More about Abolition from the BBCThe Story of Africa  
The Abolition season on BBC World Service
 
Ancestry
 

People sitting on a bench, a finger on a register of slaves

Ancestry

 

Just how African do you feel as a descendent of slaves whether you live in the UK, Brazil, Caribbean or the US?

For the anniversary of the abolition of the Atlantic slave trade, Outlook looks at ancestry and identity.

The programme talks to people who have traced their roots back to plantation workers - and to slave owners - and further down the generations to the west coast of Africa.




Being There

 

Elmina Castle is a 15th Century slave fort on the coast of Ghana.

Outlook joins three African-Americans trying to get a sense of what their ancestors went through.

It was from here that many Africans were forced onto slave ships bound for the New World.

 Listen to Outlook from Elmina Castle




Unexpected Discovery

 

Ekow Eshun is artistic director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts.

Son of Ghanaian parents, when he visited the country he was looking for a simple reconnection with his roots.

He made a surprising and disquieting discovery - two of his ancestors where slave traders and one of them was a white Dutchman.

 Listen to Outlook's interview with Ekow Eshun




Snippets of Personal History

 

When Gwen Midlo Hall compiled a database of genealogical data on over 100,000 slaves, she thought it would be of interest to just a handful of academics.

Instead this resource has been seized upon by ordinary African-Americans keen to discover more about their personal family history.

 Listen to Outlook's interview with Gwen Midlo Hall




Giving a Face to a Name

 

Meet Outlook listener Virginia King Hugill who discovered that her great great grandmother was born into slavery.

Listen to her story.

 Listen to Outlook's interview with Virginia King Hugill




Lasting Effects

 

"It's bizarre when you go back to where you came from, because you see yourself... To feel like cargo. To feel like property. You imagine it. "

Lenny Henry is a British Black comedian. For Outlook he talks about his upbringing with Jamaican parents and the legacy that slavery has left on the diaspora.

 Listen to Outlook's interview with Lenny Henry




Kenyan Witness

 

Arab raiders hunted people as far south as Lake Malawi and took them to the slave market in modern-day Zanzibar.

Some captives managed to escape or were rescued; 93-year-old Walter Mbotela's grandfather was one of the lucky ones - he was saved by a British ship and allowed to live as a free man in Kenya.

Walter Mbotela told his grandfather's story to Kevin Mwachiro for Network Africa.

 Listen to Network Africa's Walter Mbotela




Coming Home

 

Some of the descendants of slaves taken to America and the Caribbean are now making their way back to Africa under their own steam and with dreams of healing the wounds in the past.

Rabbi Cohain Netanya Halabi is one of them - he's lived in Ghana for the last 13 years.

For Network Africa Kwaku Sakyi-Addo asked him how many African-Americans had settled in Ghana.

 Listen to Rabbi Cohain Netanya Halabi




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