In this work, Ana Lucia Araujo documents multiple and conflicting memorializations of slavery among descendants of both slaves and slave traders in Brazil and the Republic of Benin. Araujo chooses these sites particularly because of the well-documented historic ties between Brazil (especially Bahia) and Benin (then Dahomey) during the period of the slave trade and after. In both countries, relatively recent initiatives have begun to acknowledge and commemorate the legacies of those connections in often contradictory ways.

When Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited Gorée Island in 2005, he made an ambivalent apology. “I do not have any responsibility for what happened during the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries,” Lula asserted, “but I think it is a good policy to apologize to the people of Senegal and Africa for what we have done” (p. 63). The following year in Ouidah, Lula...

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