Nigeria to Host August Colloquium on Slavery, Slave Trade

The colloquium, to be held from August 22 to 26, 2010 in
Iloko-Ijesa, Osun State, is being hosted by Oyinlola’s government through the Centre
for Black Culture and International Understanding (CBCIU), a UNESCO Category II
centre, based in Osogbo.

The colloquium forms part of the larger Global Conference on
Black Nationalities, which is holding in Osogbo around the same time. It also
coincides with the Osun Festival, which draws thousands of people to Osogbo
every August.

Keen to allay fears of a potential conflict between several
high profile international events in the same period in the Osun State axis,
organisers stressed that the slavery colloquium is a largely academic forum
designed to attract only those with keen interest or scholarship in the subject
area. Among scholars expected to participate, are: Paul Lovejoy, Ade Ajayi,
Toyin Falola, and Bolanle Awe, all professors. Interest has been very high,
according to [Abi] Derefaka, who said, “We found that once people got to know about
the colloquium… they sent us abstracts, some even sent complete papers. We
are hoping that we can cope with the anticipated deluge of participants.”

He spoke about the need for a colloquium on slavery and the
slave trade, stressing that, in addition to addressing the “collective amnesia”
on this phase of black history, “there are vestiges of slavery all around us
even today.”

Drawing attention to the fact that a modern state, Haiti, was
born out of a slave revolt led by a Yoruba slave, Derefaka said, “It is
important to draw periodic attention to that inhuman activity which led to a
somewhat irreversible cultural and spatial dislocation for many of our African
brothers and sisters.”

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