Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History
This graphic novel was a very interesting and unique take on history and on how it’s traditionally told. The story is based on a young African slave girl, named Abina Mansah, in the nineteenth century. Most of the events that occur in the book take place in West Africa and more specifically in the Gold Coast Colony. It’s based on the real-life event of Abina’s trial against Quamina Eddo, who was a powerful and wealthy man. She believed that she was wrongfully enslaved. She wanted her voice to be heard and decided that she would take this man to court. The only problem with this was that he grew palm oil, which at the time was vital component of Britain’s growing industrial production. Therefore, bringing him to court was a big deal. They were walking a very fine line in doing so, but in the same token they had to honor the new laws that they passed abolishing slavery. None the less, William Melton, the acting judicial assessor, decided to give the girl a shot in court to prove Eddo guilty of wrongfully enslaving her. The account goes on to tell of the events that occurred in court. Abina tells her account of what had occurred and is questioned about her experience by Eddo’s attorney, her own attorney, and Melton. She states that she was left by her old master in the hands of Eddo, but that her old master was going to return for her later. While staying at Eddo’s plantation with his sister she was approached by his sister and was told that she was going to have to marry a man, Tando, against her will. She told them that she didn’t like the man and wouldn’t marry him. With this she was threatened and told that if she didn’t marry him then she would be flogged. After she was told this she ran away and knew that she wanted her story to be heard. This is why she had come to Cape Coast to be free. In the end Quamina Eddo was found innocent of enslaving Abina. She was very upset by this news and stated that all she...
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