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an Egyptian Sudanese conscript battalion with the French Army in Mexico, 1863-1867, and its survivors in subsequent African history
For several years, the armies of Napoleon III deployed some 450 Muslim Sudanese slave soldiers in Veracruz, the port of Mexico City. As in the other case of Western hemisphere military slavery (the West India Regiments, a British unit in existence 1795-1815), the Sudanese were imported from Africa in the hopes that they would better survive the tropical diseases that so terribly afflicted European soldiers. In both cases, the Africans did indeed fulfill these expectations. The mixture of cultures embodied by this event has piqued the interest of several historians, so it is by no means unknown. Hill and Hogg provide a particularly thorough, if unimaginative, account of this exotic interlude, explaining its background, looking in detail at the battle record in Mexico, and figuring out who exactly made up the battalion. Much in their account is odd and interesting, for example, the Sudanese superiority to Austrian troops and their festive nine-day spree in Paris on the emperor's tab. The authors also assess the episode's longer-term impact on the Sudan, showing that the veterans of Mexico, having learnt much from their extended exposure to French military practices, rose quickly in the ranks, then taught these methods to others.
One Conversation at a Time
Once a thriving, multiracial community, the Sophiatown suburb of Johannesburg was home to many famous artists, musicians, and poets. It was also a place where residential apartheid was first put into practice with forced removals, buildings bulldozed, and the construction of new, cheap housing for white public employees. David Thelen and Karie L. Morgan facilitate conversations among today’s Sophiatown residents about how they share spaces, experiences, and values to raise and educate their children, earn a living, overcome crime, and shape their community for the good of all. As residents reflect on the past and the challenges they face in the future, they begin to work together to create a rich, diverse, safe, and welcoming post-Mandela South Africa.
Namibian Nationalists Clemens Kapuuo, Hosea Kutako, Brendan Simbwaye, Samuel Witbooi
Windhoek in the early 1960s: the 34-year-old politician Clemens Kapuuo knocks at the door of the senior advocate Israel Goldblatt to solicit advice regarding the myriad of difficulties encountered by Africans daily under the apartheid regime. An unusual relationship and friendship develops, one that transcends the racial divide in this South African-governed Territory and will last for nearly 10 years. Meeting in Goldblatt's chambers, at his home and in the Old Location, other participants in the consultations included the veteran politician Chief Hosea Kutako and a group of younger nationalists, among them Rev. Bartholomews Karuaera and Levy Nganjone. Through Kapuuo, Goldblatt also met Kaptein Samuel Witbooi and counselled the long-term prisoner from Caprivi, Brendan Simbwaye. Israel Goldblatt's notes on these meetings were discovered after his death and form the core of this book. They are complemented by additional biographical information about his interlocutors, and annotations that place his notes in their historical and political context. Illustrated with many photographs, this publication pays tribute to Israel Goldblatt and the Namibian nationalists who attempted to build bridges where apartheid entrenched racism and suspicion.
Political Evolution and State Formation in Pre-Colonial Zambia
Bulozi under the Luyana Kings is a study of the Lozi Kingdom in Western Zambia in the pre-colonial period. The study traces the origins of the Luyana and the Lozi people; the founding of the Luyana Central Kingship and the invasion by the Makololo in the mid-nineteenth century; and ends with the study of the Lozi response to European intrusion at the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Bulozi under the Luyana Kings was first published in 1973 by Longman, London. After wide consultations at home and abroad, the book is now republished in its original form.
History, Politics, and Land Ownership in Northern Ghana
In his new book, the eminent anthropologist Wyatt MacGaffey provides an ethnographically enriched history of Dagbon from the fifteenth century to the present, setting that history in the context of the regional resources and political culture of northern Ghana. Chiefs, Priests, and Praise-Singers shows how the history commonly assumed by scholars has been shaped by the prejudices of colonial anthropology, the needs of British indirect rule, and local political agency. The book demonstrates, too, how political agency has shaped the kinship system. MacGaffey traces the evolution of chieftaincy as the sources of power changed and as land ceased to be simply the living space of the dependents of a chief and became a commodity and a resource for development. The internal violence in Dagbon that has been a topic of national and international concern since 2002 is shown to be a product of the interwoven values of tradition, modern Ghanaian politics, modern education, and economic opportunism.
Cocoa, Slavery, and Colonial Africa
Challenges for the New South Africa
When the past is painful, as riddled with violence and injustice as it is in postapartheid South Africa, remembrance presents a problem at once practical and ethical: how much of the past to preserve and recollect and how much to erase and forget if the new nation is to ever unify and move forward? The new South Africa’s confrontation of this dilemma is Martin J. Murray’s subject in Commemorating and Forgetting. More broadly, this book explores how collective memory works—how framing events, persons, and places worthy of recognition and honor entails a selective appropriation of the past, not a mastery of history.
How is the historical past made to appear in the present? In addressing these questions, Murray reveals how collective memory is stored and disseminated in architecture, statuary, monuments and memorials, literature, and art—“landscapes of remembrance” that selectively recall and even fabricate history in the service of nation-building. He examines such vehicles of memory in postapartheid South Africa and parses the stories they tell—stories by turn sanitized, distorted, embellished, and compressed. In this analysis, Commemorating and Forgetting marks a critical move toward recognizing how the legacies and impositions of white minority rule, far from being truly past, remain embedded in, intertwined with, and imprinted on the new nation’s here and now.
Cahora Bassa and Its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965 - 2007