University of Cambridge > > Department of Archaeology - Garrod seminar series > Slavery, emancipation, and the quest for reparations in Antigua and Barbuda

Slavery, emancipation, and the quest for reparations in Antigua and Barbuda

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  • UserDr Beatriz Marín-Aguilera, University of Cambridge World_link
  • ClockThursday 22 October 2020, 16:00-17:30
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lydia Clough.

Abstract: The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda began the quest for reparations for the African slave trade in 2011 during the UN General Assembly’s annual general debate. Years earlier, Antiguan slave past was unearthed, for the first time, by archaeologists. The material lives of African and Afro-descendant slaves, silenced by the colonial records, were brought to life, as well as the need to build a different history of the country. Settled by the British in 1632, Antigua became a leading colony in the production and trade of sugar cane. By 1736, 85% of the population were African and Afro-descendant slaves working on the very lucrative plantations. Sugar, and particularly African and Afro-Caribbean slaves’ labour, fuelled the British economy and the wealth of the nation’s landed aristocracy who, in turn, became the benefactors of the most important universities in Britain and in New England. Drawing on the material culture of both slaves and planters in Antigua and in England, this seminar addresses the significance of archaeology in exhibiting slaves’ lives, as well as the need for a combined heritage narrative between the West Indies and the UK that officially confronts past injustices and acknowledges the long-standing legacies of slavery.

Dr Beatriz Marín-Aguilera is a Renfrew Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College

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This talk is part of the Department of Archaeology - Garrod seminar series series.

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