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but whether he loseswell if theysay it took an outcome what led me to do certain it cancome i'm it's as their work in a pianoin the process of studying african nation with special emphasis on itwas studies and when you begin to study african literaturethe fossils from writer sets a new studyis a lot you can have because he's seen as the father of african writingbecause of the way he authenticated he's writing bytom the lost region is that theorigins of his life and look at the origins of his life in the woodland which is inwest africa so it becomes the mentality of all those whomight be african studies african literature to begin by studying and i had a pianoand that was how i began to study or live you can guess i'm the father of african writing
it was then in the process of doing the study and discovering thatallowed uganda was them that indeed he has said he wasn't a womanhe brought about a symbol of regions including in the words describing inthe culture and ways of life of the people people even now stickingwith emphasis what community intimate community came frombut what was them getting cut for scalise toidentify was the actual location of this week came fromour people where scotland at i agreed as to what part of england he came from wassure that he was for me what it was he insisted he was the new budget would cause for a problematicwasn't what part of the world and he came from and that was so i thought that iwas a really new piano hour with the every day is given in his workand the linguistic suggestions he ends up giving hiswriting act became get to me that it would be very difficult to
look at him if one would undo the time and movearound him win and asking questions it when and if it difficult to look atin his origin so iwas struck by the fact that thathe he was very much interested in look at hisorigin it wasn't just enough for him to say he was able toi write about is their african origins and staff and some friends in the hands of hisslave masters but he was high interest ita no locating having his readers know where exactly he came from who hewas you know his sound my classes given that you tookten men you still want it to use its african do want his african andto be lost so far i was put up in that i felt
it just ends up it's so exciting forty sweetsfor fiscal reasons to identify itself to establishits own territorial and cultural integrity and i wasstruck by that i was alsoit moved by that adding last year it caught on when i read that and i felt iwanted to have i want to do something about it and so i kept it <unk>and now began to open again and i walked on your fourth trip to drip look what three to fouryears and end of which i began to publish in a number of articlesnewspaper has enjoyed most connie it's an intellectual of my book theboots of the lead a piano which was published in nineteen eighty nine and as such whenhe got i was invited to be live shows indifferent universe does indiajust a sunday and then britain so there's a story
well forgive one in africa agrandmas did tell the african to tell him he's themnarrative very important because it has a couple ofafrican studies you never disciplined is thirty pm historianspeaking with a piano social scientists speaking with you can literallyartists and scholars begin with deep into obsolescence it's likethe granite impossible for you to forget the issue of slaveryand to find that we have millions and millions of our brothers and sisters who are nowno longer a part of us or to have now gone through the streets because of slavery youhave no to become part of another culture when two up in twenty
bottomless and do it again to connect and so at a grandma story more than anyother story carr is that within a city that's in pictures andthat imperative to connect to not forget to rememberand that responsibility for the actions of our forefathersso when you were doing thisresearchsurprising aswell as in their research in fact almost every speech oftheir search was very moving for me at thestage i stumbled upon like to announce thateveryday every discovery was one discovery to many every coincidence wasone too many egos that because he was like the the re assemblage
of the jigsaw puzzle in which every cat fight rebecca quinnsaid many things for example he said that the contents of a loaded alloweda piano ice it enabled allowed to it whenmy first impulse was look at your city which was theword used in describing the northeast town there are quite a number of names in themood that names of the whig towns it sound like that they're not less than five orsix we were towns scattered around in woodland would that sound like the secondi just had quite a number of them but i think when i can do is sit in anumber of state in what is now used in nigeria i ammy first question was is there any funding in thiscommunity that was my name that may sound anywhere in any way you likethat may sound like
so this was a prosperous and i asked the king of thecommunity where i was as the comeback that i can lead to content hehad talked with he says he's counted elvis would achieve cindy's a kindleand i am i was so that indeed it was a family bythat name in vegas about their because of that and i was asked to go andtalk to the leader of the kindred where this familywas from you as part of hama and there wasa wonderfully intimate physically that name and this was the aboriginalfamily of fact home another was thethe people who really belong to that land that many that were intercepted todaymany of them and what the city by overreaching but the a gramophone is anabortion or funding for zika and they atthat time it was a family that that would've come
into george's mother was was in vietnam and that cases were decided where we're wayyet another was the caucasus where we heard in therein this funding and it brought in a lot of this from anywhere because of the summit where judgesconfirmed that means to day you would call it is that for many of the kids the princess thenotables of the town i'm so my first time to fight and i washighly highly moving for me was discovering that there was such a familycaught a piano at a novelist that we was at the panel today but it is ait's got that one which means if they agree to affectwhich affect so yeah there was nobody goes to war without me to anagreement that would be and it also means that there's a funnyisn't afraid to fight for its rights then the othermoving thing was to discover that in this familymemories the stories still being remembered today at a boy the little boy
