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Book Launch: JOSÉ LINGNA NAFAFÉ, Lourenço da Silva Mendonça and the Black Atlantic Abolitionist Movement in the 17th Century. Cambridge University Press, 2022. 

Author: José Lingna Nafafé, University of Bristol
Respondents: Professor Toby Green (KCL), and Professor Olivette Otele (SOAS). 

This groundbreaking study tells the story of the highly organised, international legal court case for the abolition of slavery spearheaded by Prince Lourenço da Silva Mendonça in the seventeenth century. The case, presented before the Vatican, called for the freedom of all enslaved people and other oppressed groups. This included New Christians (Jews converted to Christianity) and Indigenous Americans in the Atlantic World, and Black Christians from confraternities in Angola, Brazil, Portugal and Spain. Abolition debate is generally believed to have been dominated by white Europeans in the eighteenth century. By centring African agency, José Lingna Nafafé offers a new perspective on the abolition movement, showing, for the first time, how the legal debate was begun not by Europeans, but by Africans. In the first book of its kind, Lingna Nafafé underscores the exceptionally complex nature of the African liberation struggle, and demystifies the common knowledge and accepted wisdom surrounding African slavery. 

Publisher’s website: 

Print copies will be available to purchase at the seminar.

This event is organized by IHR European History 1500-1800, in conjunction with Medicine and the Making of Race, 1440-1720 (KCL).

Please note that registration for this seminar will close 24 hours in advance. Details about how to join the seminar will be circulated via email to registered attendees 24 hours in advance.

All welcome: This event is free, but booking is required.