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Symposium examines legacy of slave trade

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Lawrence Hill
Lawrence Hill, award-winning author of Someone Knows My Name,speaks Thursday at the symposium “Slavery and its Aftermath in the Atlantic World.”

Over nearly 300 years, more than 12 million Africans were kidnapped and taken abroad to be used as slave labor. The Atlantic slave trade fueled the economies of most Western European nations and their colonies in the New World.

The slave trade and its legacy will be the focus this week of a three-day symposium and a library exhibit of rare documents.

The symposium, “Slavery and its Aftermath in the Atlantic World,” opens Thursday with a lecture by Lawrence Hill, award-winning author of Someone Knows My Name.

Rare 18th and 19th century documents, including letters, government reports, diaries and slave ship drawings, will help tell the story through the library’s exhibit, “Commerce in Human Souls: the Legacy of the Atlantic Slave Trade.”

The symposium continues through Saturday in Student Center East with a lecture Friday by Toyin Falola, noted African studies scholar at University of Texas at Austin, and sessions on abolition, Caribbean and Black Atlantic thought, the colonial legacy and future of Sierra Leone and other topics.

“As part UIC’s 30th anniversary celebration, the Institute for the Humanities is delivering a series of programs on how crises appear through the lens of the humanities and the ways the humanities help us understand the origins, nature and scope of crisis,” said Susan Levine, director of the Institute for the Humanities.

The symposium is free. For more information, call 312-996-6352.

The exhibit in the Daley Library special collections opens Friday and will be displayed through May 31, 2013.


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