PreCirculatedMultiSession Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space, Part 4: Plural and Contested Memories of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Africa

AHA Session 147
Saturday, January 8, 2011: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM
Room 310 (Hynes Convention Center)
Carolyn A. Brown, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Edward A. Alpers, University of California, Los Angeles

Session Abstract

This panel deals with the memory of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade in the South Atlantic region (West Africa, West Central Africa, and Brazil) and the Indian Ocean. In the various regions examined (Angola, Brazil, Togo, Benin, and Mauritius) the public memory of the Atlantic slave trade was celebrated through official projects that resulted in the construction of monuments and the organization of commemoration activities. However, the discussion about local slavery and indentured labor was rather absent from the public debate. The papers examine the conflictual memories of slavery that emerged in these societies and that became more or less visible during the last twenty years. The four papers shed light on the local memories and narratives conveyed by those groups who were neglected in the process of memorialization of slavery, by showing how this process presented common characteristics in different regions of the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean.