Monday, March 19, 2007

Commemorating the end of slavery

There's quite a lot of stuff on the BBC on the end of slavery (legally abolished in England 200 years ago this month) - newsreader Moira Stewart travelled to Hull and Jamaica, meeting local historians who vehemently reject the emphasis placed on Granville Sharp and Wilberforce, a piece in The Guardian by rapper Ms Dynamite on retracing her roots - including her interest in the Jamaican resistance heroine Nanny Maroon - Jamaica's equivalent of Boudica (I sense a Spielberg film in the offing). This evening on Radio 4, Henry Bonsu goes in search of his Ashanti ancestors' involvement in the slave trade, which should be one to listen to (on air or online). If only someone bothered to do something on the Osu in Nigeria, and the stain that slavery continues to bear on the outcasts in the East..

Click here to go the Beeb's Abolition microsite.


Anonymous,  1:45 pm  

Jeremy- please do your homework first. As odious and repugnant as the osu caste system is, it is not slavery and while a popular misconception is that it has its roots in slavery,most scholars accept that it does's a link to explore

Jeremy 2:02 pm  

thanks anonymous for the link. The article is interesting, but cries out for a more in-depth scholarly approach.

If you read my post, I didnt say that Osu WERE slaves. In my conversations with Igbos on the subject, it seems that Osu and Oru have become a little confused.

One thing we can all agree, it was the colonial encounter which utterly transformed Osu from being a priestly caste, as the article suggests, to being outcast. It is high time this history was chronicled in depth, and the discrimination challenged head on, don't you think?

Fred 5:49 pm  

You sense a Spielberg film? Been smoking that ganja again, doc?

As for not calling the Osu slaves, there really isn't much room for any other interpretation.

Akin 8:19 pm  

Moira Stuart did a documentary on the work of Wilberforce or his figurehead position in the abolition movement last Friday on BBC 2.

It was quite a compelling viewing and very much as when she did the one on tracing her ancestors.

More and more one realises all the bits that fit into the slave trade situation have yet to be comprehensively researched.

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