in this film in mosul one little boy not to and that's what they'll and then there's somebodyi also found though in the role of the nutella of the familyit was an anathema at it at a chart of aiding the person from the family wouldbe sold into slavery because this was the funof his ticket this wasn't familiar from opiates the kings owners of the landthese were the people who soared people they went out to people who whistledso the striking thing for me was to find a vet themthere was in this there was a family court to one of accountabilityand there was a boy who was so did indeed use of slavery in this onestriking thing i was afraid that i was holding the novel thegrandest house which was publicly did at that point it was also putting it inmy hand and people were looking at me and they were depicted book from the
hand and looked at the picture of the book in the sunportrait project in the picture and the goodman was thatcontinues at this man in this picture looks like the atlanticand the members have been a familiar it made meeat dirt lactation to one little boy who was sitting in the gathering and i could see theresemblance between the debate be the pizza hut in my hand they bought it in myhand and the boy before meso whenthey started seeing the clutches of the piano in the book the reaction of thepeople was at the iowa more than one people want but there was more than oneperson who had who had the same fish shop the simple show
features and they now make it possible for me toonce again that when homestead stir the members of the grahamfamily even airing for the rest of the primal boys we're livingoutside house had to go home so that i could seethem because it gets taken me there was one piano one weapon and i needed to seeand if i saw this person than i would have no doubt as to the front that the personi was talking about was a member of this committee because this other person who was known was he releasedit was according to them a carbon copy the lookslike it looks like a twin brother an identical twin of the person on myportrait painted i didn't believe it and whistle until i saw the weeksafterwards you and whispers and composer for me to see this moment when he can bet on one of histrips because when i saw him i stop shops and i burst into
tears i couldn't believe i couldn't i couldn't take it was too much andday and if you look that gets inside when he said it's going to get mybubble he couldn't believe it himself he was too much supplyroutes youknow what came over me he was like yeah i could see i could see the wholething i could cause a lot of us if i was i could transport myself to two hundredyears before i can see the little boy didn't it adam segal yes this was the family this wasthis was a very spot where this plane was taken i can feel the reality of it allremember theseand i was also say at that point when i saw a few days i thoughtthat the grammar was the day i could feel his spirit i
thought i felt him saying yes i'mhomeitisjeff beck peopletosee inthose days some slaves sent out of africa and somewhereretained in africa how many africa and noble
skips loose was people keep slaves and i'm so at thattime people would have fought his people would have thought that he most had grown to be arich man a big man some way he may in faraway africaoutside africa nobody had any idea what happened to those we have theshells of africa but had any idea whatsoever because at that time those whowent beyond africa never came back nobody tell the story was only after thecolonial the colonial masters began to return without the freedslaves some of whom hyatt so who hadreceived little education and welcoming as missionaries this was a timewhen the stories began to feel to it but by sam minister had already begun itso theyfind it to be you know to the government when went back
and sent people there and aknowledge of human race mo do you know wethe people that i spoke to there was not a single object lesson among thepeople i spoke to the dusty securities sam so does it impartabout what place there's no industry and so all the young people who enterit if i had a miniature audie man remembering yet which isthe closest thing to a city halland opened town and then you know the most we live in vegas and when i spoke towould never have ever even heard about the book andthis book is also a factor is the recession is over is it a fresh material it wasn't readynever collected novel anything like that and i never even saw the book or stumbled upon itbegan to walk an african studies with vision with special emphasis on the new
studies so is able to find out in the lab or as the financial marketplaceso how people respond to that to write the storyof his journey his life that it was unbelievablevillagers began to gather people had what was having a reckoning was like a must read so money waslike a big festival something was happening that will come to listen and heconnected really they sat around the village square listening to newand you know they were all alone full of surprise and shock and aweyou know people are seeing colonies into what had happened to somebody whowere who saw about how our son who knows what happened to her son and one waslast one was set was kidnapped on sea people are talking about and they say hebecame a big man and a white mask hundred and in what about in your book that part of the bookcalled icy you know things like that that sort of sense of work were coming to casting around
