Teaching the Traite Négrière: The Representation of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in Cameroonian Secondary Education

Ann Sagan, SIT Study Abroad

Cameroon: Development and Social Change


This paper addresses the way that the trans-Atlantic slave trade is taught in secondary schools in Cameroon, specifically in the cities of Bafoussam, Dschang, and Bamenda in the West and Northwest provinces. It is the result of information offered by Cameroonian teachers, professors, educational administrators, authors, and students. Looking first at the methods of research and the ethics of such a study, the paper then discusses the effects of colonialism on history education and the synthesizes the words and thoughts of students and teachers in order to illustrate the general attitudes towards the trans-Atlantic slave trade that were observed. Finally the paper tries to position the pedagogy of the slave trade as one part of a changing historical perspective offered in secondary schools, which both reiterates colonial education and attempts to redirect it towards a more specifically African perspective.