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Derek Petersen       Becky Ayebia Clarke
Derek Petersen
Cambridge University

Becky Ayebia Clarke
Ayebia Publishers

"In a way the bi-centenary celebration is a kind of ambiguous occasion for me. As you would have seen, it has to a certain extent become an occasion in which British political leaders want to beat their chests about their roles in bringing slavery to an end. And about what they did in the past to help advance liberty. I don’t think myself that that is how this occasion should be remembered. We’ve tried to organize this lecture series so that it can be shown that the period of abolition of slavery wasn’t a moment of profound transition in the real sense of the word. Rather it marked the beginning of a different form of inequality and political exploitation, particularly colonial imperialism..."
          "According to Charles Larson, ‘those who say that nothing good has come out of Africa have not read the continent’s writers. African writers inhabit a world devoid of privilege or advantage, lacking many of the things that their Western counterparts take for granted such as—informed and understanding critics, rarely encounter enlightened political leaders willing to acknowledge the importance of the arts...Diasporic writing is increasingly connecting with writing on the continent and this can only be a good thing. These cross-cultural currents and fertilization of ideas and sharing of information can only help to strengthen the foundation laid by cultural activists such as W. E. B. Du Bois..."  
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