Grandchildren of slaves.

Reading for Juneteenth

The JSTOR Daily editors have rounded up a collection of stories that discuss the origins, meaning, and legacy of Juneteenth.
Justice John Marshall Harlan

The Great Dissenter’s Complications

Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan I argued the US Constitution was color-blind. He also believed it stood in defense of white supremacy.
Dannemora mine, Sweden, before 1852

Humans for Voyage Iron: The Remaking of West Africa

Europeans used standardized bars of iron mined in northern Europe to purchase humans during the slave era, transforming the coastal landscape of West Africa.

The British Empire’s Bid to Stamp Out “Chinese Slavery”

The mui tsai custom, which the British saw as a Chinese practice, relied on connections made across the multiracial landscape of colonial Malaya.
Image of U.S. commemorative stamp fir the Gadsden Purchase

Taking Slavery West in the 1850s

Before the Civil War, pro-slavery forces in the South—particularly the future president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis—tried to extend their power westward.
Map of the Missouri Compromise, 1820

Missouri Compromise of 1820: Annotated

The “compromise” attempted to answer the question of whether the Missouri territory would be admitted to the Union as a “slave” or “free” state.
James G. Birney

The Power of Pamphlets in the Anti-Slavery Movement

Black-authored print was central to James G. Birney’s conversion from enslaver to abolitionist and presidential candidate.
Depiction of the Battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres, during the Haitian Revolution, February 1802

The Haitian Revolution and American Slavery

For both US politicians and enslaved Black Americans, the Haitian Revolution represented the possibility of a successful violent rebellion by the oppressed.
A black preacher addressing his mixed congregation on a plantation

When Enslaved Virginians Demanded the Right to Read

In 1723, a group of enslaved African Americans petitioned the Bishop of London to ensure that their children could attend school and learn to read the Bible.
A page from The Angolite that features a photograph of a prison guard holding a shotgun while watching prisoners work in a field.

Slavery and the Modern-Day Prison Plantation

"Except as punishment for a crime," reads the constitutional exception to abolition. In prison plantations across the United States, slavery thrives.