The Trouble with the Dutch Commemoration of the Abolition of Slavery

On the first of July this year the Netherlands are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the abolishment of slavery in their former colonies Suriname and their dependencies: the Dutch Antilles. The mayor of Amsterdam considered it a good time for a celebration. So he decided to think big and invited the US First Lady Michelle Obama, writers Toni Morrison and Alice Walker and former black panther activist Angela Davis. However, looking at the politics around slavery and its commemoration, one may wonder whether we should cheer for this step taken or if we should question why exactly these African American speakers are invited.  Continue reading