I recently presented a paper titled ‘London: The Local Nuances of the Transnational Social Movement for African Reparations’ at the Little Britain’s Memory of Slavery 2013: Local Nuances of a ‘National Sin’ conference at University College London (UCL).
This is the abstract of my paper:
Reparations for European chattel and colonial slavery and their shared legacies have surged to the forefront of anti-racist advocacy in African Diaspora communities across the transatlantic world, particularly in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. Indeed, the recent publishing of the Encyclopaedia of British Slave Ownership by University College London tracing the allocation of £20 million compensation paid to former British slave- owners for loss of their ‘property’ in the enslaved on the Abolition of Slavery, has brought the issue of reparations back into prominent focus.
Nevertheless, despite being a well established principle of international law, reparations for Africans and people of African Descent continue to be one of the most contentious issues in African and European memory. Conversely, it is impossible to understand how the demand for reparations has become so topical without taking into account the International Social Movement for African Reparations (ISMAR) based in the UK, which although has its ebbs and flows, continues to resurge with local, national and transnational dimensions. In introducing her ground–breaking PhD research on the historical trajectory and impact of the ISMAR, the author chronicles the various claims which London based activists have made on the British state, institutions and civil society including the prescriptions they have offered on how best to redress the legacies of African enslavement. By examining the ISMAR through the prism of those that are active in the movement, this paper will highlight the local nuances of the transnational ISMAR, thereby placing it on the map of global reparations historiography.
To visit the conference website see here: http://lbms13.org/