistance to the depredations of the Atlantic slave trade than published previously... In developing this collection, Diouf has recreated the discourse on the strategies of West Africans ... in a new more nuanced and expansive shape.
Trevor Getz
International Journal of African Historical Studies

As Diouf points out in her introduction, the present-day feeling that Africans were somehow specially guilty for selling one another is an anachronism that would have been incomprehensible to contemporaries. And she reminds us that today Europeans, Asians, and Americans are busy selling their fellow-continental women and children for prostitution and manual labour by the million. 'Fighting the Slave Trade' seems a never-ending battle. But we can still be grateful for these stimulating, revisionist papers which provide such a comprehensive view of how it was once fought in West Africa.
Christopher Fyfe
Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Edinburgh University Press

Studies on slave resistance in the Americas are full of heroic activities which involved armed revolts, flight, suicide, and other forms of protest were involved. These contrast sharply with Africa where similar studies have been largely concerned with slave flights (fugitive slaves). The divergence of attention has even led many to presume that Africa was a "reservoir" where slaves were harvested like pomegranates. With the publication of Fighting the Slave Trade, readers are presented with a wide range of evidence to show how Africans fought against slavery as well as the slave trade.
Olatunji Ojo
Canadian Journal of History

One of the main merits of the book is that it bases its arguments on the detailed historical analysis of the social and political relations that underpinned different West African strategies.This approach is to be lauded for two main reasons. First, because it replaces unfounded stereotypes with an attempt to clarify the historical and sociological roots of different patterns of behaviour vis a vis the trade. Secondly, because it raises a genuinely humanistic concern about the ethical viability of explanatory models that focus narrowly on economic and business aspects, rather than on the social dynamics of the slave trade.
Benedetta Rossi
Progress in Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies

Saturday, May 3rd 2014 at 9:10AM
powell robert
Saturday, May 3rd 2014 at 9:49PM

Please RESPECT Sylviane Anna Diouf----in your comments

Thank you, mrs/ms/mr/ROBINSON IRMA for your this comment?

Saturday, May 3rd 2014 at 9:49PM
ROBINSON IRMA | delete | block member

again this Blog is -----------Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies by Sylviane Anna Diouf

Please Respect this African Award Winning Female Author!

you may comment Respectfully to Mrs. Sylviane Anna Diouf and her Historical, Scholastic and Scientific proof of American History NEVER told before
----- a History we as Americans have been IGNORANT and a story if Understood would take America OUT of the racistIgnorance American unEDUCATED form in 2014

as for your juvenile disrespect to me, a Muslim

Any Servant of Allaah Accepts the Judaic Monotheistic belief of the Creator of Adaam(as) and All Words Recorded from the Creator of Adaam(as)

your jewBOY comment to me seems to fit Donald Sterling or the RacistlyIgnorant nation of Israel..not I

Sunday, May 4th 2014 at 9:14PM
powell robert

The author of the award-winning Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas, Sylviane A. Diouf also initiated and co-organized the conference “Fighting Back: African Strategies against the Slave Trade” held at Rutgers University. She is a researcher at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library.

Fighting the Slave Trade is the first book to explore in a systematic manner the strategies Africans used to protect and defend themselves and their communities from the onslaught of the Atlantic slave trade and how they assaulted it.

It challenges widely held myths of African passivity and general complicity in the trade and shows that resistance to enslavement and to involvement in the slave trade was much more pervasive than has been acknowledged by the orthodox interpretation of historical literature.

Focused on West Africa, the essays collected here examine in detail the defensive, protective, and offensive strategies of individuals, families, communities, and states.

In chapters discussing the manipulation of the environment, resettlement, the redemption of captives, the transformation of social relations, political centralization, marronage, violent assaults on ships and entrepôts, shipboard revolts, and controlled participation in the slave trade as a way to procure the means to attack it.

Fighting the Slave Trade presents a much more complete picture of the West African slave trade than has previously been available.

Monday, May 5th 2014 at 8:11AM
powell robert
Very enlightening Robert.. I for one do not believe that African natives.. somehow joined in some tangent of selling there kinsman into the form of slavery Witch Europeans practiced in the world. Yes servant s were maintained in Africa as a formal contract to serve as a means of trading of goods. After trading on the borders of Africa .. European s found a way to invade Africa by trading of goods. Africans were transported to other countries... Brazil... Haiti... England... It was the American Europeans whom took slavery to a level of domination and destruction. And contrary to popular belief... Africans were warriors.. they fought hard to resist and fight against their invaders.

The same with the natives.... However when the Europeans invaded the new world they brought along with them the most powerful weapon that the natives could not fight off And that was diseases.

Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 2:45PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis

As the Great African Asian Author Sylviane Anna Diouf; points out in her book ---- NO Believer of Monotheism in Africa Asian Understood what slaverAmericana 1492-1864 WAS.

And yes there were witchDoctors of paganThought in Africa Asia 1492-1864 --- THEY may have done ANYTHING

But what we in America had NEVER been told until the likes of Mrs.Dioup is that Believers of the Creator of Adaam(as) ONCE they got an idea of slaverAmericana---FOUGHT IT............DIED to stop it........

Great African Asian Men and Women--- may Allaah reward the doers of good......

Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 6:45PM
powell robert
I agree... But here's my question... Why do you say African and Asia... Is it because of Africa and Egypt locations?
Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 7:12PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis

Egyptians-Misrian, Sudan, Ethiopian-Habashaya, Arab, Yemeni, Somali, Kenyan, Senegali, Ghanan, Moroccon, Tunisian, South African, Tanzanian, Chadian, Nigerin, Nigerian, Camoornia are the SAME people.

iIf the French as colonial Masters with the British NOT make the Suez Canal in 1869 ---

THE LAND HAD been CONNECTED for 100,000+ Years----Mankinds Migration Path to the rest of the Planet

Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 7:28PM
powell robert

Africa Asia are ONE people

----- One shared evolution of Mankinds' Monotheistic Pure, BETTER aspects

----- One Family of the Creator of Adaam(as)

----- Stop Racistly Ignorant divisionist euroPagan colonizedENSLAVED Minds

The days of euroVERSIONS of African Asian History, Scholarship, Science Must be Over....

Friday, November 24th 2017 at 9:31AM
robert powell

Fighting the Slave Trade: West African Strategies----Sylviane Anna Diouf



The Greatest African Asian Historian ever?

.....mrs. Sylviane Anna Diouf


Great Question.....Dr. Artis


".....Why do you say African and Asia... Is it because of Africa and Egypt locations?...."

Tuesday, August 12th 2014 at 7:12PM
Cynthia Merrill Artis



-- the Kingdom of Morocco TO Egyptians/Sudanese, Niger/Nigeria TO the Republic of South Africa

TO the Republic of India, TO Afghanistan, TO the People's Republic of China....TO Samoa have been

to euroCENTRIC Christianity for 1000+ years the SAME people.


--- if the French as colonial Masters with the British NOT made the Suez Canal in 1869 ---

ALL this SAME People WOULD be of the SAME LandMASS

SAME LandMASS that had been CONNECTED for 100,000+ Years

----Mankinds Migration Path ... the Family of Adaam's(as) path to the rest of the Planet

hence.....Africa Asia

Saturday, January 20th 2018 at 12:23PM
robert powell

No month for the African American Family is complete without this master of Writing.....

Sylviane A. Diouf is an award-winning historian of the African Diaspora.

She is the author of Slavery’s Exiles: The Story of the American Maroons (NYU Press, 2014);

and Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas( NYU Press, 1998).

The fifteenth anniversary edition of Servants of Allah—named Outstanding Academic Book in 1999

—was released in 2013.


Dreams of Africa in Alabama

The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America

Sylviane A. Diouf

Thursday, February 8th 2018 at 7:08PM
robert powell
Thanks for this latest reference.
Thursday, February 8th 2018 at 11:39PM
Steve Williams

Constructed in 1855 by the Mobile, Alabama captain and shipbuilder William Foster, the Clotilda was originally intended for the "Texas trade."

It was eighty-six feet in length, twenty-three feet in breadth, possessed two masts and one deck, weighed 120 81/91 tons, and though not originally intended for the slave trade, the ship was capable of carrying an estimated 190 people. Foster sold the Clotilda to the prominent Mobile businessman Timothy Meaher for $35,000 in 1860 after being approached by Meaher about commanding an illegal slaving voyage to Ouidah, a port town in Dahomey (today Benin).

In the spring of 1860, the Clotilda was loaded with 125 barrels of water, 25 casks of rice, 30 casks of beef, 40 pounds of pork, 3 barrels of sugar, 25 barrels of flour, 4 barrels of bread, 4 barrels of molasses, 80 casks of rum, 25 casks of "dry goods and sundries," and $9,000 in gold (today $185,000) intended for the purchase of 125 Africans; these provisions were hidden by stacks of lumber that would later be used to build the planks and platforms for the captives' "beds."

The ship set sail on the night of March 3, 1860 under the pretense of bringing a cargo of lumber to the Danish Virgin Islands.

Sylviane Diouf, "Dreams of Africa in Alabama: The Slave Ship Clotilda and the Story of the Last Africans Brought to America" (Oxford University Press).

As Diouf told the Press-Register at the time of her book's publication:

"We have the story of the slave trade seen from every group of people involved.

To my knowledge it's never been possible."

Thursday, February 22nd 2018 at 8:01AM
robert powell
I just ordered this book. I’m looking forward to it.
Thursday, February 22nd 2018 at 4:54PM
Steve Williams

In 1791 as Macron's France made the washingtonSlaver-rapist a citizen of the Imperial Colonial French


.....The African Asia Monotheistic Empires in West-North Africa were the ONLY world Powers

attempting to STOP slaverRape, torture, murder and colonial theft, rape, torture and murder...

AND establish True Human Freedom.............

Saturday, March 28th 2020 at 3:11PM
robert powell

Again many at BIA, have used 2020 Videos to explain the History of African Asian Monotheism

....And even the 1600---kingJames era of slaverAMericana....with 2020 videos....that's NONSENSE

To Understand History....an Educated person must research as Mrs. Sylviane Anna Diouf has and does

....she of course is Senegalese; as her Mother Tongue and her French is the language of many Atlantic

Coast Africans.....and the Master slaverFrance......

Let BIA, give their African American Families and Children intelligent history, truthful History

...Not some FAR OUT...NEVER HEARD of before deaCON Job...

Monday, March 30th 2020 at 9:38AM
robert powell
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