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West Africa

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The author Graham Greene journeyed to West Africa in 1935, ostensibly to write a travel book. But, claims Tim Butcher, it was a cover for a spy mission on behalf of the British anti-slavery...

Large numbers of West Africans came to Britain to study in the postwar years. Many placed their children in the care of white, working-class families. Jordanna Bailkin describes how it was not just Britain’s diplomatic relationships that were transformed at the end of empire but also social and personal ones.

Volume: 63 Issue: 8 2013

Jos Damen tells the stories of two unusual men who lived a century apart in the Dutch colony at Elmina in West Africa; a poet who became a tax inspector and a former slave who argued that slavery did not contradict ideas of Christian freedom.

Volume: 62 Issue: 8 2012

The author Graham Greene journeyed to West Africa in 1935, ostensibly to write a travel book. But, claims Tim Butcher, it was a cover for a spy mission on behalf of the British anti-slavery movement which was investigating allegations that Liberia, a state born as a refuge for freed US slaves, was guilty of enslaving its own people.

Volume: 60 Issue: 10 2010

The Democratic Republic of the Congo was founded on June 30th, 1960. Within a few days, however, there were army mutinies and disturbances around the country.

Volume: 60 Issue: 7 2010

Tony Chafer examines the paradoxes and complexities that underlie belated recognition of the contribution of African soldiers to the liberation of France in 1944.

Volume: 58 Issue: 11 2008

This West African state was a focus of the slave trade for centuries, and the first African colony to win independence, exactly fifty years ago. Graham Gendall Norton finds lots of history to explore.

Volume: 57 Issue: 3 2007

Historical travel, alone or in organized tours, is burgeoning and fun. Our new series suggests some places for the past-minded traveller to think about. Graham Gendall Norton introduces an accessible but exotic land which has long been a cultural crossroads.

Volume: 56 Issue: 4 2006

Sarah Searight highlights the problem of pillaging for those trying to piece together Mali’s rich heritage.

Volume: 55 Issue: 5 2005

The taking of Kano by the West African Frontier Force, on February 3rd 1903, signalled the end of the Muslim fundamentalist Fulani empire in northern Nigeria.

Volume: 53 Issue: 2 2003

Christine Riding looks at British reaction to the French tragedy at sea immortalised in Géricault’s masterpiece 'The Raft of the Medusa'.

Volume: 53 Issue: 2 2003

Angela V. John looks at the uncomfortably long and close links between slavery and the cocoa trade.

Volume: 52 Issue: 6 2002

The explorer of West Africa died in Cape Town on June 3rd, 1900.

Volume: 50 Issue: 6 2000

Ghana's slaving past, long regarded as too sensitive to even discuss, is now becoming a lively issue. A group of Ghanaians, led by lawyers and tribal chiefs, have convened an Africa-wide meeting to seek 'retribution and compensation for the crime of slavery’.

Volume: 49 Issue: 8 1999

Graham Norton looks at dilapidated forts and castles in West Africa

Volume: 45 Issue: 10 1995

Missing person or ritual murder? Richard Rathbone probes a cause célèbre from an age of colonial and tribal transition.

Volume: 43 Issue: 6 1993

‘England… requires markets more than colonies.’ Mary Kingsley’s espousal of the African cause was founded on the empathy between second-class citizens in a white, male-dominated society, as Deborah Birkett reveals.

Volume: 37 Issue: 5 1987

John D. Hargreaves looks at the 1884 meeting of European nations and the impact on Africa.

Volume: 34 Issue: 11 1984

There is evidence, argues Adrian Tronson, to suggest that the thirteenth-century Mali empire, and its ruler Sundiata, were strongly influenced by the life of Alexander the Great, 356-323 BC, an influence that was to be capitalised on in the late 1950s.

Volume: 32 Issue: 1 1982

J.D. Hargreaves introduces a prophet of nationalism in the coastal countries of West Africa.

Volume: 19 Issue: 8 1969

Robert Weisbord describes a lesser known eighteenth-century insurrection upon an English slave-ship.

Volume: 19 Issue: 8 1969

On November 17th, 1874, when Henry Morton Stanley marched away from Bagamoyo on what was to be his greatest exploring achievement, he was retracing his own steps of 1871 along the well-worn caravan route used by Burton and Speke in 1857; by Speke and Grant in 1860, and, writes C.E. Hamshere, many Arab traders before them.

Volume: 18 Issue: 10 1968

The Nok people of Nigeria were smelters of iron but also agriculturalists. C. Elliott desribes how the culture they founded may have a deep effect upon the ancient history of Africa.

Volume: 17 Issue: 5 1967

Michael Langley writes how, as early as 1620, an English traveller wrote an enthusiastic report on the wealth of the Gambia and its commercial possibilities.

Volume: 15 Issue: 6 1965

The Republic of Guinea has been the scene over the centuries of several attempts at state-building. Basil Davidson records how the memory of past achievements strongly influences West Africa today.

Volume: 9 Issue: 6 1959

The traditions of organized statehood in the countries of French West Africa stretch back for some fifteen centuries. During the past sixty years, writes Basil Davidson, French influence has greatly strengthened the feeling of federal community that inspires many of the newly evolving republics of the Western Sudan and the Guinea coast.

Volume: 9 Issue: 2 1959

The myth of the “Dark Continent” has recently been exploded by archaeologists. A rich indigenous culture was established long before the coming of the white man. The memorials that it left behind are here described and appraised by Robert A. Kennedy.

Volume: 8 Issue: 9 1958

Raymond Tong describes how Britain's connections with West Africa began four centuries ago, when Wyndham sailed to Benin in search of gold and pepper.

Volume: 7 Issue: 4 1957

J.H. Plumb documents the repeated attempts by British explorers and abolitionists to open West Africa for the Empire.

Volume: 2 Issue: 4 1952

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