In 1502, the first African slaves were taken to Hispaniola. In 1888, Brazil became the last nation in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery. For the nearly 400 years in between, slavery played a major role in linking the histories of Africa, North and South America, and Europe. Beginning with an overview of African slavery in the New World, Postma provides a detailed examination of five separate aspects of the phenomenon: the capture of slaves and the Middle Passage the identities of the enslaved and their lives after capture the economics of the slave trade the struggle to end slavery the legacy of the slave trade. Following these extensive analytical essays are biographies of important individuals - both black and white - in the history of the slave trade. Thirteen primary documents written by enslaved Africans and white officials, an annotated bibliography, and a timeline complete the book, making it a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the subject.
Johannes Postma is emeritus professor of history at Minnesota State University, author of The Dutch in the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1600-1815, and co-editor of Riches from Atlantic Commerce: Dutch Transatlantic Trade and Shipping, 1585-1817.