It’s Time to Face the Whole Truth About the Atlantic Slave Trade

Sheldon M. Stern, via Will Fitzhugh::

The AMISTAD America website stresses the need to educate the public about the history of slavery “through common experiences and dialogue.” By “confronting the past” and promoting “reconciliation and social healing” the Amistad’s Atlantic Freedom Tour aims to help all people work toward “transforming the future.”

However, confronting the history of the Atlantic slave trade requires more than a sentence acknowledging that the Amistad prisoners “had been captured in Africa by Africans who sold them to European slave traders.” Website readers must understand that this terrible traffic in millions of human beings had been, as affirmed by the PBS Africans in America series, a joint venture: “During this era, Africans and Europeans stood together as equals, companions in commerce and profit. Kings exchanged respectful letters across color lines and addressed each other as colleagues. Natives of the two continents were tied into a common economy.”2