Articles on Slavery

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Serena Williams looks at her box during the women’s final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament against Naomi Osaka, of Japan on Sept. 8, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

That racist caricature of Serena Williams makes me so angry

Serena Williams challenged decades of stereotypes when she revealed her anger after she disagreed with a U.S. Open umpire. A racist caricature and calls to boycott her playing by umpires followed.
Prison jobs are always low paid, often difficult, and produce many of the foodstuffs and services many Americans use every day. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

Prisoner strike exposes an age old American reliance on forced labor

Enslaved workers used to grow cotton and mill flour. Now prisoners grind beef and crate eggs. Here, a historian explores Americans' troubling habit of consuming the products of slave labor.
A statue in Port-au-Pirnce honors Jean-Jacques Dessalines’ legacy as a Haitian revolutionary. Now, a renamed Brooklyn street does, too. AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery

Meet Haiti’s founding father, whose black revolution was too radical for Thomas Jefferson

A renamed Brooklyn street celebrates Jean-Jacques Dessalines, a Haitian slave turned president. For centuries his legacy was tarnished by allegations that Haiti's revolution led to 'white genocide.'
Protesters toppled the ‘Silent Sam’ Confederate statue on Aug. 20 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Gerry Broome/AP

Tearing down Confederate statues leaves structural racism intact

Toppling statues devoted to Confederate soldiers may be a joyous moment for protesters who fight white supremacy, but after the statues fall, structural racism remains, a scholar on slavery argues.
Sections of a Brazilian slave ship from the 19th century. Robert Walsh, as shown on www.slaveryimages.org, compiled by Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities." caption="A Brazilian slave ship from the 19th century." zoomable="true

Transatlantic slave trade was not entirely ‘triangular’ – countries in the Americas sent ships out too

Merchants from Brazil, Cuba, North America and the British West Indies traded goods grown by slaves on plantations, for more slaves.
After the Civil War, Texas’s sugar cane plantations were still farmed by unpaid black laborers – prisoners forced to work for free in a system called ‘convict leasing.’

A Texas city discovered a mass grave of prison laborers. What should it do with the bodies?

An African-American burial ground uncovered at a construction site in Texas has ignited debate on how to protect black history as suburban sprawl overtakes rural areas once farmed by enslaved workers.
Police use water cannons against a demonstrator, Nantes, western France, on September 15, 2016. LOIC VENANCE / AFP

‘When the revolution becomes the State it becomes my enemy again’: an interview with James C. Scott

In an exclusive interview, Professor James Scott discusses anarchism and State resistance by so-called “powerless” actors. Excerpts for The Conversation France.
The Mormon church is still grappling with a racial past. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File

Mormons confront a history of Church racism

Forty years ago, the Mormon church reversed restrictions on its members of African-American descent. Today, the church wants to celebrate the value of its diversity.
Killmonger, the evil villain of ‘Black Panther,’ has plans of global insurgencies to liberate Black people. (Marvel/Disney)

‘Black Panther’ villain can teach us about revolutionary history

The lead villain of Black Panther is a complex character who represents years of conflicting debates among African American leaders about how to achieve Black liberation.
Could a North-African migrant become the Prime minister of a European country in the 21st century? In the 19th century, a Greek slave rose to the highest ranks in Tunis. The Bey of Tunis, Muhammad Sādiq Bāšā-Bey, greets Napoleon III in Algiers, on 20 September 1860. A. de Belle Ksar Saïd Museum

Migrants: when Europeans once flocked to North African shores

When we think of migrants, we think of them crossing the Mediterranean to come to Europe. Yet 200 years ago, many did it the other way.

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