Black residents of Natchez, Miss., walk alongside a railroad track in August 1940.

One of the Biggest U.S. Slave Markets Finally Reckons With Its Past

Natchez, Miss., is beginning to highlight the history of its enslaved people—including at a Black-owned bed and breakfast in former slave quarters.
Painting of George Washington among enslaved laborers working in a field.

What Florida Gets Wrong about George Washington and the Benefits He Received from Enslaving Black People

Florida’s new standards for teaching social studies include throwbacks to an interpretation of slavery as benign or inconsequential.
Daniel Smith in 2013, sitting on a sofa in his living room.

Daniel Smith, 90, Dies; Thought to Be the Last Child of an Enslaved Person

He led a life marked by encounters with touchstone moments in Black history, from the March on Washington to Barack Obama’s first inauguration.
Railroad Station next to a single track

“For the Purpose of Appointing Vigilance Committees:” Fearing Abolitionists in Central Virginia

Newspaper announcements from 1859 reveal how some Richmond slaveholders organized to protect the institution of slavery.
An enslaved Alabama family and the question of generational wealth in the US

An Enslaved Alabama Family and the Question of Generational Wealth in the US

Wealthy planter Samuel Townshend wanted to leave this estate to his children when he died—an ordinary enough wish. The trouble was: his children were enslaved.
Graphic of money breaking the chains holding black hands.

There’s No Freedom Without Reparations

A movement to secure payments for descendants of enslaved people rages on.
Lithograph depicting Margert Garner standing over the body of her dead daughter, to the shock of slave catchers.

Discarding Legal Precedent to Control Women's Reproductive Rights is Rooted in Colonial Slavery

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito made reference to the legal opinions of English jurist Henry de Bracton, foreshadowing the court overturning Roe v. Wade.
Edit of Grammarly language change suggestions

Why Grammarly’s New Language Suggestions Miss the Mark

Slavery’s a sensitive subject, but so is the question of who gets to be an authority about language.
African American students and teacher in a classroom, Henderson, KY, 1916.

The Origin Story of Black Education

As Frederick Douglass’s master put it, a slave who learned to read and write against the will of his master was tantamount to “running away with himself.”
A large federal style brick house, the William Paca House in Annapolis, Md.

I Searched for Answers About My Enslaved Ancestor. I Found Questions About America

'Did slavery make home always somewhere else?'
Smithsonian anthropologist Kari Bruwelheide points out details in the sculptures depicting the faces of two enslaved African Americans who labored at Catoctin Furnace in the late 1700s or early 1800s

Faces of the Dead Emerge From Lost African American Graveyard

The bones of enslaved furnace workers tell the grim story of their lives.
Wallpaper printed in support of the Constitutional Union Party’s presidential candidate, John Bell, in 1860.

A Constitution of Freedom

During the 1860 presidential election, political parties dueled over the intent of the framers.
Lithograph of mansion, Stratford Hall, in Westmoreland County, VA

Oppression in the Kitchen, Delight in the Dining Room

The story of Caesar, an enslaved chef and chocolatier in colonial Virginia.
An illustration of boats in the water.

Capitalism, Slavery, and Economic White Supremacy

On the racial wealth gap.
A stone marked as a slave auction block and tagged with graffiti.

What PTSD Tells Us About the History of Slavery

June, PTSD Awareness month, is a time to recognize how trauma has shaped our history.
Portrait of George Washington bathed in light while his enslaved personal servant, William Lee, is behind him in the shadows.

George and Martha Washington Enslaved 300 People. Let’s Start With Their Names

The man who supposedly never told a lie figured out how to stretch the truth when it came to human bondage.
Photograph of a teacher standing in an historic cemetery.

Slavery Existed in Illinois, but Schools Don’t Always Teach That History

An Illinois high school teacher explains how his state complicates the binary of “free states” and “slave states.”

Slavery in the President's Neighborhood

Many people think of the White House as a symbol of democracy, but it also embodies America’s complicated past.

A Brief History of Slavery That You Didn't Learn in School

A child's shackles, a West African legacy, a black sergeant in the Union Army — these are stories you need to hear.
Painting by Titus Kaphar entitled "Page 4 of Jefferson’s ‘Farm Book"

How Proslavery Was the Constitution?

A review of a book by Sean Wilentz's "No Property in Man," which argues that the document is full of anti-slavery language.