The Impact of ’12 Years A Slave’: Using Family History to address the Legacies of Slavery

Posted: March 9, 2014 in Uncategorized

Legacies of British Slave-ownership

Guest Blog by: Patrick Vernon[1]

 The success of Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years A Slave at the Oscars provides a new opportunity to explore the legacy of enslavement through the lens of family history and mental well being. In his acceptance speech, McQueen stated “I dedicate this award to all the people who have endured slavery and the 21 million people who still suffer slavery today.” Although it may feel coded, the expression ‘endured slavery’ is of major significance when exploring the emotional legacy of the enslaved past; this is because this past still has an impact in terms of behaviour, cultural norms, parenting, relationships, lifestyle choices and in how identity is projected and received, not only for people of African descent, but also for people of European descent. In the United States, academics such as Dr Na’im Akbar and Dr Joy Leary have used the concept of post-traumatic…

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Comments
  1. devon dc says:

    Thoughtful piece Vernon – can think of lots of people who would welcome these suggestions,and a whole lot more people who probably wont welcome them…

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