African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the by Anne Bailey

By Anne Bailey

It truly is an lousy tale. it truly is an lousy tale. Why do you need to convey this up now?--Chief Awusa of AtorkorFor centuries, the tale of the Atlantic slave exchange has been filtered during the eyes and documents of white Europeans. during this watershed booklet, historian Anne C. Bailey specializes in thoughts of the exchange from the African standpoint. African chiefs and different elders in a space of southeastern Ghana-once famously known as "the previous Slave Coast"-share tales that demonstrate that Africans have been investors in addition to sufferers of the exchange. Bailey argues that, like sufferers of trauma, many African societies now adventure a fragmented view in their previous that partly explains the blanket of silence and disgrace round the slave alternate. shooting ratings of oral histories that have been passed down via generations, Bailey reveals that, even supposing Africans weren't equivalent companions with Europeans, even their partial involvement within the slave alternate had devastating effects on their heritage and identification. during this exceptional and revelatory ebook, Bailey explores the fragile and fragmented nature of ancient reminiscence.

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Their memories of those dark days, she says, exist as underground memories, a term very much applicable to the discussion at hand. This was particularly true of her first interviews in the 1970s, when it was not common for people to discuss these matters. Sherbakova found in these interviews that several of these victims, having been “rehabilitated,” had never told their wives, husbands, or children of the horror they suƒered at the hands of Stalin’s government. 41 According to Pal Aluwahlia in “To- i n c i d e n t at at o r k o r 49 wards (Re)Conciliation: The Postcolonial Economy of Giving”: “Traumatic recall is not merely a simple memory, for it is a process that cannot be subjected to conscious recall.

One version suggests that the trade became a corrupting force in the society. 52 In this case there was a dispute between two residents of the area that was resolved in the “kidnapping” of the drummers. Instead of resorting to traditional legal means of redress, they turned to the slave trade. The custom of Nyiko, which included a trial and whose verdict had to be approved by the chief and elders, was summarily bypassed. This issue will be discussed in further detail in chapter 6, on the eƒects of the trade on political and legal institutions, but su¤ce it to say here that one eƒect of the slave trade was to corrupt indigenous legal institutions.

Others, such as Mama Dzagba of Anloga, added a few other details to essentially a similar base. Some of these are worth mentioning here. They [the Anlo] were stolen by white people; there was a higher ratio of men to women. The Europeans brought a sailing ship and anchored oƒ the coast of Anlo. They started drumming, dancing, drinking, and merrymaking in the ship. The people of Atorkor were amazed and gathered on the beach to watch them. The Europeans then invited the people on the beach to join them in the drumming and merrymaking on the ship.

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