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Atonement and ForgivenessA New Model for Black Reparations$
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Roy Brooks

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520239418

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520239418.001.0001

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Harms to Slaves and Free Blacks

Harms to Slaves and Free Blacks

Chapter:
(p.20) Chapter 2 Harms to Slaves and Free Blacks
Source:
Atonement and Forgiveness
Author(s):

Roy L. Brooks

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520239418.003.0002

The Atlantic slave trade was not slavery as typical, although the use of human beings as domesticated animals reaches back to ancient Mesopotamia. The Atlantic slave trade as originated by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century was a new form of slavery—far more diabolical than that which had existed since ancient times, and far more appalling than the intertribal slavery that existed in Africa prior to the European influence. Slavery in the Americas initiated the troubling element of race into the master/slave relationship. Dark skin became the social marker of chattel slavery for the first time in history. And, as a way of justifying this new face—a black face—given to an ancient practice, the slavers and their supporters created a race-specific ideology of condemnation. In due course, racial slavery became institutionalized in the North American colonies—first by custom in the New England colonies and then by law in Massachusetts.

Keywords:   Atlantic slave, Mesopotamia, Africa, colonies, Massachusetts

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