Resource July 16, 2019

Meet the Journalist: Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

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Ajegunle City, Lagos State. Image by Shutterstock. Nigeria, 2018.
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Descendants of freed and former slaves among the Igbos of southeastern Nigeria are forbidden from...

Nkanu West, Enugu. Image by canonim [CC BY 2.0]. Nigeria, 2014.
Nkanu West, Enugu. Image by canonim [CC BY 2.0]. Nigeria, 2014.

Despite the abolition of the slave trade around the world in the 19th century, descendants of freed slaves among the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria still face significant discrimination. They are forbidden from holding traditional leadership positions and from marrying 'freeborn'. And, in recent years, their agitation for equality has led to conflict in many communities. Nwaubani's story, published by The New Yorker, highlights this little-known legacy of the transatlantic slave trade, at a time when the world's focus is shifting from historical slavery to modern-day slavery. She travels to a number of Igbo communities, reporting on the stigma faced by descendants of slaves, the activism for equality, and the prospects for full abolition in southeastern Nigeria.