Response Paper 2
The Cause of Abina’s Silence
In recently learning about pre-colonial West Africa, slavery was not brought to the region by Europeans. Slavery in West Africa had been thriving, as different empires raided neighboring cities for territorial gain. There was however, a European influence that changed the structural ideas of slavery and the demand. In reading Abina and the Important Men there is an element of surprise in that a girl from the Asante tribe was able to have her day in court. The knowledge of the culture sadly foreshadows the deciding verdict of her trial. It is because of Abina’s age, and a gender that the courts did not rule in her favor. The other deciding factors are the different interpretation of slavery unknowing of customs and the influence of importance. By whose definition is free after the Europeans ban slavery in 1834? During the time of the Gold Coast slave trade, there was a high demand for male slaves to endure the harsh labor in the Americas and Brazil. The slavery amongst different empires was the enslavement of women and children. The Europeans eliminated slavery, but did a poor job enforcing it. This was partly because they wanted peace for trading gold, palm oil, and other commodities. This idea of freedom only applied to males that own land and have money.1 The switch dynamic of slavery caused more enslaved children. Children were used to help with carrying things, domestic work, and fishing boats. Abina was not only a child but a female as well. In the years she lived she experienced harsh work, flogging and logging.2 The male workers get to choose their wives whereas females like Abina did not. She was told that she would have to marry a man by the name Tando.3 She refused and only had two options. She could run away, or get beaten and forced in to marriage. The true definition of slavery is never defined just as one idea without applying who, what, when, and where....
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