Despite the predominance of commercial activities in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Lagos, the press began to devote more space to agriculture and traditional industry from the end of the nineteenth century. By examining early Lagos newspapers for descriptive patterns of agricultural and technical education, this article elucidates the background of the increasing press attention to artisanal and agricultural occupations. If youths followed these callings, these publications claimed, Lagos society could regain self-respect and unity as an African race and eventually achieve progress in a unique way. In analyzing how the Lagos press utilized agricultural and technical associations to formulate and advertise their ideas for the future of Lagos society, this article also argues that the idealized depictions of skilled artisans and farmers by the urban, educated African elites were not free from the policies of the colonial government and Christian missionaries or the networks of black Atlantic educationalists.

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