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1st Edition

The African Link The African Link: British Attitudes in the Era of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1550–1807

By Anthony J. Barker Copyright 1978
    ISBN 9781032316703
    278 Pages
    Published September 21, 2022 by Routledge

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    The African Link, first published in 1978, breaks new ground in the studies of pre-19th century racial prejudice by emphasizing the importance of the West African end of the slave trade. For the British, the important African link was the commercial one which brought slave traders into contact with the peoples of West Africa. Far from remaining covert, their experiences were reflected in a vast array of scholarly, educational, popular and polemical writing. The picture of Black Africa that emerges from these writings is scarcely favourable – yet through the hostility of traders and moralising editors appear glimpses of respect and admiration for African humanity, skills and artefacts. The crudest generalisations about Black Africa are revealed as the inventions of credulous medieval geographers and of the late 18th century pro-slavery lobby. The author combines the more matter-of-fact reports of the intervening centuries with analysis of 17th and 18th century social and scientific theories to fill a considerable gap in the history of racial attitudes.

    Part 1. Public Awareness of the Negro in the Era of the Slave Trade  1. The Historical Background  2. The Makers of the Negro Image  Part 2. Attitudes Before 1780: Sub-Humanity and Inhumanity  3. Edward Long and the Theory of Negro Inferiority  4. The Burden of Slavery  Part 3. Attitudes Before 1780: African Savagery in Theory and Practice  5. Intellectual Perspectives  6. The Cultural Inferiority of West Africa  7. The Sinister Side of West African Life  8. Anarchy and Despotism  Part 4. Racial Attitudes in an Era of Controversy: 1780–1807  9. The Chains of Slavery and the Chain of Being  10. Old and New Images of Africa


    Anthony J. Barker

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