Racism in western academia continues to fuel attacks on aspects of African history by claiming numbers of African deaths lost through Maafa were exaggerated. In a recent article about Goree Island in Senegal, it was reported that University of Chicago historian Ralph Austen, took part in a debate supporting the claim that “A lot of people have been taken in by the Goree scam,”
The late Goree curator Joseph N’Diaye was accused of perpetuating a “hoax” by the late historian Philip Curtin who argued that the wealthy slaver who built Goree in 1775-78 “may or may not” have held some enslaved Africans on the lower floor. He claimed that no more than 30,000 Africans were forcibly transported in total.
It was reported that the UNESCO Secretary General Koichiro Matsuura, declared on the UN body’s website, that “hundreds of thousands” of men, women and children were “rounded up in chains” and then transported from Goree Island “to servitude in the New World.”
Eloi Coly, the museum’s current curator states “Concerning the number of [enslaved Africans], Goree Island is not very important. Today what has happened is that the memory of [slavery] is located here in the House of [the enslaved].”
Goree Island: The infamous door of no return where enslaved Africans passed or were fed to sharks
Maafa is not a scam
The pan Africanist writer, Toyin Agbetu, who visited Goree Island when producing the documentary Maisha Solutions in 2008 said; “it is simply morally repugnant for anyone to associate the terms ‘scam’ and ‘hoax’ with an atrocity such as the Maafa. Whilst I do not seek to encourage censorship or risk limiting academic vigor in ascertaining truth through research, I do believe that in the same way that holocaust denial is recognised as an offence by some european nations, a similar courtesy or at least recognition of dignity should be extended to African people and their Ancestors. This is a genuine traumatic history with reverberations still being felt across the entire world, 30,000 or 30 million – the loss, enslavement, and continued impoverishment and commercial exploitation of Africa and her children is not a scam.”
External LinksInfamous House of Slaves remains a powerful symbolPhilip Curtin, 87, Scholar of Slavery, Is Dead
Ligali is not responsible for the content of third party sites
Should Maafa denial be a crime in African countries?
Click here to speak out
or read (1) comments about this article