Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


Atlantic Slavery: Lost in Trans-lation




College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Date Range



The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade (TAST) forms the most transnational exchange surrounding the African Diaspora. The TAST to the Americas relocated millions of people, treated them as property based on their melanin, caused many wars, degraded millions and affects the world today. To broaden our understanding, we decided to interview secondary teachers, read the texts and study the national standards in a location at the heart of the TAST Ghana, a central embarking point. What we found was a lack of instruction about the transnational and contemporary impacts of the TAST. Through our studies of how the TAST is taught inGhana's secondary schools we discovered a need to expand how teachers inform students about the breadth of the TAST. Teachers, standards and texts in Ghana's secondary schools often fail to reach beyond the slave ships' departures and often do not scratch the surface about the contemporary impact of the TAST. In Cape Coast, Ghana, the two of us spent five months researching how Ghanaians teach the slave trade. First, we read the Ghanaian national standards for the TAST, which are not transnational or relevant to contemporary Ghana. The national standards discuss nothing about what happened to Ghanaians when they reached the Americas or how the slave trade impacts their students today. Second, we interviewed secondary teachers about their content and read their texts. Our conversations found teachers rarely or barely reach beyond the standards. The texts fall into a very similar limited framework.

Conference Name

Forum for African Studies

Conference Location

Stanford University

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