Lagos Historical Review

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Poverty and the Travails of the Family in late Colonial Lagos

T Decker


This study exposes the responses to poverty and social change by individual
and collective consciousness within the family in the Lagos of the first half of
the twentieth century. It argues that colonial domination of local Lagos
society imposed new poverty and altered individual and collective lifestyles,
presenting real life experiences of children, young men, women and the
elderly among immigrants and indigenes who lived on the Island of Lagos
during the period under consideration. Its conclusions are substantially
derived from the analysis of archival records, particularly the handwritten
petitions of teenagers and adults to the colonial administration in the 1940s
and 1950s. It submits that the new poverty promoted among men, women and children in colonial Lagos had lasting and continuing implications for the
family institution in the colonial as well as the post- colonial period.
AJOL African Journals Online