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Slavery and Emancipation in Twentieth Century Africa


The talk will focus on the XX century history of African slaves and slave descendants (Africans enslaved to other Africans in Africa). I will talk about the consequences of the colonial abolition of slavery in different African societies; the slow process of emancipation; the obstacles faced by men and women of slave descent (gender matters); and their main strategies of resistance and forms of social mobility. I will say something about contemporary slavery, too. I will present selected case studies to illustrate different circumstances in different African societies. The talk should be of interest to researchers working on racism, exclusion, marginalisation, labour history, and afrodescendientes. There are many common themes in the study of the experience of African slaves in Africa and African slaves in Brazil - so the talk will have the potential to stimulate some discussion and comparative reflections - or not - we will see. I will keep my presentation general, and we can look at specific dimensions in the discussion session (eg legal aspects, gender, colonialism and independence, etc).