Slave Coast


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Slave Coast,

name given by European traders to the coast bordering the Bight of Benin on the Gulf of Guinea, W Africa. It was the principal source of slaves from W Africa from the 16th cent. to the mid-19th cent.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Slave Coast

 

part of the seacoast of the Gulf of Guinea (Bight of Benin) in Africa between the Niger and Volta rivers. The shore is low-lying and marshy, with lagoons and channels. In the mouths of the rivers and along the shores of the lagoons are mangrove thickets, and beyond them secondary savannas in the west and evergreen forests in the east. The Slave Coast acquired its name from the fact that in the 16th to 18th centuries it was one of Africa’s main areas of the slave trade.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Slave Coast

the coast of W Africa between the Volta River and Mount Cameroon, chiefly along the Bight of Benin: the main source of African slaves (16th--19th centuries)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
In this impressively researched and very readable study of the Western Slave Coast, Silke Strickrodt examines the history of the multi-ethnic communities that came into being in that area of the Atlantic coastline that lay between the more studied polities of Accra and Anlo to the west, and Ouidah to the east.
"The Slave Trade Remembered on the Former Gold and Slave Coasts".
In 1705, the RAC factor at Whydah on the Slave Coast compiled "A List of Negro Provisions Supposed to be Best to be sent [from England] for 100 negroes." (38) The factor included "Brandy 30 gallons," but added "Rumm better and cheaper." It also included 112 pounds of tobacco and four gross of pipes for the slaves to smoke it.
With accurate charts, especially of what was called the Slave Coast, primarily the coast formed on the bights of Benin and Biafra, and the coast of Angola, from which two thirds of the slaves were exported, captains in the West African Squadron now knew precisely where they were and where they should patrol.
In Ouidah, a town that had been a significant port on the Slave Coast, a university student told me that slaves were marched through a grove that induced forgetting, or that they encircled a tree of forgetfulness.
And nowhere was this more prolific than in Benin in West Africa - the so-called Slave Coast.
Another major source of slaves in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was the Lagos and Niger Delta region of modern Nigeria, known to Europeans as the 'slave coast'.
African chiefs and other elders in an area of southeastern Ghana once famously called "the Old Slave Coast" share stories that reveal that Africans were both traders and victims of the trade.
Historian Bailey focuses on an area in Ghana once called the Old Slave Coast, where she interviewed more than 40 chiefs and other elders, who shared oral histories about the slave trade, acknowledging that black Africans themselves were traders as well as victims.
Bailey, who teaches African history at Spelman College in Atlanta, is herself of Afro-Caribbean extraction and has spent several years doing research along the stretch of southern Ghana once known as the Slave Coast. According to liberal mythology, what she should have found there was a society still reeling from the trauma of the slave trade or, according to black nationalist mythology, one still seething with resentment over the hurt inflicted by the imperialist West.
The average annual income is currently just Euro 240 in the country, which was once part of the so-called Slave Coast from where millions of Africans were shipped abroad by Europeans from the 17th century onwards.