Thursday, December 27, 2007
COASTAL FOREST KINGDOMS
COASTAL FOREST KINGDOMS During the height of the Atlantic slave trade, the vast majority of Africans procured for ultimate slavery in the western hemisphere came from one or another of the so-called coastal forest kingdoms on the western coast of Africa. Concentrated along the former Gold Coast (modern Ghana) and, in particular, the Slave Coast (modern Nigeria), the coastal forest kingdoms were relatively small in area and generally built around a single town. The most significant of these kingdoms were Benin, Akwamu, Oyo, Dahomey and Ashanti. It has been estimated that as many as 75% of all contemporary African Americans can claim the coastal forest area as their ancestral homeland.