Published Date

May 1, 2004

This resource was developed in 2004 as part of “Biafra, Nigeria, the West and the World” by David Trask. 

The deeper background to the issue of post-colonial Africa (of which Biafra is a part) is the role of slavery in altering African practices by the arrival of early Europeans who saw slavery as a profitable activity and who established connections with pre-existing African trade networks that included a slave trade. This unit does not deal extensively with the issues related to the role of the African slave trade, the rationales employed by Europeans to undertake commerce in people, or the varying estimates of how this trade affected African culture. Instead, this page simply links to some sites that do address some of these issues:

Olaudah Equiano
Olaudah Equiano was an Ibo from what is now Nigeria.  He was captured and enslaved in the last half of the 1700s, was later freed and became an effective speaker for the abolition of slavery.  Although this excerpt deals with his childhood memories, an internet search using his name will turn up more biographical information and the full text of his book.

The Slave Trade
West Africa Review is an online journal whose inaugural issue deals extensively with the issue of the impact of the slave trade on Africa and Africans.