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The Persistence of the Past: Coming to Terms with the Long History of Slavery in the Americas

Speaker: Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo (Professor of History, Howard University)

As the country continues to grapple with social justice issues, the question of what to do with statues and imagery related to the Confederacy and America’s antebellum past continues to be debated. To explore this topic, the Gaines Center for the Humanities’ Thomas D. Clark Lectureship in the Humanities presented by historian Ana Lucia Araujo, professor at Howard University, will address the topic. Araujo’s free public lecture, “The Persistence of the Past: Coming to Terms with the Long History of Slavery in the Americas,” will be given 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 25, on Zoom.

The 2021 Clark Lecture is based on Araujo’s recent book “Slavery in the Age of Memory: Engaging the Past” (Bloomsbury, 2020). As part of her Clark Lecture, Araujo explores how memory of slavery is racialized and gendered. She shows that calls to take down Confederate monuments and pro-slavery statues that became more visible over the last few years and especially during the summer of 2020, are more than just attempts to come to terms with the past. Using examples from the United States, Britain and France, Araujo shows that debates about the past of slavery are associated with the persistent racial inequalities, racism and white supremacy which still shape societies where slavery existed.

Individuals interested in watching the Araujo’s 2021 Clark Lecture, “The Persistence of the Past,” are asked to register ahead of the Zoom event.