How the old French slave-trading cities are working on their past

Repeating Islands

slaveryFranceMaxime Tellier (France Culture) writes about France’s slavery past, which has resurfaced since the death of George Floyd in the United States. He asks, “How is this past approached by cities that enriched themselves with the slave trade? He shares the present situation in Nantes, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, and Le Havre. Here are excerpts:

Large French cities flourished thanks to slavery and the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries, a past that re-emerges today in the wake of the movement borne of George Floyd’s death. In many cities in Europe and the United States, symbols of slavery, colonialism, or racism are being torn down: statues, street names, etc. In France, the port cities associated with this heavy past have begun to carry out a work of remembrance but this reflection remains very recent and is far from being completed.

Some key figures and data

The Atlantic…

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