Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Prince Among Slaves: The True Story of an African Prince Sold into Slavery in the American South” as Want to Read:
Prince Among Slaves: The True Story of an African Prince Sold into Slavery in the American South
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Prince Among Slaves: The True Story of an African Prince Sold into Slavery in the American South

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  17 reviews
In this remarkable work, Terry Alford tells the story of Abd al Rahman Ibrahima, a Muslim slave who, in 1807, was recognized by an Irish ship's surgeon as the son of an African king who had saved his life many years earlier. "The Prince," as he had become known to local Natchez, Mississippi residents, had been captured in war when he was 26 years old, sold to slave traders ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published June 1977)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Prince Among Slaves, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Prince Among Slaves

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 308)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

Prince among slaves provides not only an outline of Abd al Rahman Ibrahima's life, but a glimpse of the local politics of the late eighteenth century in the area we now know as Guineau, into slavery as practiced in Mississippi in the late 18th-early 19th century, and into the stumbling blocks to repatriating an African to his homeland.

Ibrahima, the son of a Fulani ruler, is educated at Timbuktu. At age 26 while returning from battle he is captured and sold into slavery, ending up in Natchez, Mis
Chana Billet
This true story of an African prince sold into slavery is a fascinating portrait of slavery in the antebellum south. Ibrahima was born the son of a warrior king of the Fulbe, a tribe in West Africa. A highly educated prince, warrior, husband and young father, he was captured in war and sold to slavers who shipped him to the Americas. He ended up in a plantation in the heart of Mississippi where he worked as a slave for 40 years.

His plight was eventually brought to the attention of President Ada
Terry Alford does an amazing job of piecing together sources in a flow engaging narrative. This story is truly inspirational as Ibrahima's whole life must have been spent reflecting on the Qadr (the will of God). While awful things happened to him he remained upright, moral and faithful. I will cherish this book as it is a good reminder how a Muslim should respond to being tested in this life.
This was a great story, it's just that once the bulk of the story was told, a lot of print was spent on politics, which I felt was very dry reading. Otherwise I would have given it a higher rating.
Written like a text book. Terribly boring. I had such high hopes.
Puts a different face on slaves in America. An individual forced to live in an area - where the language is different, culture is different, religion is different - in light of all this he lives out his religion - and from what I read - he lived it out - not in community.

So many folks look at Muslims, Christians, and Jews in light of community - so many feel threatened or are unable to put a face on a Muslim, a Christian, or a Jew. Instead of looking at individuals - they have an image of a gro
Ben Wagner
When I took a religious studies class at the University of Tennessee, I was excited to explore different religions, and we were required to read this book to illustrate Islam for us. Unfortunately, this book appeared to really appeal to more history-oriented individuals with lots of dates and characters that were not really important to the Prince. Instead of focusing on his religious aspects and more events of his life and why he did what he did, Terry really focused on the historical aspects o ...more
Excellent story of a man struggling against slavery and maintaining his identity for forty years while a slave in the American South. It is also an astounding tale of just how small the world is, even in 1807, and the lengths it took for friends of this individual to help him gain freedom and return to Africa. Alford has researched all facets of Ibrahima's life and set the story within the context of the antebellum South and the American Colonization Society. That said, there is little informati ...more
First, full disclosure: The editor is a good friend, and her ex is the author. Second: the first is irrelevant, because I'd give this five stars anyway. A great read about a man born to royalty in his tribe, the Fulbe, in Africa; who was taken into slavery in the American South, yet never lost of his sense of dignity; who, after 40 years of slavery, finally gained his freedom, and travelled back to Africa, tho he would never see his own homeland. There's your thumbnail outline, but in between is ...more
Marie Hew
Really cool story. Alford does something pretty incredible--honor the name and history of a single enslaved African. Too often African Americans' names and histories are left unrecorded and subsequently unknown to future generations. I'm impressed with the author's tenacity in researching and writing about Abd al-Rahman Ibrahima's life. He was remarkable man that few people will ever learn about.

The main drawback of this book--Alford spends half the time contextualizing the customs and history o
Debra Odom
I was surprised that I liked this book. I don't do well with nonfiction. Once I navigated the data, the story piece was very interesting. I am required to read this book as part of a five-part seminar that I am taking at my public library on the Muslim influence upon our communities. The author does a very good job describing the part that Africans played in the slave trade. In the country that the Prince was born, there were those who worshipped gods and those were of the Muslim faith. The endi ...more
The story itself is fascinating and I was stricken once again by the horrors of slavery, but the book itself read too much like a text book for me. What I really appreciated about it is that it reminded me that people who were enslaved, had their own history that stands a part from the role they played in building this country. I was also humbled by his faith journey and how he was able to keep his Muslim faith despite his circumstance. In fact, I believe that it was his Muslim faith that sustai ...more
A really great historical account. There were a few times that I felt the book strayed a touch off topic, but it was easy to read, the story itself was great (and very heartbreaking) and for the history majors out there, the methodology was explained and justified very well.
Ahmed Sharif
Lots of politics and facts. Was expecting a lot more with Ibrahima talking about his own personal account. But overall good historical book.
Tonya Keitt  Kalule
I started this book and found it really interested, but don't remember why I didn't finish it, but am presently waiting for the epub format.
Linda Marie
My knowledge of slavery and muslin slaves was greatly enhanced. The story of the prince was skillfully told and held my interest.
Habeeb Akande
Insightful read. the book is fairly easy to read and vividly describes the true story of a West African prince who was sold into slavery.
Latoya Ponder
Latoya Ponder marked it as to-read
Nov 24, 2015
lorenia marked it as to-read
Oct 30, 2015
Majd marked it as to-read
Oct 26, 2015
Lindi Dewolf
Lindi Dewolf marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2015
Shawna Haughton
Shawna Haughton marked it as to-read
Sep 25, 2015
Kad is currently reading it
Sep 23, 2015
Rob marked it as to-read
Sep 22, 2015
Jennifer marked it as to-read
Sep 14, 2015
Hamza marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2015
Julie added it
Sep 06, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas
  • Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Toward the Third Resurrection
  • Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen
  • A Quiet Revolution: The Veil's Resurgence, from the Middle East to America
  • Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation
  • A History of Weapons: Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up
  • The Middle Passage: White Ships/ Black Cargo
  • Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an: Islam and the Founders
  • Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage
  • An Ocean Of Air: A Natural History Of The Atmosphere
  • Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation
  • Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction
  • Life and Times of Frederick Douglass
  • When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America
  • American Slavery: 1619-1877
  • For Freedom's Sake: THE LIFE OF FANNIE LOU HAMER
  • Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery
  • Aztec, Inca, and Maya

Share This Book