May 10, 2013 is France’s national day of remembrance of the slave trade, slavery and their abolition.
Ana Lucia Araujo, ed. Politics of Memory: Making Slavery Visible in the Public Space. Routledge, 2012.
The public memory of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade, which some years ago could be observed especially in North America, has slowly emerged into a transnational phenomenon now encompassing Europe, Africa, and Latin America, and even Asia – allowing the populations of African descent, organized groups, governments, non-governmental organizations and societies in these different regions to individually and collectively update and reconstruct the slave past.
This edited volume examines the recent transnational emergence of the public memory of slavery, shedding light on the work of memory produced by groups of individuals who are descendants of slaves. The chapters in this book explore how the memory of the enslaved and slavers is shaped and displayed in the public space not only in the former slave societies but also in the regions that provided captives to the former American colonies and European metropoles. Through the analysis of exhibitions, museums, monuments, accounts, and public performances, the volume makes sense of the political stakes involved in the phenomenon of memorialization of slavery and the slave trade in the public sphere.
March 25th is United Nations International Day of Remembrance of Slavery Victims and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The theme for 2013 is ‘Forever Free: Celebrating Emancipation:’
For over 400 years, more than 15 million men, women and children were the victims of the tragic transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history.
The annual observance of 25 March as the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade serves as an opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system, and to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.
The January 2013 issue of the Journal of American Ethnic History hosts a forum on the International Underground Railroad Memorial:
Faires, Nora. “Across the Border to Freedom: The International Underground Railroad Memorial and the Meanings of Migration.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 38–67.
Kerber, Linda K. “Crossing Borders.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 68–72.
Arenson, Adam. “Experience Rather Than Imagination: Researching the Return Migration of African North Americans During the American Civil War and Reconstruction.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 73–77.
Frost, Karolyn Smardz. “African American and African Canadian Transnationalism Along the Detroit River Borderland: The Example of Madison J. Lightfoot.” Journal of American Ethnic History 32, no. 2 (January 1, 2013): 78–88.
Panels on Memory and Heritage of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic Region
Conference of the Brazilian Studies Association (September 6-8, 2012, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
PANEL 1: 9:00-10:45, September 7, 2012 (Friday)
“This interview with the black Atlantic writer Caryl Phillips focuses on his non-fiction works and interrogates his ideas on the African diaspora and memorialisation, paying particular attention to such locales as African slave forts and European museums. It also discusses his latest work – a play about the 1940s friendship between Richard Wright and C.L.R. James. The interview discusses the long view of memorialisation on the transatlantic slave trade and interrogates the importance of the bicentenary celebrations of the abolition of the trade in Britain in 2007 to new structures of feeling and curriculum developments that have made the issues raised by the slave trade and its aftermath more central to British historiography. A final section discusses African diaspora communities and their challenge to find a home space amidst the detritus of slavery. Phillips discusses the importance of a slave manilla in his quest for an anchor for memory.”
This special issue of Atlantic Studies, “The Slave Trade’s Dissonant Heritage: Memorial Sites, Museum Practices, and Dark Tourism,” included articles by Alan Rice, Johanna C. Kardux, Lubaina Hamid, Charles Forsdick, Marian Gwyn, Anne Eichmann, and Senam Okudzeto.
“More than forty years after the major victories of the civil rights movement, African Americans have a vexed relation to the civic myth of the United States as the land of equal opportunity and justice for all. In Sites of Slavery Salamishah Tillet examines how contemporary African American artists and intellectuals—including Annette Gordon-Reed, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Bill T. Jones, Carrie Mae Weems, and Kara Walker—turn to the subject of slavery in order to understand and challenge the ongoing exclusion of African Americans from the founding narratives of the United States. She explains how they reconstruct “sites of slavery”—contested figures, events, memories, locations, and experiences related to chattel slavery—such as the allegations of a sexual relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings, the characters Uncle Tom and Topsy in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, African American tourism to slave forts in Ghana and Senegal, and the legal challenges posed by reparations movements. By claiming and recasting these sites of slavery, contemporary artists and intellectuals provide slaves with an interiority and subjectivity denied them in American history, register the civic estrangement experienced by African Americans in the post–civil rights era, and envision a more fully realized American democracy.”
DUP has posted the first chapter using Scribd. Read it here.