New in paperback
The African American Odyssey
of John Kizell
A South Carolina Slave Returns to Fight the
Slave Trade in His African Homeland
Kevin G. Lowther
“One of Lowther’s biggest contributions is his discussion of African complicity in the
trans-Atlantic slave trade. In learning about the life of Kizell, readers will find their understanding of the past broadened, deepened and challenged.”—Charleston (S.C.) Post
and Courier
The inspirational story of John Kizell celebrates the life of a West African enslaved as a
boy and brought to South Carolina on the eve of the American Revolution. Fleeing his
owner, Kizell served with the British military in the Revolutionary War, began a family in
the Nova Scotian wilderness, and then returned to his African homeland to help found
a settlement for freed slaves in Sierra Leone. He spent decades battling European and
African slave traders along the coast and urging his people to stop selling their own
into foreign bondage. This in-depth biography—based in part on Kizell’s own writings
—illuminates the links between South Carolina and West Africa during the Atlantic
slave trade’s peak decades.
Kizell’s remarkable story provides insight to the cultural and spiritual milieu from
which West Africans were wrenched before being forced into slavery. Lowther also
sheds light on African complicity in the slave trade and examines how it may have
contributed to Sierra Leone’s latter-day struggles as an independent state.
Kevin G. Lowther served as a Peace
Corps teacher in Sierra Leone from
1963 to 1965. In 1971 he helped found
Africare. He is coauthor of Keeping
Kennedy’s Promise: The Peace Corps’ Moment of Truth.
Available 2012, 328 pages, 13 illus.
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