Sunday, March 09, 2014

A History of Slavery

The NY Times tells a fascinating story in today's edition about the history of slavery in Brazil. As Rio de Janeiro prepares for the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, remnants of the city's slave port are being unearthed. This is leading to a reexamination of the role of slavery in that country's history.

Things that raised my eyebrows:
  • It is estimated that 4.9 million slaves were imported by Brazil, which did not abolish slavery until 1888. 
  • This compares to about 389,000 received in North America.
  • Brazilian slaves came largely from the area of modern Angola. North American slaves came from further north (which makes sense – it's closer).
The article links to a worthy project at Emory University, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database.  (The database can be confusing unless you download the 40-page guide.)

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