A prince in Africa, a slave in America
For the first 26 years of Ibrahima’s life, he lived as a prince in his father’s kingdom of Fouta Djallon, a district of Guinea, in western Africa. He was married with several children. He received a university education at the prestigious Islamic Sankore University in Timbuktu. He also became a mighty warrior in his father’s army. But, Ibrahima’s life took a down turn in 1788 when he was defeated in battle by a rival tribe, captured, and eventually sold into slavery. He never saw his father, or his family, again.
He first came to Natchez in 1809 and was bought by local plantation owner Thomas Foster. Foster knew he had a true leader and an exceptional slave.
Ibrahima was a slave under Foster for nearly 20 years. But, miraculously, a visiting doctor named John Cox, whose life had been saved by Ibrahima’s father when Cox had visited Guinea, recognized Ibrahima and tried to buy his freedom. Foster wouldn’t sell. Ibrahima was too valuable.
See The Story-Form Documentary, narrated by Mos Def, on Amazon Prime
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