This area of research is designed to collect and analyze documentation, particularly in Arabic, on the trans-Sharan slave trade and the place of enslaved Africans in the Islamic world, including the Sahara, North Africa and the Middle East
While the principle focus of the UNESCO "Slave Route Project" has been on the trans-Atlantic movement of enslaved Africans, the "Nigerian" hinterland filled the diaspora of Africans in the Islamic world as well, hence our focus requires that we also examine the movement of enslaved Africans into and across the Sahara Desert from the Central Sudan. By extension, the route also involved movement within sub-Saharan Africa as well. Besides Arabic materials, Turkish archival sources will be examined. The deportation of enslaved Muslims to the Americas will also be considered.
In its preliminary stages, Professor John Hunwick (Northwestern University, USA) and Professor Paul Lovejoy (York University, CAN) have collected documents on slavery in the Islamic lands. Graduate students at York University are currently working on three projects: one on black communities in Algeria in the nineteenth century; a second on a similar topic in Tunisia; and a third on 19th-century documents on the slave trade from Timbuktu through Ghadames to Tripoli.
History, York University, Toronto, Canada
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