Saturday, November 09, 2013
How should slavery be remembered in Ghana?
African Union Human Rights Memorial website. Indeed Ghana is not one of the countries listed by the African Union as having a national human rights memorial participating in its project for "Remembering Victims of Mass Atrocities in Africa." Hence the slave fort at Cape Coast is not listed at the African Union site even though the Maison des Esclaves on Goree in Senegal is listed. Nor does the African Union site list any Ghanaian partners. The paper I just reviewed argues that this needs to change and that Ghanaians especially Ghanaian historians need to be able to come to terms with a full telling of the past which recognizes the fact that people indigenous to the territory were also perpetrators as well as victims of slavery and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. While, Ghanaians may indeed be able to publicly acknowledge such a correction in the national narrative on slavery, I am guessing that such a radical rethinking of how slavery is memorialized would be strongly rejected by most US scholars and activists dealing with the issue. Giving the issue of African participation in the slave trade a prominent role in the historical narrative rather than just glossing over it is not something I see the people who currently dominate US academia ever doing.