Diasporic Perspectives on Maroonage, Resistance and Freedom

Speaker / Presenter: 

Dr. Kwasi Konadu, The City University of New York
Tuesday, March 3, 2015 -
1:15pm to 2:15pm
Maginnes Hall, Room 260
1st Annual African Diaspora and Atlantic World Seminar
It would seem paradoxical that the enslaved would have something important to say about “freedom.” Their non-linear movement from kin network to capture and imprisonment to exportation and 
enslavement held meanings that were at odds, escalating in severity and becoming more fixed the further removed from the protection of natal family and community. No one but the enslaved could know the exact meanings of freedom, and it is doubtful they would agree with the false binary notion of slavery and freedom as if the presence of one means the absence of the other. In our noble attempts to “give voice” to the enslaved, we assume wrongly the enslaved do not have their own voices and interpretive perspectives to offer. This talk seeks to reinterpret the idea of “freedom” in the formative phase of the “Atlantic world” using salient experiences from Akan peoples domiciled in the Americas. 
Dr. Kwasi Konadu is Professor of History and ARC Distinguish CUNY Fellow at The City University of New York. He has conducted extensive archival and field research in West Africa, Europe, Brazil, the 
Caribbean basin, and North America, and much of his writings focus on African and African diasporic history. He is the author of Indigenous Medicine and Knowledge in African Society (Routledge, 2007), 
A View from the East: Education and Black Cultural Nationalism in New York City (Syracuse Univ. Press, 2009),The Akan Diaspora in the Americas (Oxford Univ. Press, 2010), The Akan People: A Documentary and Historical Reader, 2 vols. (Markus Wiener Publishers, 2013), Transatlantic Africa, 1440-1880 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2014), and (with Clifford Campbell) The Ghana Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke Univ. Press, 2016). Dr. Konadu is currently writing a history of diaspora and settlement in the Gold Coast/Ghana, a history of slavery and spirituality in Atlantic Africa, and a world history that focuses on the challenge of human co-existence. Dr. Konadu is also the founding director of the nonprofit publishing group, Diasporic Africa Press, Inc.