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Abolitionists Abroad


Dr. Lamin Sanneh: Abolitionists Abroad Fieldstead and Company, Irvine, CA, March 11, 2018

On Sunday, March 11, 2018 Fieldstead and Company welcomed Yale University professor and author Dr. Lamin Sanneh for an informative lecture on a lesser known facet of history – the story of nearly 1,200 freed American slaves who, on the eve of the nineteenth century, crossed the Atlantic from Nova Scotia and established themselves in Freetown, West Africa (in what is now Sierra Leone). Their community was dedicated to anti-slavery and opposed to the African chieftain hierarchy that was tied to slavery. Drawing from his book Abolitionists Abroad, Dr. Sanneh conveyed who these people were and what compelled them to undertake the perilous journey they did:  the quest for dignity, freedom, and self-determination; as well as those who worked indefatigably toward the eradication of the wretched institution that was the international slave-trade.

Born in the Gambia and descended from an ancient African royal family, Lamin Sanneh is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was educated on four continents. He earned degrees in history and Islamic studies from the University of Birmingham (England) and the University of London and has taught in several universities, including the University of Ghana, Legon, the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, and at Harvard, before coming to Yale in 1989 as the D. Willis James Professor of World Christianity and of History. He is a life member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University, and an Honorary Research Professor at the School of Oriental & African Studies at the University of London. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Edinburgh and Liverpool Hope University. He has served several times as chair of Yale’s Council on African Studies.

Dr. Sanneh is an editor-at-large of the ecumenical weekly The Christian Century and a contributing editor of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research, and he serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals and encyclopedias. He has served as consultant to the Pew Charitable Trusts; was an official consultant at the 1998 Lambeth Conference in London; and was founding member of the Council of 100 Leaders of the World Economic Forum. In 2004-05 he was the recipient of the John W. Kluge Chair in the Countries and Cultures of the South at the Library of Congress. For his academic work, Sanneh was made Commandeur de l’Ordre National du Lion, Senegal’s highest national honor. Sanneh is a fellow of Trumbull College at Yale. He was appointed by John Paul II to serve on the Pontifical Commission of the Historical Sciences at the Vatican and by Pope Benedict XVI to the Pontifical Commission on Religious Relations with Muslims. He is the author of over two hundred articles in scholarly journals and of more than a dozen books on Islam and Christianity. He is editor of the multi-volume Oxford Studies in World Christianity series. In 2011 he received the Marianist Award for his teaching and scholarship from the University of Dayton.


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