Saturday, February 7, 2009

Black History Month & What's In a Name.

Dr. Wilfred D. Samuels is pu-umped on Olaudah Equiano. Dr. Samuels is a professor of english and ethnic studies at the University of Utah and gave a lecture on the difficulties of family geneology for African-Americans. Dr. Samuels spoke on how freed slaves would rarely get their birth names, laced with familial and cultural meaning and significance, as their "official" names. In addition to losing a piece of identity, tracing family roots is almost impossible for the descendants of these individuals. If family roots are difficult to trace, family histories, family origins, and ultimately cultural origins and histories are also latent. According to Samuels, this is why the writings about Olaudah Equiano are so valuable. Look him up if this stuff is interesting to you.


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