CODE: HIST 315
THE AKANS WERE THE MOST VISIBLE GROUP IN THE
FIGHT AGAINST COLONIAL SLAVERY IN THE AMERICAS.
HOW TRUE IS THIS STATEMENT?
The horrors of the whole institution of slavery in the world where slaves were subjected to vicious treatments by their owners still leave an irrevocable memory in the lives of especially the descendants of the enslaved victims. The slave institutions not surprisingly however suffered a lot of resistance from their enslaved victims in the form of rebellion, run aways and even suicide. As one scholar has put it, “slaves ‘naturally’ resisted their enslavement because slavery was fundamentally unnatural.”1 Forms varied, but the common denominator in all acts of resistance was an attempt to claim some measure of freedom against an institution that defined people fundamentally as property. (James Ramsay).
Among the various groups that resisted slavery in the Americas, the Akans were the most visible. This was mainly because they were indomitable in their leadership skills in war and political organization, expertise in medicinal plant use and spiritual practice, great in number and above all most of those who led various slave revolts in America were mostly of the Akan background.
The Akans were well known in their use of supernatural powers to resist slavery. In a slave revolt that took place in Jamaica, a slave by name Tacky, who was claimed to be a Koromantyn(Akan speaker) was the leader. Tacky was believed to have led this revolt with the aid of a number of “Obeah conjurers.”(Walter Rucker).Obeah was a spiritual practice linked to the Akan –speaking West Africans from the Gold Coast region. This practice was found among slaves in British, Spanish, Danish and Dutch Carribean and mainland South American colonies and served as an important impetus to slave resistance.Some of the Obeah practitioners could just rub a powder on their bodies to make them...