by W.E.B. Du Bois
One of the great champions of civil rights and for years the political and cultural voice of black Americans, W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) first set foot in a former slave state when he left his native Massachusetts to attend Fisk University in Tennessee. The time he spent living and traveling in the South resulted in a number of distressing experiences that not only provoked his interest in the institution of slavery but also stimulated his desire to learn more about his ancestors and how they were brought to the New World.
This book, written by Du Bois over a century ago as his doctoral dissertation for Harvard, is a product of that episode in his life. Drawing upon national, state and colonial statutes, Congressional reports and documents, as well as personal narratives and other primary source materials, he examines slavery in colonial America, its consideration by the Constitutional Convention, the plantation economy in the South and its influence on the slave trade, the role of Northern merchants in financing the slave trade during the 19th century, and much else.
Comprehensive, well-documented, accurate and impartial, this 1896 classic remains a model of historical research and writing, and has been repeatedly cited in the bibliographies and footnotes of many subsequent serious studies of the slave trade in the United States. A testament to Du Bois' eloquence, encyclopedic knowledge and exceptional ability to focus public attention on critical questions and issues, the volume will be of great interest to students of African-American history and anyone concerned with the struggle for racial equality in America
Paperback: 335 pages