Ghanaians, Slavery, Henry L. Gates & The NY Times

One of the things that really annoys me about any conversations about Africans and the slave trade is the “they sold their own people into slavery” shit. Yes, some West African nations were complicit in the slave trade, and I am not trying to make excuses for that, but let’s be clear about who was introl of it. Europeans (and their descendants in the US and wherever else they landed).

I just read a really great critique by Margaret Kimberley of a really horrendous NY Times article about Ghana and the legacy of slavery, and what that means for Black folks in the U.S. You should check it out here.

And after you peep that, you need to dip into that change purse and get Spelman History Professor Anne C. Bailey’s African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Bailey spent many years living in Ghana and documenting the oral history of the slave trade from Ghanaian people. I learned a helluva lot from this book. And anyone who thinks that oral histories are less “accurate” than written accounts can just be damned. This book completely disproves that myth.

Now, back to grad school applications.

3 thoughts on “Ghanaians, Slavery, Henry L. Gates & The NY Times

  1. That annoys the piss outta me, too. First, it assumes that all forms of slavery were the same just because they are called the same word and secondly, it doesn’t excuse jack.

    It’s one of the chief problems with universalism and… well, just really intellectually sloppy. Besides, look at the outcome: Who benefited from slavery? Those Europeans who had slaves or the Africans — because that matters, too. Now, if the Europeans had been turned into slaves the way the Africans who had slaves were (or could have been) then maybe I would be willing to grant that position something. However, as it stands, it is trying to make two completely different positions the same while ignoring what is explicitedly different!

    … can you tell that one really does piss me off? Lemme read what you posted and as soon as my pockets fill up with a little something more than lint, I’ll peep the book, too.

    And get on with those graduate applications… you got less than 10 days, Son!

  2. Hey, for some reason, the link isn’t working — it keeps taking me to a MS page… I noticed the double http://, but when I took it out, it still did that. Any ideas?

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