"I had been sold and I had no will of my own and I could not look after my body and health... that I am a slave and would therefore come and complain." With these words, Abina Mansah described to an unsympathetic courtroom her experiences and her reasons for bringing charges against her former master. The important men in the courtroom may not have listened to her, but her words were recorded so that we can hear them today. In this book, the silencing of so many young, enslaved girls is challenged through the courageous actions and bold declarations of Abina Mansah, and contextualized for use in the classroom or the education of the individual reader.

Below you will find a "Featured Content" section which highlights various sections of the website, and a link to the book's Facebook page.

Thank you for visiting.

Trevor R. Getz
Liz Clarke


Abina wins the James Harvey Robinson Prize:
Abina and the Important Men was awarded the James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association, awarded on a biennial basis for the teaching aid which has made an outstanding contribution to the learning of history in any field for public and educational purposes. The prize specifies that the work "should have the potential to influence history education".

For more information, please visit

Second Edition Announced:
Trevor Getz and Liz Clarke are pleased to announce that we have signed a contract with Oxford University Press to produce a second edition of Abina and the Important Men. This updated edition will include a rich new section on gender and a debate among leading scholars as whether or not Abina was actually a slave. We will also include a newly-discovered set of additional testimonies related to Abina's case. We anticipate publication of this second edition in Spring 2015.

"African history came to life today at Thurgood Marshall Academy when Children's Africana Book Award winner, Trevor Getz, introduced students to his graphic novel, "Abina and the Important Men". Trevor, a professor of African history at San Francisco State University, spoke with high school history and law classses about his use of Ghanian primary sources which eventually led to the discovery of Abina's trial transcripts. His admiration for her courageous actions prompted a desire to share her story, especially with high school and college students. In addition to discussing the historical background for the trial, Trevor explained the steps that are required for putting together a graphic novel. The students were very eager to get their own signed copies of the book and appreciated the opportunity to speak an African historian."

For more information, including photographs, please visit

Abina in Ghana:
Sue Gonzalez is a Resource Specialist at ER Taylor Elementary School in San Francisco. This summer, she taught literacy to young women in Elmina, Ghana in connection with Tomorrow’s Stars and with funding support from Sue used Abina and the Important Men to help give the young women with whom she worked the sense that their lives, and their voices, mattered. She was assisted by a young woman named Leticia, who had been given to an “aunty” to work when she was 8 years old. Leticia told the girls her own story of survival as they read Abina’s, and the group discussed the importance of sharing their voices. Included is a picture of the class discussing Abina and the Important Men. Sue is hoping to receive further funding to return to Ghana next year.

  • Trevor R. Getz and Lindsay Ehrisman have completed a new article based on Abina Mansah's testimony and additional oral and written sources. The article focuses on her perspectives and life as a married woman. This article will be published in the inaugural volume of the Journal of West African History, forthcoming in 2015. Drafts are available to researchers for professional use (but not redistribution) through the authors.

  • Abina and the Important Men has won this year's Children's Africana Book Award for Older Readers! For more information, please visit



    Abina and the Important Men: A Graphic History is on Facebook. Navigate to the book's Facebook page and click on "Like" to subscribe to our News Feed and/or "Share" (in the left-hand-side menu) to share Abina and the Important Men with your friends and family.

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