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Nantes is finally confronting its slavery past

Breaking News
tags: slavery, France, Nantes



NANTES, France — On the banks of the Loire River in this port city, students come almost every day to see France’s only memorial to slaves taken by French ships to the New World….

The city’s opening of the memorial in 2012 and its overhaul of the history museum to take account of Nantes’s role in the slave trade have paved the way for other French port cities, including Bordeaux and La Rochelle, to bring their histories out of the shadows.

France was the third largest of the European slave-trading nations after Portugal and England, transporting an estimated 1.3 million to 1.4 million captives from Africa to the French colonies of Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, Louisiana and French Guiana, where they were sold into slavery.

The traders then brought back sugar, coffee, chocolate, spices and rum to Nantes, the city with the largest share of the French trade, transporting some 450,000 to 550,000 slaves.

Read entire article at NYT

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