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date: 20 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Slave trading is a salient theme in African history and in the continent’s global connections between the eleventh and nineteenth centuries. This chapter focuses on the economic dimensions of African slave trades, summarizes the state of research on the size and demography of slaving, and explores the commodity trades of which slaving was a part. It argues that whereas the slave trades have typically been studied ocean-by-ocean with Africa as a point of departure, recentring the history of slaving onto the African continent allows for a global perspective in which all of Africa’s slave trades can be taken into account simultaneously and in dynamic interaction. Shifting focus onto Africa allows for a number of themes common to different slave trades to emerge, including the key role of textiles in all of them.

Keywords: Africa, slavery, slave trade, Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Sahara Desert, commerce, textiles.

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