Thursday, March 18, 2010
Rust College professor traces roots in new book
By IRVING R. SMITH
The movement that brought millions of enslaved Africans to the New World in the 15th century is told from another perspective in a new book by a Rust College professor.
Born and raised in the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Yao Foli Modey, author and professor of history in the social science division at Rust, gives the African narrative behind the slave trade in his book titled “Tears of Mama Africa.”
There were approximately eight million fatal casualties during the middle passage to the New World, according to Modey. He accounts in his book the traumatic experience African youth captives went through and how they were forcibly taken from their families.
“Tears of Mama Africa” is a fictional book with non-fictional elements to bring the experience of the slave trade to life. One of the many things chronicled are the shipping posts from where the slaves were traded, such as the Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, West Africa. Modey said the structure of the castle makes it unique and one of the most important remnants of slave trading and shipping in Africa. The dungeons that harbored slaves yet to be shipped off to the Americas, the revolts of the many African tribes vying to free their people, and how the British fought off the revolts of the African tribes with the weaponry of cannons and guns are still evident today at the castle.
Modey said one of his inspirations to completing this book is the questions he received from students over the years.
“They want to know what really happened during the slave trade and why so many Africans ended up in the New World,” he said.
Modey said not only do young adults deserve to know, but all people need to learn about the circumstances behind the historical incident and the events that led to the slave trade. He mentioned also that the truth has never been told from the African perspective.
Editor’s Note: Contributing writer Irving Smith is a print journalism major at Rust College and staff writer for The Rustorian.
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