Jacaranda Books have put together a collection of titles in honour of the International Day of African Resistance Against Enslavement.
Otherwise referred to as Slavery Remembrance Day, today we adopt an alternative terminology — with thanks to The African Or Black Question for their important and longstanding campaign on this matter — in an attempt to centre and restore agency to Africans.
Prior to its official adoption in 2007, the British government had originally ordered an annual slavery commemoration to take place on March 25th, the date of the 1807 Abolition Of The Slave Trade Act.
Many grassroots organisations opposed this, however, since the Act did not actually end chattel enslavement. This public pressure successfully led to the adoption of August 23rd, marking the beginning of the Haitian Revolution in 1791.
Yet, while the date of August 23rd now serves as a reminder that Africans were the main agents of their own liberation, the same cannot be entirely said for the terminology: Slavery Remembrance Day, for many pan-Africanists, overlooks this agency in favour of the 'benevolent' European abolitionists.
Instead, the International Day of African Resistance Against Enslavement ensures the focus remains on the strength and resilience of Africans.
Jacaranda Books have long honoured that spirit of empowerment, with our incredible family of authors across the continent and diaspora showcasing the best of African literature.
This year, we mark August 23rd with a collection befitting the remembrance. Afrofuturist epics. Social history travel guides. Historical fiction rooted in real-life struggle. Poetry collections that reflect on colonial pasts and presents.
African voices and African stories that restore agency to those who resist.
You can browse the collection here. For the rest of August, buy one title and get 50% off another in the collection.