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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Slavery and Abolition in the Gold Coast: Colonial Modes of Emancipation and African Initiatives
Author:Akurang-Parry, Kwabena O.ISNI
Periodical:Ghana Studies
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
abolition of slavery
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Abstract:In 1874, the British abolished slavery in the Gold Coast (now Ghana). The British-Indian mode of emancipation had been utilized in India more than 30 years earlier. Compensation, self-redemption and emancipation by degrees, all proposed by the British Colonial Office, and kin redemption, an African initiative, are missing from the literature. This study reevaluates the British-Indian model, investigates the other modes of emancipation, and discusses how some of them became vehicles of freedom and why others paled into insignificance. It offers an analysis of slave and pawn desertions, the envisaged advantages of the British-Indian model and the problems besetting its implementation. It notes that this mode of emancipation operated only in the vicinities of the coastal forts and castles and the Christian missionary enclaves in the interior. In addition, it reveals that self-redemption, based on land tenurial arrangements, and kin-based redemption, also occurred. These affected post-proclamation relations of production and land tenure. Furthermore, the paper expatiates on African responses and initiatives in the emancipatory process. Lastly, it shows that the failure to compensate slave holders led to various forms of protest politics, while emancipation by degrees faded into obscurity. Notes, ref.