Homegoing Historical Context

The 19th Century

1807 US outlaws importation of slaves (though this did little to mitigate slave trading).
1822-1831 Anglo-Asante War, the first of a series of five wars with the British during the 19th century.
1850 Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act.
1861-1865 — US Civil War.
1870 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments are passed.

The 20th Century

1901 — The British claim victory in the last Anglo-Asante war and declare the Gold Coast a British colony.
1949 — Kwame Nkrumah forms the Convention People’s Party, laying the groundwork for independence.
1957 The Gold Coast colony gains formal independence as Ghana, with Nkrumah as prime minister.
1964-1968 Height of the Civil Rights Movement. Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, Malcolm X assassinated in 1965, and Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated in 1968.
1990s Cape Coast Castle is restored and opened as a museum. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site.


Cultural Context


Transatlantic Slave Trade

The Transatlantic Slave Trade was a global slave trade that transported approximately 17 million enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americans from the 16th – 19th centuries. It was also often known as the triangular trade because it connected the economies of three countries. The trade occurred in three steps: the first being that ships left Europe with goods for slaves when the ships arrived to Africa. Once the exchange was made, the ships would make the treacherous trip across the Atlantic to the Americas. The final step included the slave traders transporting goods produced by the slaves back to Europe. These products included mostly agricultural products such as sugar, cotton, and coffee.


The African Diaspora

The book depicts the exodus of Africans, taken by force by slavers and shipped overseas. Likewise, it depicts the lives of those left behind in Africa. Both sides struggle to escape prejudice, violence, hatred and also have and internal struggle in defining who they are, and what is right and wrong.In the end both families are reunited, symbolizing the power of the transnational community formed by the African Diaspora.




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Emily Selekman ’18 & Emily Davis ’19

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