Cambridge to study profits from trans-Atlantic slavery

                           Cambridge to study profits from trans-Atlantic slavery

The University of Cambridge said on Tuesday that it would conduct a two-year academic study of how it benefited from or validated the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Similarly, it would conduct study on the profit gained on other forms of coerced labour during the colonial era.

The study will explore the financial gain Cambridge might have accrued from the slave trade and also investigate the extent to which scholarship might have reinforced race-based thinking between the 18th and early 20th Century.

Estimates vary widely, but somewhere between 10 million and 28 million Africans are believed to have been shipped across the Atlantic between the 15th and 19th centuries.

Many died on the way.

Those who survived endured a life of subjugation on sugar, tobacco and cotton plantations.

Britain abolished the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1807, although the full abolition of slavery did not follow for another generation.

Martin Millett, the chairman of the eight-member advisory group overseeing the Cambridge study, said it was unclear what the investigation might turn up but that it was reasonable to assume that Cambridge had benefited from the slave trade.

READ  Nigerian Couple Bag Phds In Mathematics

“It is reasonable to assume that, like many large British institutions during the colonial era, the University will have benefited directly or indirectly from, and contributed to, the practices of the time,” said Millett, a professor of archaeology.

“The benefits may have been financial or through other gifts. But the panel is just as interested in the way scholars at the university helped shaped public and political opinion, supporting, reinforcing and sometimes contesting racial attitudes which are repugnant in the 21st Century.’’

The inquiry will be conducted by two full-time post-doctoral researchers based in the Centre of African Studies.

The research will examine specific gifts, bequests and historical connections with the slave trade.

It is unclear what action Cambridge will take if it does find that it benefited from slavery or validated it.

Some of the West’s top universities have been examining their past and the provenance of some of their wealth.

READ  Anambra State Police Rescue 12 Children Stolen From Gombe

In the United States, southern campuses have been rocked by arguments over the confederate flag.

In 2017, Yale renamed its Calhoun College after protesters said the Ivy League school should drop the honour it gave to an alumnus who was a prominent advocate of U.S. slavery.

It is now called Grace Hopper College after the computer scientist.

In Britain, Oxford has been ensnared in a debate over whether to remove a statue of 19th century colonialist Cecil Rhodes from one of the university’s colleges.

In 2018, Glasgow University said it would launch a “programme of reparative justice” after discovering it gained up to 260 million dollars in today’s money from historical slavery.

“We cannot change the past, but nor should we seek to hide from it,” said Stephen Toope, vice chancellor of Cambridge.

“I hope this process will help the university understand and acknowledge its role during that dark phase of human history.”

But opponents say such inquiries are driven by a modern fashion for picking over historical injustices, often lack nuance and, if applied broadly, would place under question almost every aspect of the early history of such ancient institutions.

READ  Strike: NANS appeals to FG to fulfill agreements reached with ASUU

Gill Evans, emeritus professor of medieval theology and intellectual history at Cambridge University, said that given the current “climate of anti-colonialism”, examining historic links with colonialism is one of the things every university now feels they have to do.

“Given the norms of the day, what they thought they were doing is not what it looks like,” Evans told the Daily Telegraph.

“Before you start taking blame, the first task is to understand the period, look at what the people who acted at the time actually thought they were doing. Culpability isn’t transferable from age to age without some nuancing.”

Cambridge, one of the world’s oldest universities, traces its history through over 800 years of history to 1209 when scholars from Oxford, which traces its history back to 1096, took refuge in the city.

(Reuters/NAN)

Recommended For You

1 Comment

  1. AFRICAN DATING AGENCY ORGANIZATION,THE BEST CERTIFIED RELIABLE AGENCY COMPANY IN NIGERIAN/GHANA
    ARE YOU SEEKING FOR A RICH SUGAR MUMMY/DADDY/LESBIANS/GAY/ IN NIGERIA, GHANA, ANYONE INTERESTED SHOULD CONTACT AFRICAN DATING AGENCY ORGANIZATION DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR IN NIGERIA VIA(+2348145236851)the only true legitimate agency for people who are seeking for rich and wealthy sugar mummy/daddy/lesbian/gay/ in Nigeria/Ghana u can also have the opportunity to attend our sugar mummies parties and the executive ladies and men parties by contacting Africa dating agency.
    for all works of life, we covered all the state in Nigeria/Ghana/ we are fully registered and recognized
    by CORPORATE AFFAIRS COMMISSION, read more
    about us on our official
    magazine called African dating magazine,were you find lots of comment and testimonies of people we have render our service from January 2010 up till date,
    we have links with ladies who are EXECUTIVES, BUSINESS DIRECTORS, ENTREPRENEURS, BIG TIME OIL LADIES, BANKERS, GOLD DEALERS, LADIES WHO OWNS THEIR OWN COMPANIES, OIL RIGS, AND we also have them in FOREIGN COUNTRIES, LIKE DUBAI LONDON, PARIS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, we are around the world…. WE DELIVER UNIQUE, RELIABLE, CONFIDENTIAL SERVICE TO ALL OUR CLIENT But you must be very presentable, handsome, pretty and humble, you must also be very good on bed.
    If you are very sure of yourself that you have all these qualities…. then contact African dating agency for hookup within 48 hours and make cool cash, anyone interested should start calling now for hookup…
    NAME….JAMES BALOGUN
    FB ID… BALOGUN SODIQ JAMES
    EMILE ADDRESS…BALOGUNS60@YAHOO.COM
    WHATSAPP NO…….+2348145236851

Leave a Reply