Britain: A Slave Plantation
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Britain: A Slave Plantation

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In 1562, Britain became involved in the transatlantic slave trade, and by the 1730s, it was the largest slave-trading nation in the world. It was very profitable to travel the triangle route, which connected Europe to Africa, the Americas, and back to Europe. With Glasgow and Lancaster providing support, ships from Liverpool, London, and Bristol dominated the slave routes, with London serving as the system’s financial hub. During the first leg, goods from ships departing from Britain were traded for Africans in slavery along the coast of West Africa. After that, these individuals were shipped across the Atlantic to be bought as slaves and forced to labour on plantations.

I came to the United Kingdom to trace the journey of my ancestor, Obua Ajukwu—whose relics lie in the British Museum—through the universities of Oxford and Cambridge as a researcher and an Academic Visitor. I also came to honour James Currey, who championed the African Writers Series, where my maternal aunt, Flora Nwapa, was published. Her novel, Efuru, became the first book by a woman to be published under the Heinemann African Writers Series.

When I moved to Oxford, my aunt wrote to me: “Thank God you are in England as the ball is now in your court to go to the colonial archives to research relevant correspondence and materials what became of Obua Ajukwu (aka Ndanike Orisha or Origbudu)! Writing to you from the archives in Barbados, where I researched burial and other records. You hypothesized Obua ended up here with Jaja. It turns out Jaja was first taken to Ghana, where he stood trial, and then came to Barbados via Grenada and St Vincent with one servant. Obua Ajukwu was not a businessman. He was Ndanike (War Minister). Your best bet is to scour through colonial records, and it may well be providential that you are in England.”

The British people are used to enslaving people, but a descendant of Obua Ajukwu, arrived Oxford with his shoulders held high. I paid both universities thousands of pounds for what they call bench fees to hold these positions. Therefore, prying eyes couldn’t get off this rich young African. They decided to malign me in Cherwell News, which is partly one of the things you will read here,

They tried to scandalize me, door-step me and accuse me wrongly, thinking I was a slave in a Slaveplantation.

In 1562, Britain became involved in the transatlantic slave trade, and by the 1730s, it was the largest slave-trading nation in the world. It was very profitable to travel the triangle route, which connected Europe to Africa, the Americas, and back to Europe. With Glasgow and Lancaster providing support, ships from Liverpool, London, and Bristol dominated the slave routes, with London serving as the system’s financial hub. During the first leg, goods from ships departing from Britain were traded for Africans in slavery along the coast of West Africa. After that, these individuals were shipped across the Atlantic to be bought as slaves and forced to labour on plantations.

I came to the United Kingdom to trace the journey of my ancestor, Obua Ajukwu—whose relics lie in the British Museum—through the universities of Oxford and Cambridge as a researcher and an Academic Visitor. I also came to honour James Currey, who championed the African Writers Series, where my maternal aunt, Flora Nwapa, was published. Her novel, Efuru, became the first book by a woman to be published under the Heinemann African Writers Series.

When I moved to Oxford, my aunt wrote to me: “Thank God you are in England as the ball is now in your court to go to the colonial archives to research relevant correspondence and materials what became of Obua Ajukwu (aka Ndanike Orisha or Origbudu)! Writing to you from the archives in Barbados, where I researched burial and other records. You hypothesized Obua ended up here with Jaja. It turns out Jaja was first taken to Ghana, where he stood trial, and then came to Barbados via Grenada and St Vincent with one servant. Obua Ajukwu was not a businessman. He was Ndanike (War Minister). Your best bet is to scour through colonial records, and it may well be providential that you are in England.”

The British people are used to enslaving people, but a descendant of Obua Ajukwu, arrived Oxford with his shoulders held high. I paid both universities thousands of pounds for what they call bench fees to hold these positions. Therefore, prying eyes couldn’t get off this rich young African. They decided to malign me in Cherwell News, which is partly one of the things you will read here,

They tried to scandalize me, door-step me and accuse me wrongly, thinking I was a slave in a Slaveplantation.