Black Interests in Slaveries
33 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2019 Last revised: 26 Aug 2019
Date Written: April 1, 2019
In the last few decades, the world woke up to the persistence of the traffic in human beings, a severe form of human exploitation. The use of “slavery” to designate the traffic, and other severe forms of contemporary exploitation, evokes and invokes the 400-year-long traffic of Africans across the Atlantic and their enslavement in the New World. The implicit and explicit comparisons to the enslavement of the ancestors of Diasporic Blacks are used to further a superficial understanding of contemporary forms of exploitation and limited efforts to prevent or eradicate them. However, the voices of Diasporic Blacks are often absent in the debates regarding the use of the word “slavery” and the comparisons of old and new slaveries.
In this Article, I explore Black interests in slaveries past, present, and future, including uses of the word in the context of contemporary human trafficking discourse. The interests vary depending on the temporal period: the Past (understanding historic slavery); the Present (identifying and dealing with legacies of historic slavery); and the Future (disrupting the legacy).
Keywords: slavery, human trafficking, Black Diaspora, legacies of slavery
JEL Classification: K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation