Confronting the History of the Slave Trade

9780822341277 Yesterday's LA Times features an Op-Ed by Marcus Rediker about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech calling for atonement for the slave trade. Most accounts of the slave trade focus on the role of the English and the Americans, but in fact the French transported and enslaved four times as many Africans as the Americans did. Christopher Miller argues that the French have not yet come to terms with their role in the brutal trade in his new book The French Atlantic Triangle, which is the first comprehensive examination of the French Atlantic slave trade and its consequences as represented in the history, literature, and film of France and its former colonies in Africa and the Caribbean. It was only in 2006 that the French government formally acknowledged its responsibility for the slave trade, which was not abolished there until 1831.

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