The Legacy of Atlantic Slavery and the Refashioning of Black History in Britain Today
Board Room, 2 Priory Road
Centre for Ethnicity and Citizenship Seminar Series
Board Room, 2 Priory Road - Thursday 18th February, 4pm
This talk will be delivered by Guest Speaker Madge Dresser from The University of the West of England
Historians’ approaches to Atlantic slavery have undergone profound changes since the 1960s. This paper reviews some of these historiographical developments in relation to their impact on the study of Black History in Britain today. Based on my own experience as a public-facing academic historian, it attempts to articulate some of the methodological and ethical dilemmas now facing Black History both inside and outside the academy.
Is the need to redress the silence about Black peoples’ contribution to British society before Windrush at odds with the need for nuanced, empirically-substantiated historical interpretation? How if at all, is the continuing legacy of slavery embedded in the current controversies over statues, slavery and country houses? What really is ‘the secret relationship’ between Black and Jewish History’? And to what extent do existing models of research funding and media representation replicate as well as challenge racial and class exploitation?