Sea Captains drinking alcohol

Ships Going Out

In "American Slavers," Sean M. Kelley surveys the relatively unknown history of Americans who traded in slaves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Up close of Viola Davis in African warrior gear from on the set of the film "The Woman King."

The Woman King Softens the Truth of the Slave Trade

The Dahomey had fierce female fighters. They also sold people overseas.
Engraving of the stowage plans of the slave ship Brooks, 1814.

How Transatlantic Slave Trade Shaped Epidemiology Today

Slave ships and colonial plantations created environments that enabled doctors to study how diseases spread.
engraving of a slave ship

Why Did the Slave Trade Survive So Long?

The history of the Atlantic slave trade after the American Revolution is a story of sustained efforts to suppress it even as demand for slaves increased.
Graphic with images of New York in 1865, a slave ship, silhouette of Sanchez, and a page from Sanchez's notes.

How a Cuban Spy Sabotaged New York's Thriving, Illicit Slave Trade

Emilio Sanchez and the British government fought the lucrative business as American authorities looked the other way.
A painting of a slave ship.

New York City and the Persistence of the Atlantic Slave Trade

Even after slave trade was banned, the United States and New York City, in particular, were complicit in allowing it to persist.
Monument of a fist holding a broken shackle

Atlantic Slavery: An Eternal War

Julia Gaffield reviews two books that discuss the transatlantic slave trade.

A Symbol of Slavery — and Survival

Angela’s arrival in Jamestown in 1619 marked the beginning of a subjugation that left millions in chains.

Historians Expose Early Scientists’ Debt to the Slave Trade

Key plant and animal specimens arrived in Europe on slavers’ ships
Lithograph of a white man beating an enslaved man.

How Slavery Made the Modern Scotland

A new documentary lays bare just how central a role Scotland played in the slave trade.

A Wretched Situation Made Plain on Paper

How an engraving of a slave ship helped the abolition movement.

The Dark Underbelly of Jefferson Davis's Camels

How the U.S. Army's antebellum camel experimentation paved the way for the illicit trafficking of enslaved Africans.

The Fallacy of 1619

Rethinking the history of Africans in early America.

This Haunting Animation Maps the Journeys of 15,790 Slave Ships in Two Minutes

315 years. 20,528 voyages. Millions of lives.

Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Nine maps of the transatlantic slave trade between 1500 and 1900.
A painting by J. M. W. Turner depicting a slave ship throwing its dead into the stormy waters.

The Slave Trade and the Jews

Jews have long been feared as the power behind inexplicable evils. Responsibility for the African slave trade has recently been added to this list of crimes.
Two elderly Black women.

How the Memory of a Song Reunited Two Women Separated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

In 1990, scholars found a Sierra Leonean woman who remembered a nearly identical version of a tune passed down by a Georgia woman’s enslaved ancestors
Painting of Reverend Lemuel Haynes preaching

The Revolution Within the American Revolution

Supported and largely led by slaveholders, the American Revolution was also, paradoxically, a profound antislavery event.
Oil painting of two storm-tossed ships on a churning sea.

Startup Imperialism: Venture Capital and the Age of Exploration

A re-examination of the Age of Exploration may have more than a little to teach us about modern venture capitalists.

Africa, the Center of History

A new book works to counteract the “symphony of erasure” that has obscured and denied Africa’s contributions to the contemporary world.