asking questions about what happened to him and i was one wassupplying them with information about what happened to himand at the timeit was fun to telling him telling them about thelatest in the first of four and if they forcethat i met when i went into the village was utterdisbelief that wouldn't believe me isn't it they didn't believe it was possiblefarm in a lab why didn't have to be guess i'm a little less so like you have to be theones that would have written a novel you would actually written a story that can help a lot ofpeople are talking about in every way and the word it was his believe that you don't quite believe meand then also the year they were withdrawing from me they werewatching me suspiciously at the nomination didn't know why i was there so ihad to kind of economy back into the treasury but allow me to prepare
their minds and look for them to allow me to talk to them for them to respond to me for them toanswer my questions you know so and so that was what about theproprietor stages to open up to me because theydidn't know me there was no reason why they should open up and talk about the sun andalso they were afraid that perhaps people will begin to ask questions about this boywas kidnapped and sold into slavery and perhaps what i was planning to findthose who were guilty or whatever of that crime and they have somebody was going to go tojail if they confessed that something had happened to chat so the part of thevoters that had encountered before they are able to feel free and talk to youwhat happenedone eye fixed other stories on people began to cry and otherpeople learn why does them shucked andpeople felt sorrow for people felt sorrowful they felt guilty
too but then again that was a deep and i had before we get into that whena part of that was happened there were not there this happened about two hundred or so years ago awhole and them even though this wasathletic pitchers and idea and sisters they were not part of that that's eviland could not be held responsible budget cuts are afraid that such things could happenthere's so manypeople from thatwas part of that are really in the world and sothis is a large group of them instantlyplaces there is the vahasn't talked to them aboutwhere that they're at many of them there are millions of africans
living far away from africa and to people i talked to don't even know the map of africadon't know how fire africa is you talk about your buck africa to them they would have a somewhat to talk aboutthey know or getting to a designated looking for land they not perhaps nigeria butwhat what is africa so these religious the state is losing alittle joke effect of these people so they he won some of them may have heard that andthey're africans who are now leaving aside africa who comb a speech they couldwhite men behave like a white person but that you knowthey also must have known that the west and the people's lives so just livein those days but the details of all that and how it came to happen and what isthe fate of those that because one only does that africa is not known to thesepeople but attempts at well essentially rule untouchedit's i'm just one of millions of people
were taken from vermont wins the weekat a larger impact that that the trade has been onthat part well on the impactof that treaty or africa thedirect impact or the slave trade andafrica was theloss of millions ofmaine women and children who had they beenstill living in africa might havecontributed to the mental technologicalintellectual development of africa i thought itwas the great loss of human resources itso i'm equating on to be tempted to business it
or further africa us image and identity and as of the walletafricans with people with huge with this interesting asthe enslaved songs and put us outside africa so theeuropeans you're american college of kind of viewed africaas just as these huge defeats indeposition say this we africa last faceafrican hosts mind last saw itand you lost the potential progress to political andintellectual the directimpact is that up and one which is not often talked aboutwhich but which is definitely the case is thatis that it is
not officialdescribe for mewas he captured andhow his capture and tense also means owns the biggest changewell i said the tiny windowless ann patchetthe was then it was it is a war iiaccording to this to what he said said was eleven years old heatherfeeney might have been wounded because in africait would tend to think they yelled at and they actually are becausethere are no records and also it wouldn't it's very fast
in the natural environment and the year the biggestmuslim edge of measuring each mr paul from there forexample you know time was there because people ask you when the blastknow they don't know they don't recognize the passing of time and so evocativeenough of speeches grenellwas was that growing up in an environment where the sky was his meaningthat the sky was a statement he had ever been going for him he hada rich parents he was an awfully noble parentage funding andextended family of judges arm and for my findings actually was known to hisfather was a judge he spoke was when judges to and actual chief judgeof the village on the chief elder open to make enough money to enter the king of thevillage was he seldom seen uncle this was what igather from my research program a hard evidently flowing and
there was money that was so name anyhow it was the ephemeralright off his parents according to what he said so his best loved him and it was very close to hismother who was in the process of teaching to become a warrior and he wasequally very close to his father who are ways that you can to bea point where because we are judged and he alwayscarried his father sent back another was enough attacking anyone and achild a boy who carries his father's back and for his father or outis the person who is being tipped too well fourafter the finest profession if either from he would be different if itdefies a judge he would be that they lived in and judge of the family defied it today he wouldbe the person who committed after the phone video that would go into politics but it would've been difficultfor the five surviving the present was kerry's first act was that it was booming him to
