Slavery, remembrance, and sites of historical memory: The case of badagry

Edmund Abaka, George Xorse Kumasenu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Badagry, a lagoonside city in Lagos State, Nigeria, is of tremendous historical significance due to its long history of slave trading, which dates from the early sixteenth century and reached a peak in the 1720s. The city attracted prominent local and Portuguese slave merchants such as Felix de Souza, Domingo Martinez, and Ferman Gomez as pioneer slave merchants in the city. This paper argues that the trade in enslaved persons was a significant factor in the rise of Badagry as a prominent lagoonside city on the coast of West Africa. Today, Badagry is an important historical city because of its trans-Atlantic connections and sites of historical memory that vividly capture, preserve, and tell the story and experiences of the enslaved as essential dimensions of African, African diaspora, and world history. The barracoons, the Vlekete slave market that was, and still is, beside the shrine of the chief priest (Aplogan) of Badagry, the heritage museum, and the "point of no return"at Gberefu beach, constitute some of the remarkable sites of historical memory that still dot the city of Badagry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-126
Number of pages23
JournalAfrican Economic History
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Economics and Econometrics

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