African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade by Anne C. Bailey
Beyond the Silence and the Shame

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It's an awful story. It's an awful story. Why do you want to bring this up now?--Chief Awusa of Atorkor

For centuries, the story of the Atlantic slave trade has been filtered through the eyes and records of white Europeans. In this watershed book, historian Anne C. Bailey focuses on memories of the trade from the African perspective. African chiefs and other elders in an area of southeastern Ghana-once famously called "the Old Slave Coast"-share stories that reveal that Africans were traders as well as victims of the trade.

Bailey argues that, like victims of trauma, many African societies now experience a fragmented view of their past that partially explains the blanket of silence and shame around the slave trade. Capturing scores of oral histories that were handed down through generations, Bailey finds that, although Africans were not equal partners with Europeans, even their partial involvement in the slave trade had devastating consequences on their history and identity. In this unprecedented and revelatory book, Bailey explores the delicate and fragmented nature of historical memory.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Anne C. Bailey

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Anne C. Bailey is assistant professor of history at Spelman College. Born in Jamaica, she is the author of two historical novels. Bailey has spent time in and among various communities in Ghana, collecting numerous oral histories. She lives with her son, Mickias Joseph, in Atlanta, Georgia.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Published January 2, 2005 by Beacon Press. 316 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

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(See other recent treatments of this subject, e.g., Bury the Chains and The Queen’s Slave Trader.) She moves on to the vexing questions of the involvement of Africans in the capture and sale of other Africans and the practice of slavery among the West Africans.

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Recognizing roles of Africans as well as Europeans and Americans in the slave trade, Bailey remarks, "An apology from African nations and even specific groups whose involvement is on the record would go a long way toward establishing a high moral ground upon which to ask likewise for apologies fr...

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