The Institute for Policy Studies’ Foreign Policy in Focus project, TransAfrica Forum and Teaching for Change present a book signing and discussion of The African American Odyssey of John Kizell, by Kevin Lowther. In this biography, Lowther discusses African complicity in the slave trade and examines how it may have contributed to Sierra Leone’s latter-day struggles as an independent state. The African American Odyssey of John Kizell illustrates the life of Kizell, a West African enslaved in South Carolina that escaped and fought on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War. At the end of the war, Kizell was evacuated to Nova Scotia and later joined a pilgrimage of nearly twelve hundred former slaves to the new British settlement for free blacks 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 also played a controversial role in the settlement of American blacks in what later became Liberia.
Kevin G. Lowther has written on African issues for the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other publications. He also served as a Peace Corps teacher in Sierra Leone from 1963-1965. Lowther managed Africare’s work in Southern Africa for approximately 30 years.
This event is free and open to the public and will conclude with a book signing.