The backlash: how slavery research came under intense fire

When the historian Nicolas Bell-Romero started a job researching Cambridge University’s past links to transatlantic slavery three years ago, he did not expect to be pilloried in the national press by anonymous dons as “a ‘woke activist’ with an agenda”, writes Samira Shackle for The Guardian.

Before his work was even published, it would spark a bitter conflict at the university – with accusations of bullying and censorship that were quickly picked up by rightwing papers as a warning about “fanatical” scholars tarnishing Britain’s history.

What happened at the college demonstrates the collision between two different worldviews: one that sees research into the history of slavery as a routine, but vital, academic exercise; and another that sees it as an overtly biased undertaking and a threat to the way historical knowledge is produced. The intensity of this clash sheds some light on why it has proved so difficult to reappraise Britain’s past.
Full report on The Guardian site