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- DescriptionWinner of the James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association, and widely acclaimed by educators and students, Abina and the Important Men, 2e is 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 ecomy 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 reconstructs and deconstructs the methods used to interpret the story, and strategies for using Abina in various classroom settings. This edition adds crucial value to Abina's story and the reader's experience. These include: - new, additional testimony uncovered in the National Archives of Ghana - a gender-rich section in Part V that explores the Abina's life and narrative as a woman, focusing on such important themes as the relationship between slavery and gender in pre-colonial Akan society, the role of marriage in Abina's experience and motives, colonial paternalism, and the meaning of cloth and beads in her story. - a forum on the question of whether Abina was a slave with contributions by three senior scholars working from different perspectives: Sandra Greene, Antoinette Burton, and Kwasi Konadu .
- Author BiographyTrevor R. Getz is Professor of African and World History at San Francisco State University and the award-winning author or co-author of nine books and numerous articles. These include Empires and Colonies: A Global History (Oxford 2015), Slavery and Reform in West Africa (Ohio 2004), and African Histories: New Sources and New Techniques for Studying African Pasts (Pearson 2010). A recognized master-teacher, he holds the James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association for the first edition of Abina and the Important Men (Oxford 2012). He is currently working on a primer for constructing African history courses and an edited volume on the history and legacy of slavery in Ghana. Liz Clarke is an illustrator based in Cape Town, South Africa. Her artwork has appeared in magazines, games and books, including Mendoza the Jew by Ronald Schechter (Oxford University Press 2014) and Inhuman Traffick by Rafe Blaufarb (Oxford University Press 2015).
- Author(s)Liz Clarke,Trevor R. Getz
- PublisherOxford University Press Inc
- Date of Publication04/06/2015
- SubjectHistory: Specific Subjects
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintOxford University Press Inc
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight686 g
- Width182 mm
- Height255 mm
- Spine18 mm
- Edition Statement2nd Revised edition
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