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Bailey is scrupulously objective in making her way through the resulting political minefield. A remarkable gift.

African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame

Review : Publishers Weekly - February 1, Review : Kirkus Reviews - December 1, Review : Publishers Weekly - December 1, Review by: Richard Rathbone - December 1, Boston: Beacon Press, Anne Bailey, a Jamaican-born scholar who now teaches African history at Spelman College, wanted to know how Africans remember the slave trade. She started by asking people in Atorker, a former slaving port in modern Ghana, what they recall.

The chapters in her book present successive approaches to what proved a difficult question Her quest always remains grounded in oral history, but she has sought to link the stories, songs, and proverbs she heard not only with a generation of Ghanaian scholarship on Ghana's past but also with her own research in archives and libraries on both sides of the Atlantic.

She starts from silence. How can this not be remembered? The question prompts evocative descriptions of Atorker and its vicinity today, as well as broader comments on the town's place at the end of trading routes running into the interior and on the cultural distance between coast-dwelling townspeople and their inland kin.

KIRKUS REVIEW

This item has been added to your basket View basket Checkout. For centuries, the stories of the Transatlantic Trade in Africans has been filtered through the eyes and records of Europeans. In this seminal work, historian Anne C.

Beacon Press: African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Bailey focuses on memories of the trade from the African perspective. African chiefs and other elders from the area of the former old slave coast of southeastern Ghana, share stories that reveal that Africans were traders as well as victims of the trade. Bailey argues that like victims of trauma, many African societies now experience a fragmented view of their past that partially explains the blanket of silence and shame around the slave trade.


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Capturing scores of oral histories handed down through generations of storytellers, Bailey finds that although Africans were not equal partners with Europeans, even their partial involvement in the slave trade had devastating consequences on their history and identity. Bailey breaks the deafening silence and explores the delicate and fragmented nature of historical memory in this unprecedented and revelatory book which is bound to spark discussion and debate.

African voices of the Atlantic slave trade : beyond the silence and the shame

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