take over from himself and sothis was a this society where you get where he lived and it from alwaysgather from the panel story there was no tension in hiscommunity his knishes people wept the nation ofkansas when he uses the word nation actually means community because in it weren'tfor my from my research i found that they cannot be put the ad basically peoplepeople who listen inon music and dance and a guy called chawbecause any music and dance integral to the culture of these peoplenever even get to the camps and bands from morning till night and donesometimes tense and they have all kinds of musical instruments people high end togo and make music with another positive one and so the that was a kid with the music people
did people assume i hada dreadful i'm dead child which he had justfour regions you would never suspect that he would have had a kind offit that he hit soas bostonlet's listen to why heis it happened to a piano she was alsothat that encounter was captured shows that's anybodycould've been captured after all said and done and all thestructures that were put in place to protect the children of the noblest ourgood not having foolproof and a wall where are the other
and i think in the house was portrayed asthe hand of providence that medicine is at bagram himself was captured because in theprocess off a chat from the kind of noble funny being being capturedthe the floor the families would have seen themselves thatthis practice is self destructive and it might have thoughtabout it read getting this practice and i'm alsobefore that the panel hotdog bloody wonderful and powerful what itis he had he was intelligence was daring he was he wasit was bribes orstronger he had confidence he had quote rage he was looking up to a bright futurethat you know the fact that the church no that's because the letter waswas captured and put into slavery perhaps was the
you know like the turning point is live itself the process because thenhe was all those qualities to fight to make sure that the story ofthe slave was heard that the practice of slavery was condemned and then they'dbe the deep below the evils of live radio the title slaverywas made public boats to the slave masters and to beenslaved and to the africans themselves who bought the patricia deceptive orso i think in a way that a metal sculpturemade with a positive development into his justice livid becausethen we do with puns of character which a hat he put it all into fighting againsthiv earl nowin the world we think he expects his awarenessof slavery in his own homework with respect is usually once heis captured are definitely when atlanta was
captured he was afraid he was expecting the worst but he did youknow he couldn't describe the west was not possible for for anybody to describe somethingthat he had never experienced that we're not go from the from fromexperiences living in africa who would have thought that you would justwell you know the heat he might be a casino i didn't has of capturing the people whowear comfortable for you know for getting them and making the tournament and hisfour which our practices in the coffee so the court head hunters is are people whoon where so the human head in a heads to him in afour four barry us off at kings and people of thatnature so it can also maybe mistakenly worst he was the biggest winner he wouldneed he would die or he would be sold into slavery would atthe keel and the headhunters all soared into slavery is that it was
but i am sure he never imagined whatthat you know that actually happened to him or the gory details ofthe you know the emotional trauma these psychological trauma thefiscal trauma that he went through i don't think he would have ever imagined anythingand nobody except those who actually experienced these experienced itcan ever imagine that such court is possibleand it from anchorman our soulalso judging from africans in africa thatif he thought that he might have ended up just leaving you would've thought well is just ina prison offsetting well and if you set your mother very well he gives his own plot ofland uses only know if you if you walk very had you get someplot of land some livestock
on the planewell cityran us family must have had owned slaves because everyfamily of which may feel rich man had slavesand from a root researchon the waste laced with treated in africa iknow that's still is that saddam was likely one would let the audience and thedefense is that ah the seventies that is to say not allowed to dobut believe in the same compounds in the same foodthat you know just go to the stream of that water altogether it
would if the forest and cut me if i would hand themin everything else that's what it was about what everyone else does but thething is the sense of ownership that assessof novel freedom is there and the day of this day wasnot free to leave the compound on homes paid offhe's one and go to another one state oklahoma to his parents multiplejust as an effect and it escaped he would be perhaps solidify the acute orwhatever so it was difficult for forces to escapebut then by and to what happened two states forpeople were processed lives you know europe and americathey gave people wet huckabee hundred s lives in africa wayne have ofthat comparison to that so i'm saying that the principles of the twoslaves pain with that would witness the journalist lives in his father say a compound
in his village going to disinfect what i would make your friends with and eating with thatso i'm thisof course would not have disposed him to begin to imagine the kind of thing thatwould happen to him outside africa so you would have never have imagined can of that happened you would've thought you wouldit wouldn't be you know they do what would happen to you would be death after he wasremoved of that was cut to do what was a state was there but what has got what he got revenge it wasworse than deathohyeah i would read to the impact of slavery on africai say that southern slavery and the transatlantictrade credit a great loss andmajorities of resources human resources intellectual
resources for africabecause most of the people who were removed from africa were actually from the week from whatmy research has revealed these are actually people who were deafyet it had foundered for for change for development for progressthis is because africa's culture mostafrican cultures and customs and f about communities we're very much afraid ofchange africa the way it handles court shortlist closer to aggressivequarter is an end unto itself pro choice not an end unto itselfwhich is a process is a vehicle for development somebody inafrica nobody want to change these days everyone's anything wasthat because to my it was taken us will it is the coach of a floppy because the cost ofthe people are that jordan do not question their parents and so it was notand if it had pushed on its parents it became it was seen as an abomination
