Simon Schama: Historian examines effects of the slave trade

Historians in the News

The introduction at last night’s Presidential Lecture was inspirational, to say the least.

“Libraries are indeed mobbed, and there is commotion across the media, but Simon Schama has come to the rescue,” said History Department Chair Aron Rodrigue as he introduced the night’s speaker to a standing-room-only Cubberley Auditorium.

Schama, a professor of Art History and History at Columbia University, spoke on the history of the slave trade in a lecture entitled, “The Abolition of the Slave Trade Two Hundred Years On — American and Britain: Two Diverging Destinies?”

“Schama has been at the forefront of the battle to bring narrative back into history and to make the art of story-telling accessible to everyone,” Rodrigue said in his introduction. “The task at hand is to move history back into the common public culture where it rightly belongs.”

Schama’s lecture was based on the topic of his most recent book, “Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves, and the American Revolution,” which explores the lives of African-American slaves who fought as Loyalists with the British during the American Revolution.

The lecture delved further into what Schama called a “poisonous paradox of early American history.”...

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