A Saro Community in the Niger Delta, 1912-1984: The Potts-Johnsons of Port Harcourt and Their Heirs
University Rochester Press, 1999 - 279 sidor
A Saro Community in the Niger Delta, 1912-1984: The Potts-Johnsons of Port Harcourt and Their Heirs reviews the history of Sierra Leoneans in the Niger Delta from the time of their migration there in the early twentieth century. The Saro, a Nigerian term for immigrants from Sierra Leone, settled in the newly established British-administered city of Port Harcourt, bringing with them their western education and enjoying undisguised British support. They easily dominated the indigenous population in several socio-economic fields: education, civil service, and trade. The Saro celebrated their cultural exclusivity and revelled in their civic and professional prominence, albeit in alliance with a small indigenous elite. As might be expected, Saro dominance engendered much resentment, though tensions were largely defused before World War II. After the war, immigrant dominance came increasingly under local challenge as Nigeria approached independence.
By focusing on the Reverend L. R. Potts-Johnson, the unofficial leader of the Saro community, the work provides an inside view of the trends, thus enhancing the treatment of many important issues to be considered when researching African history, among them intra-African migration, status of and dominance by elites (both indigenous and immigrant), women's roles in social relationships, and preservation of family and cultural values under extreme socio-economic stress.