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Jews and the Slave Trade
4th April 2017 @ 7:30 pm - 9:15 pm£3.00 - £5.00
In 1991, the Nation of Islam first published the Secret Relationships between Jews and Blacks charging Jews with controlling the Atlantic Slave trade. The book has been furiously rebutted by academics but its assertions are still circulating unquestioned on a number of popular Black History sites. How significant is this? How is the Jewish role in slavery- especially in the British Caribbean variously perceived by Black Britons today and by British Jews? What is the present state of historiography relating to Jews and the Atlantic Slave Trade? And to what extent did the controversy so engendered challenge Jewish historiography? This paper begins to consider these questions in the light of Madge’s own experience both as an academic historian (who has published on both slavery and its legacy in Britain and on ethnic identity) and as a public historian who has worked closely with both museums and Black and Jewish community and history groups in Britain.
Madge Dresser is a Senior Research Fellow and recently retired Associate Professor in History at the University of the West of England, Bristol and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. The author of Slavery Obscured: the Social History of the Slave Trade in Bristol (London: Continuum, 2001, reprinted Redcliffe Press 2007) she has a long standing interest in the history of slavery, questions of national identity and the position of ethnic and religious minorities in British society.. In 2013 she co-authored and co-edited Slavery and the British Country House for Historic England and more recently has co-authored and edited Women and the City: Bristol 1373-2000. (Bristol: Redcliffe Press, 2016).
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