WGBH Openvault

Africans In America; Terrible Transformation, The (1562–1750); Interview with Akosua Perbi, 1996

Part of Africans in America.


Akosua Perbi is interviewed about the impact of raids and kidnappings, warfare as a source of enslavement in Ghana, slave markets in Ghana, slaves given as tributes, minor offences leading to enslavement, external enslavement vs internal enslavement, fear, suspicion and insecurity during the time of slavery, the role of guns and gunpowder, kidnappings in Ghana, songs telling the history of slavery, in Ghana no slave owner had the power of life and death over the slave unlike Atlantic slavery, Ghanans were unaware of the harsh treatment of slaves overseas.

License Clip
Africans In America
Terrible Transformation, The (1562–1750)
Program Number



Interview with Akosua Perbi, 1996

Series Description

Broadcast: October 1998 This series explores the central paradox that is at the heart of the American story: a democracy that declared all men equal but enslaved and oppressed one people to provide independence and prosperity to another. The series opens in the 16th century on Africa's Gold Coast with the European and African trade, and ends on the eve of the American Civil War in 1861. Africans in America examines the economic and intellectual foundations of slavery in America and the global economy that prospered from it. The series reveals how the presence of African people and their struggle for freedom transformed America. Series release date: 10/1998

Program Description

101 The Terrible Transformation (1562–1750)--Examines the origins of one of the largest forced human migrations in recorded history. After the arrival of the first Africans in Virginia in 1619, the British colonies laid the groundwork for a system of racial slavery which generates profits that ensure the colonies' growth and survival. Producers: Orlando Bagwell and Susan Bellows.



Asset Type

Raw video

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Smith, Llewellyn (Series Producer)
Perbi, Akosua (Interviewee)
Publication Information
WGBH Educational Foundation
Rights Summary

Rights Holder: WGBH Educational Foundation

Chicago: “Africans In America; Terrible Transformation, The (1562–1750); Interview with Akosua Perbi, 1996,” 10/11/1996, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed August 5, 2020, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F8C937D42C30467597194F62F3A2289D.
MLA: “Africans In America; Terrible Transformation, The (1562–1750); Interview with Akosua Perbi, 1996.” 10/11/1996. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. August 5, 2020. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F8C937D42C30467597194F62F3A2289D>.
APA: Africans In America; Terrible Transformation, The (1562–1750); Interview with Akosua Perbi, 1996. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_F8C937D42C30467597194F62F3A2289D
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