Routes of Remembrance: Refashioning the Slave Trade in Ghana (University of Chicago Press, 2008), by Bayo Holsey, is the winner of this academic year's Toyin Falola Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) Africa Book Award. The $500 cash prize and citation will be presented in November in Ghana at the 27th Annual Conference of the ATWS. Bayo Holsey is assistant professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke.
The following is sample of excerpts from the judges' commentaries about Professor Holsey's book:
"The issue of slavery has often been addressed from people outside of Africa. This ethnographic study is as close as we've come to hearing the voices of African peoples on this issue."
"Holsey's work fuses historical antecedents and contemporary global relationships to explore the refashioning of the narrative of the slave trade and slavery in Africa in general and Ghana in particular. The strength of the work lies in Holsey's ability to weave the thematic strands of colonialism, racism, cosmopolitanism and globalization in order to interrogate the sequestering of the slave trade from the local African and Ghanaian discourses as well as the renewed clamor for resituating slavery in the proper historical context. Holsey's anthropological investigation shows how the public and the private discourse on slavery conspire to fashion slavery along Eurocentric perspectives on the one hand, and inspire a concerted effort for an Afrocentric interpretation. The work is a brilliant re-conceptualization of the horrendous trans-Atlantic slave trade."
"That the African Renaissance is holding roots is hardly in dispute when one reads the Africancentric exploration of the vexing issue of slavery in Bayo Holsey's effulgent work. The timing of this work and what is taking place at the Mali-South African Timbuktu Project must be the blessings of the Creator and the Afrikan ancestors."The timing of this work and what is taking place at the Mali-South African Timbuktu Project must be the blessings of the Creator and the Afrikan ancestors."
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