A Brief History of Slavery That You Didn’t Learn in School

The New York Times Magazine

Hand-colored lithograph by Achille Devéria, the 1830s.

In 1624, after her brother’s death, Ana Njinga gained control of the kingdom of Ndongo, in present-day Angola. At the time, the Portuguese were trying to colonize Ndongo and nearby territory in part to acquire more people for its slave trade, and after two years as ruler, Njinga was forced to flee in the face of Portuguese attack. Eventually, however, she conquered a nearby kingdom called Matamba. Njinga continued to fight fiercely against Portuguese forces in the region for many years, and she later provided shelter for runaway slaves. By the time of Njinga’s death in 1663, she had made peace with Portugal, and Matamba traded with it on an equal economic footing. In 2002, a statue of Njinga was unveiled in Luanda, the capital of Angola, where she is held up as an emblem of resistance and courage. Read morehere.



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