Lynne Duke, journalist and author, July 29, 1956 to April 19, 2013 (photo taken at the Angola Field Group).

Lynne Duke, journalist and author, July 29, 1956 to April 19, 2013 (photo taken at the Angola Field Group).

It is with sadness that we acknowledge the death of American journalist and author Lynne Duke who passed away at her home April 19, 2013. In October 2010 we were graced with her presence at an Angola Field Group presentation which she gave on the slaving life of Dona Anna Joaquina, Angola’s most famous slave trader, about whom she was writing a book.  Lynne had only one small map as a visual during her presentation, but she kept the audience of over 200 people enthralled for 45 minutes to the point where, uncharacteristically, not one person got up from their seat to buy a beer. Lynne was obviously very engaged with her subject and the audience learned a lot about contraband slavery in Angola.  While she was here, she spent days  in the dusty national archives researching this notorious figure and travelled deep into the ‘denbos’ trying to uncover  more historical evidence.. It is our hope that all the work Lynne put into researching and writing her book will not be in vain. We in Angola have been waiting for her book since she told us the story and hopefully the publisher can get it to press. We want Lynne Dukes’ spirit to live on through the pages she spent precious days and weeks and months of her too-short life writing. Our sympathies go out to her husband and family.

Guest presenter Lynne Duke (photo by J. Kornfeld).

A huge crowd attended the October Angola Field Group presentation with guest presenter American author, Lynne Duke, who was in Angola researching the subject for her upcoming book on the notorious female slave trader Anna Joaquina dos Santos e Silva, who lived from Nov. 1788 to  June 16, 1859.  When slavery was banned, Anna Joaquina was one of many who continued to trade slaves even though it was against the law.

As we learned from Ms. Duke’s presentation, in the west-central African region centered on Angola, the legal slave trade lasted from the 15th century till 1836. Then in 1836, pursuant to a treaty with Britain, the Portuguese outlawed slave exports from Luanda, sparking an illegal trade that exploded and raged on for nearly three more decades. The website she quoted in her talk is:

In the total trade, that is both legal and illegal, of 12.5 million Africans shipped across the Atlantic, 5 million were from west-central Africa. The average death rate per voyage was 13 percent, in the total trade. This does not include the number of slaves who died on the caravan trails as they were being led to the coast from the interior, nor the number who died in the barracoons, slave shacks where the captured natives were held before being shipped off, a not unfamiliar sight in Luanda.

In Angola the Portuguese continued a system of forced labor akin to slavery well into the 1900’s under the euphemism of contract labor.

The slave museum outside of Luanda was built 1787, in the time of legal slavery (photo by Robin Koning).


Angola’s famed mulatta slave trader back in the 19th century, Dona Anna Joaquina, will be the topic of the Angola Field Group’s presentation Thursday, October 14 at 8:00 PM at the Viking Club. Our guest speaker, American author Lynne Duke, will present some key findings she uncovered about the life of Anna Joaquina dos Santos Silva and the difficult global archival search that has allowed her to coax this notorious figure out of history’s shadows. She will also talk about the slave trade from Angola to the Americas and mainland Europe, especially the logistics of the trade from Luanda, Ambriz, Cabinda and elsewhere.

Lynne Duke is writing a book on the slaving life of D. Anna Joaquina, provisionally entitled “The Baroness,” to be published in 2012. (Anna Joaquina often was referred to as the Baroness of Bungo.)  Ms. Duke spent nearly 21 years as a writer for The Washington Post, including four years (1995-1999) as the newspaper’s Johannesburg bureau chief. She traveled frequently to Angola, as well as Zaire/D.R. Congo, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere. Her first book was Mandela, Mobutu and Me: A Newswoman’s African Journey (Doubleday, 2003). She retired from the newspaper in 2008. Read more at

Everybody is welcome to attend the presentation above. In close cooperation with the Viking Club, this event is offered free of charge. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and snacks are sold at the bar, coupons must be purchased. The Viking Bar opens at 7:30 PM!

For sale, hand woven baskets and different sizes of home made corn cob dolls from the province of Moxico. And Huambo dolls are finally back!

If you would like to have a map showing the location of the Viking Club, click here. The Viking Club is on the main floor of the former Swedish Building at Rua Marien N”Guabi, No 118 in Maianga, across the street from the new Panela de Barra restaurant.