if a woman were stunned her husband on issues of funding or be on fundingit was seen as an abomination if people ask questions didn't ask questions ofpeople want to to somewhat wanted to know somebody wanted to know whytheir for all we all are you know asking questions about whythings went on how it will change in the status quo that's betts who wasseen as a threat to the continued existence of that of that community andthat culture a nurse's office people will swiftly removedin order to maintain the status quo so the water doesn't you will hear people seethat time macy's and when it's useful with food because theycommitted abominations was lecturing us to be a crooneris on the how to define what an abomination in africa if you have tivo wonthis region and this to me is just committed an abomination and she was treated like a criminalhe found a safe somebody's
just given the slave runs the littlest master it escalated at this best live has a clinton has committed anabomination has committed a crime and was leno withyou if you wished her if that was what i said ifyou were if you were to do it today what haiti for example you fight for human rights that wouldhand you know is this if you stood up for the rights of the people that rest of the common thathas to go up and pushed and the position of the nobles and societythen you oppose the dadaab effect to the communityand then somebody would average about this and it moved so in this way more than it wouldhave yet who would have spearheaded development who would appoint newideas would be beheading of change if you want to have because of change we'rerebuffed i knew them because of those working with people who had aworm had the western mind and these are the candidate would eventually becamebb camera event us beginning when he thanked us would you would be
given that you know people of great ideas will brought about great ideasand you know they feel resound whatever so i feel thatbecause of the of being afraid of change because ofthe department and the status quo because of being killed for protectivetowards this culture and traditions and customs africa actuallycosts and incidents of some of the greatest minds ofabundant continent and that is why oklinda andto speak about whatcan you catchan owl his passion changes
themass culture did not actually changingwhen you read it you know you realize that time he was a very powerfulcharacter and he was set in his opinion about lifeabout about about loveand the men said this about one ofthe guys it cannot was an honorable man who was one hundredand he'd remained honorable to the end of these even as part of thebrutalities a fight in the hands of people who we're not honorable he didn'tchange he didn't become like them hit is that hitting because of the treatmenthe received is that he once drove to change those people he
strove to use his narrative and he's actions and he's themhe's no he's not in time each and he set up he's at easeis acceptance and respect off and that's given thosewho brutalized him he it is known toteach that lesson of how to be takingit so that it even if he hadbeen changed by that experience he would have perhaps have begun tohit his thumb and tubs but he did not grow wasit was like this is the length of your kind of person i thinkand it doesn't go into simple there is like a kind of jesus like itdoesn't like nelson mandela michael like martin luther king ledone of those who bought his cornish wolf human hatredthis court of racism and he bought it as a lesson
to or unable it and he remained the same he remainedon and changed except to say that he lost hisown childish navy to do that may feel that onman and you know i'm anhonorable a soap and then also away could see at that price if you think that when you read it again atslate reading huckleberry finn in one week in one respect to say that when youhear the voice of the child and the voice of chad becomes aware of the child becomes a weaponfour un for integrity inthe beginning of the process of change because ofchanged from one committed to another from one person to another you see that peep yousee the different nuances of human behaviorthat person essentially doesn't change the official winner remains the same
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Africans in America
Episode Number
The Terrible Transformation
Raw Footage
Interview with Catherine Acholonu, Associate Professor of English Literature, Awuku College of Education, Nigeria
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-f76639m612).
Catherine Acholonu is interviewed about the importance of Equiano's narrative, how Africans reacted to the possibility of being stolen into slavery, Equiano's family's reaction when told about Equiano's story, Equiano's people and the difference between African slavery and American slavery.
Race and Ethnicity
American history, African Americans, civil rights, slavery, abolition, Civil War
(c) 1998-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
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Chicago: “Africans in America; 101; The Terrible Transformation; Interview with Catherine Acholonu, Associate Professor of English Literature, Awuku College of Education, Nigeria ,” 1998-00-00, WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 20, 2019,
MLA: “Africans in America; 101; The Terrible Transformation; Interview with Catherine Acholonu, Associate Professor of English Literature, Awuku College of Education, Nigeria .” 1998-00-00. WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 20, 2019. <>.
APA: Africans in America; 101; The Terrible Transformation; Interview with Catherine Acholonu, Associate Professor of English Literature, Awuku College of Education, Nigeria . Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from