Essay Example on Abina's Unfair Trial: Injustice of Slavery in the British Colony

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1126 Words
Date:  2022-12-22


The trial of Abina was not fair at all this is because indeed Abina had been subjected to slavery by eddo despite the British colony having abolished or outlawed slavery in the colony. According to how Abina was treated by Eddoo it is indeed true that she was enslaved. For example, cutting her beads forcefully shows that Eddoo had extreme or total control over Abinas life. It is also clear that Abina underwent slavery considering how she was treated for example she claims that she was only given the bare minimum of both cloths and food, she was not given enough of the basic necessities at any particular time. This shows that she went through a hard time trying to coup with a hard situation. Also despite being given minimal basic necessities show was also forced to work in the man's house. If all these factors were considered fairly during the trial, justice would have been served in the right manner. On the other hand, this was not a fair trial because both parties that are Abina and Eddoo who were involved in the case were not valued equally during the court hearing (Getz et al., p 7). Eddo was considered to be a man who had high-level influence since the British depended on him to produce palm oil will Abina had no status in the society; therefore it was hard for the judge to rule in favor of Abina. The court focused on protecting the dignity or reputation of eddo.

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The limitations that Abina encounter.

During the case, hearing Abina went through various limitations that made him lose the case. Some of these limitations include; first, Abina had no lawyer to assist him in the court proceedings by guiding him on the right way of answering the questions posed to him. Abinas opponent had a higher probability of winning since he had a lawyer to argue the case on his behalf. To avoid this limitation, Abina should have hired a lawyer, or the court should have provided a lawyer for him to help her prove that she was indeed a slave. Secondly, Abina was less influential compared to Eddoo. Eddoo was a well-established businessman who was depended on by the British to produce palm oil, therefore when the jury was called in to hear the case, they ruled in favor of eddo, not because of the lack of evidence in the case but because they thought it would be bad for business if they eddo guilty. In this case, Abina had the limitation of not being influential or not having prominent status in the society.

How do we see new Westernized African elites and traditional African elites? How does the colonial state need both?

We can see the westernized African elites and the traditional African elites depending on their view about slavery. The westernized African elites perceived slavery as a male-dominated field that mainly focused on agricultural activities. The westernized African elites argue that for a person to be regarded to as a slave, he or she had to be forced to work in the field and also had to undergo a thorough form of punishment for example through being beaten. Also for a person to be referred to as a slave one had to be sold or exchanged for money. On the other hand, the traditional African elites usually understand slavery on a more fundamental basis whereby an individual considers him or herself a slave if he or she is not free or does not enjoy freedom. The traditional African elites also perceive that an individual is enslaved if he or she performs specific tasks without being paid. Defining or giving the actual definition of who is a slave is seen to differentiate the westernized African elites and the traditional African elites in this case.

How does the colonial state need both?

The colonial states need both the westernized and the traditional African elites to maintain a balance in the society. The colonial states need people to perform the low standard jobs in the society and those to be in charge of those performing the low standard jobs. For example, in this case, eddo is in charge of the British operations which are the production of palm oil while Eddoo is in charge of the casual farm laborers such as Abina. This helps to ensure that the tasks are performed effectively in the society.

Is Abina a slave? How does she complicate notions of slavery? How is she silenced?

Based on the actual definition of a slave, Abina cannot be considered to be a slave. She can be considered to be a casual laborer just like other individuals. According to the article, Abina is not a slave because she is not forced to work on the farm and she does not receive any form of punishment such as being beaten for failing to work. She also cannot be considered to be a slave since she did opt to see any form of payment being made when being sold to eddo. Abina complicated the notion of slavery by claiming that she was only offered a minimum of the basic needs which include food and clothing. She also complicated the notion of slavery by claiming that she was sold into slavery at a very young age. This claim was however not genuine since she never saw money exchange hands. During the court proceeding, she was silenced after being asked whether she saw money being exchanged and she confirmed that she never saw money change hands.

What changes does colonialism bring in terms of power, gender, economy? The limitations that exist on such changes and the legacies of colonialism

Colonialism brings about various negative impacts in the society that usually affect the living conditions of human beings in the society. It also creates various changes in terms of power, gender, and the economy. Colonialism brings about a new form of governing or power whereby the colonialist are in charge of every operation while those being colonized become subjects of the colonialist. Colonialism also results to the depression of the economy since most of the resources that are obtained within a certain colonized region are used to benefit the colonialist instead of being used for development. On the other hand, colonialism inhibits or affects gender balance since most of the hard duties are carried out by men while women are subjected to simple tasks. The main limitation that exists on these changes is that people being colonized not to have any say or opinion regarding the decisions being made. The primary legacies of colonialism include dependency, development, and imperialism.

Work cited

Getz, Trevor R., and Liz Clarke. Abina and the important men: A graphic history. Graphic History Series, 2016.

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Essay Example on Abina's Unfair Trial: Injustice of Slavery in the British Colony. (2022, Dec 22). Retrieved from

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