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Sociology & Anthropology

Routes of Remembrance: Refashioning the Slave trade in Ghana

Summary of Book by Bayo Hosley, 2008
Published by University of Chicago Press

In this book, Bayo Hosley examines the contradictions that frame the work of memory in and on Cape Coast and Elmina, two towns in Ghana whose main attractions are the castles where Africans were imprisoned before the transatlantic journey through the Middle Passage. The castles are key sites for analyses of the slave trade and the black diaspora, yet Hosley notes the concurrent absence of discussions of the slave trade for local residents. The book is concerned with the ways the public memory of slavery is resisted and deferred. Hosley argues that the narratives tied to the slave trade are so closely tied to a European popular historical narratives that position Africans as either victim or perpetrator of the trade. By way of response, residents of Cape Coast and Elmina reconstitute the narratives of the slave trade through narratives of their families, region and nation to produce a more respectable image in the public memory