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Vincent Carretta

slave narrative author, was born Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, probably between 1710 and 1714 in Bournou (Bornu), a kingdom in what is now northeastern Nigeria. He was the youngest child of the oldest daughter of the king of Bournou. All that is known about James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw is found in A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, an African Prince, as Related by Himself (1772), one of the earliest “as-told-to” slave narratives recorded by a white amanuensis. According to this account, Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, spiritually dissatisfied with the animist faith in which he was raised, alienated himself from his friends and relatives by his constant questions challenging their faith in physical objects, as well as by his growing belief in the existence of an uncreated creator. Consequently he became increasingly “dejected and melancholy.”

When an African merchant from the Gold ...


A Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw, An African Prince appeared in London in 1770, related by a former slave from America in need of financial support for his family. In the work, Gronniosaw mentions how the Puritan spiritual writers John Bunyan and Richard Baxter influenced him. Thus, he tells his life story in accordance with the spiritual autobiography's traditional pattern of sin, conversion, and subsequent rebirth.

The narrative deals with Gronniosaw s remembrance of Africa where he was kidnapped and sold into slavery Transported to Barbados he was resold to a young gentleman in New York and later to a minister who taught him about Christianity A schoolmaster generously offered instructional services to the young slave who gained freedom when his master died Gronniosaw then worked aboard various ships until he settled in England There he married white Betty and ...


James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw was born in present-day northeastern Nigeria to a daughter of the royal family of Bournou (Bornu). As a young man, he left his home and family when a traveling Gold Coast merchant lured him away with marvelous tales of coastal trade with Europeans. Upon his arrival at the Gold Coast, Gronniosaw was accused of espionage by a rival king, condemned to execution, and sold to a Dutch slave merchant.

After surviving the Middle Passage from Africa to Barbados, Gronniosaw was purchased first by a wealthy Dutch family of New York City and then, in 1730, by the Dutch Reformed minister Theodorus Frelinghuysen. Frelinghuysen, a famous proponent of religious revivalism, provided Gronniosaw with a religious education and guided his conversion to Christianity. Gronniosaw also learned to read Dutch under the tutelage of a local schoolmaster. When Frelinghuysen died in 1747 or 1748 Gronniosaw was ...


a prince known in Europe as the Catholic Bishop Dom Henriques, was the son of King Afonso I of the Kongo kingdom in West Central Africa. He is renowned as the first West-Central African to become a bishop in the Catholic Church, in 1518. He was educated in theology in at the monastery of Santo Elói in Lisbon, Portugal. As the son of the Kongolese king who had converted to Christianity, Prince Ndoadidiki was raised as a Catholic in the Kongo and epitomized the acculturation of one major West African royal family into Catholic Portuguese culture. Like a few other Christian Kongolese princes before him, Prince Ndoadidiki went to Portugal to attend school. While there, he received a knighthood and the title “Dom,” signifying a Portuguese nobleman.

Kongo was the only West Central African kingdom that Portugal converted to Christianity during their first century in that part of the ...


Lois Kerschen

perhaps the most well-known African in America in the 1820s. Ibrahima Abdul Rahaman was born in Timbo, Futa Jallon, Guinea, to King Suri of the Fulbe, or Fulani, people. As a Muslim prince, he was given a highly advanced university education in Timbuktu. However, while on a military expedition in 1788, Rahaman was captured by enemies and sold to slavers.

Rahaman was transported to Natchez Mississippi and bought by Thomas Foster Sr Ironically he was named Prince because of his noticeably regal bearing and refusal to do manual labor Beaten many times for his resistance Rahaman ran away After trying unsuccessfully to survive in the wilderness and find a way home however he returned to Foster Eventually Rahaman s knowledge of plants geography and medicine gained the attention and respect of the whites in the area Foster s modest tobacco and cotton plantation grew profitably with Prince as ...