By Anne Bailey
It truly is an lousy tale. it really is an lousy tale. Why do you need to carry this up now?--Chief Awusa of AtorkorFor centuries, the tale of the Atlantic slave exchange has been filtered throughout the eyes and files of white Europeans. during this watershed booklet, historian Anne C. Bailey makes a speciality of stories of the alternate from the African standpoint. African chiefs and different elders in a space of southeastern Ghana-once famously referred to as "the outdated Slave Coast"-share tales that show that Africans have been investors in addition to sufferers of the alternate. Bailey argues that, like sufferers of trauma, many African societies now adventure a fragmented view in their earlier that partly explains the blanket of silence and disgrace round the slave alternate. taking pictures ratings of oral histories that have been passed down via generations, Bailey reveals that, even if 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 remarkable and revelatory ebook, Bailey explores the fragile and fragmented nature of historic reminiscence.
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Extra info for African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame
It may have had an American captain to shield its activities, but the ship almost certainly included an Englishman or a Scotsman. Mammattah’s reference to “Madzikli Beach” at Atorkor, which was named after Major King—a Glasgow slave trader—is one of several similar references that suggest that there must have been some involvement of traders from those areas. 28 This suggests that there were substantial business dealings between the residents of Atorkor and England/ Scotland. These three accounts are the only sources of written literature on the incident at Atorkor.
The story itself is a metaphor for the some of the major aspects of the slave-trade era—including African participation in the trade and the impact of the transatlantic slave trade on a particular region. It is thus a good starting point for greater discussion of such issues in the chapters that follow. Much attention will also be paid to the metaphorical elements within the narrative itself which, when analyzed, reveal what the Ewes find significant about this period. Finally, I will also m i d d l e pa s s ag e t o m i d d l e q ua r t e r s 23 consider these and other narratives within broader discussions of history and memory.
It represents, above all, a watershed—a break with the past in terms of trading operations along the coast; a shift from organized 27 28 a f r i c a n v o i c e s o f t h e a t l a n t i c s l av e t r a d e structures and mutual agreements in the eighteenth century to disorder and chaos in the nineteenth. Furthermore, though it can be confirmed as an actual historical event, this story can and should also be read as a metaphor for the diƒerent phases of the Atlantic slave trade. Thus it is particularly pertinent to the themes of impact and agency.