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Public Memory and Reparations for Slavery in Brazil and the United States

Fri, Sep 25, 7:00 to 9:00pm, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 1, Georgia 10

Abstract

This paper is part of a larger project discussing the multiple dimensions of the public discourses on reparations for slavery, from the abolitionist and post-abolition periods to the present. Relying on a myriad of primary sources, including abolitionist pamphlets, parliamentary debates, petitions by former slaves, and congressional bills, as well as more recent documents produced by black activists and politicians in Brazil and the United States, this paper discusses how the issue of financial, material, and symbolic reparations for slavery were addressed since the abolition of slavery in both countries. The paper explores why and how the demands of reparations for slavery have been emphasized or dismissed in public debates by the multiple historical actors in the two largest slave societies of the Americas.

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