Museums across the U.S., including at Harvard University, collected human remains, which were often displayed to the public.
Smith Collection/Gado/Archive Photos via Getty Images
Proposed legislation would identify and protect African American cemeteries. But it wouldn’t cover the remains of thousands of Black people in museum collections.
Freed slaves on the plantation of Confederate General Thomas F. Drayton in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This photograph was taken circa 1865.
Getty Images / CORBIS
The health care inequities suffered by Black Americans today began centuries ago.
A studio group portrait of the Fisk University Jubilee singers.
James Wallace Black/American Missionary Association
Spirituals were created out of the experience of enslaved people in the US. They weren’t songs of anger – but of an abiding belief in the victory of good over evil.
An attorney for the Muslim enclave of Islamberg prays in a mosque in Tompkins, New York. American Muslims have a history going back 400 years.
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
Muslims are not new to America. The first Muslims came as slaves and left a deep influence on a host of music genres, such as the blues and jazz.
St Augustine Catholic Church Archive.
Catholic Church records document the earliest black history in the US, going back to the 1590s. These records tell the histories of Africans, free and enslaved, who were part of Spanish expeditions.
A New York Times article from 1910 describes founding of Mound Bayou, a town founded on the wealth of a steamboat patent.
American slaves couldn’t hold property – including patents on their own inventions. But that didn’t stop black Americans from innovating since the beginning of the country’s history.
Slaves’ stories are not commonly known. But historical archives hold a clue to individual lives.
It is possible to trace the links between patriarchy, violence, gender roles, and the state further into the past. It’s also possible to trace the ongoing resistance to these by some women.
Hair speaks of the past, and of cultural heritage.
Hair has long been modified for aesthetic and other ends. But skewed power structures have meant that women, particularly women of colour, have borne the brunt of stereotyping and prejudice.
Research shows the public has a poor understanding of what slavery is and how often they encounter it. Here’s how to tell if your manicurist is working against their will.
The number of people in slavery across the world is on the rise, or maybe researchers are just getting better at counting.
Demonstrating in Washington state, November 2015.
Many groups have been labeled ‘enemy’ in the American past. A literary scholar looks at the role literature and philosophy have played in dispelling fears and shifting public attitudes.
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Slave by Shutterstock
The horrors of slavery also spread to research: black bodies provided easy targets for medical experiments.
The Slave Trade painted by a French abolitionist artist.
This article was published in 2014. An updated version was published in 2017 Foundation essay: This article was part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays…