Julian Worricker presented his Radio Five show today from Ghana, while actor Kwame Kwei-Armah (ne Ian Roberts in Hillingdon - like Muhammad Ali, he rejected his 'slave name') was in Liverpool.
I think it's fair to say that neither Worricker nor Kwei-Armah are immersed in the history.
When an interviewee asked why slave traders had gone to Africa rather than Russia for their slaves, Worricker was unable to reply that slave traders HAD gone there, that black and Russian slaves worked in Italy as far back as 1300, nor was he aware of probably the most famous Ukranian slave.
Worricker then passed control to Kwei-Armah in Liverpool, whose interview (41 minutes in) with the historian Anthony Beevor is a small classic, as Beevor resolutely failed to play to the script and insisted on pointing out that the British were only one of many slaving nations. Beevor mentioned the Arab slave trade, at which Kwei-Armah asked him why he was talking about Arab rather than Western slavery. Was he in denial ?
Kwei-Armah – "What forms of slavery took away their names ?"
Anthony Beevor – "Well in terms of the Arab slave trade they did worse than this. Recent research suggests that 90% of the males died from castration."
K-A - "I did not ask you that. I asked about the names."
AB – "Well yes. All slaves had their names taken away, back to Roman times."
K-A – "Oh."
(Thanks to Recovering Liberal)