By Anne Bailey
It truly is an lousy tale. it truly is an lousy tale. Why do you need to carry this up now?--Chief Awusa of AtorkorFor centuries, the tale of the Atlantic slave alternate has been filtered during 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 viewpoint. African chiefs and different elders in a space of southeastern Ghana-once famously known as "the previous Slave Coast"-share tales that show 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 prior that in part explains the blanket of silence and disgrace round the slave alternate. shooting rankings 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 exchange had devastating results on their background and id. during this extraordinary and revelatory ebook, Bailey explores the fragile and fragmented nature of ancient reminiscence.
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Extra info for African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame
38 These fragments reveal the impact of the slave trade on an African community, the complex reality of African involvement within the context of the predominant participation of European and American traders, and African resistance to the trade. Finally, these fragments of narrative in Africa correlate strongly with narratives of the African Diaspora in both concrete and metaphorical ways. Chapter 2, “The Incident at Atorkor,” brings us to the heart of my oral history collection. 39 This incident, the 1856 kidnapping of famous drummers and traders by European or American slave traders oƒ the Atlantic coast, is well known in the historical memory of the Ewe people yet is only a footnote in written historical accounts.
This resulted in an agreement to split Ewe territory—the Gold Coast (Ghana) territory going to Britain and the Togo territory going to Germany. The territory that went to Britain included the Volta region. At the end of World War I, Germany’s territory in Togo was ceded to France, much to the consternation of local Ewe chiefs, and the Volta region was ceded to the British and incorporated into the Gold Coast. 32 With the exception of the Blu clan, all Anlo clans then claimed they had participated in the great exodus of the Ewe from Notsie in the late seventeenth century.
In this chapter, I have related a few important versions of the Atorkor incident as they were told to me, with minimal analysis and comment. 8 I have placed the incident in the context of other historical accounts, including contemporary sources and travelers’ records. I analyze the story in terms of the central issues of this book—impact and agency. I also look at the metaphorical connotations of the story as well as the ways in which these diƒerent versions, as memories of the past, may i n c i d e n t at at o r k o r 33 have been aƒected by events of the recent past and present.
African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame by Anne Bailey