History of Slavery: Syllabus
First Day of Class
Welcome! Introductions. Our inspiration. Our policy on grades (there are none).
Anthony Johnson, 1600?–1670
Guests: Ira Berlin, Peter Wood
Slavery in America started out pretty bad in the 17th century. White colonists made it way, way worse in the 18th.
Rebecca Onion and Jamelle Bouie will do a Reddit AMA about this series on April XX.
Olaudah Equiano, 1745?–1797
Guests: Marcus Rediker, Adam Hochschild
Experiencing the Middle Passage: What was it like to be removed from one continent and sold on another?
Elizabeth Freeman, 1742?–1829
Guests: Emily Blanck, Douglas Egerton
Enslaved in a time of revolution: The turmoil of the Revolutionary years made freedom possible for some—and put it out of reach for others.
Joseph Fossett, 1780–1858
Guests: Annette Gordon-Reed, Heather Williams
What happened when Thomas Jefferson and other slaveholders tore apart the families they owned.
Listening Hard for Their Voices
Guest: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Assessing the slave narrative, as literary genre and as historical source.
Charles Deslondes, Unknown–1811
Guests: Ed Baptist, Joshua Rothman
Did slavery have a frontier? As the domestic slave trade expanded in the early 19th century, slavery’s center of gravity shifted west.
Charles Ball, 1780–Unknown
Guests: Ed Baptist, Daina Ramey Berry
Money and cotton: How cotton’s ascendancy as a cash crop in the first decades of the 19th century changed the lives of enslaved workers.
Guests: Deirdre Cooper Owens, Christopher Willoughby
Experimenting with the enslaved: The disturbing relationship between slavery and 19th-century science and medicine.
John Parker, 1827–1900
Guest: Eric Foner, Steven Lubet
Fugitives and their defenders: How runaways and their Northern helpers forced the conflict between the North and South in the 1850s.
Rose Herera, 1835–Unknown
Guest: Adam Rothman, Heather Williams
The journey of emancipation: The many ways enslaved Americans had to grab freedom for themselves during the war years.
How’s That National Conversation Going?
<< Guest: Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.
How do we, as Americans, talk about slavery? How could we do better?
- “Slave” or “Enslaved Person”?
by Katy Waldman
- Ep. 1: America’s First Generation of Slaves
by Ira Berlin
- Ep. 1: The Birth of Race-Based Slavery
by Peter H. Wood
- Ep. 2: Experiencing the Middle Passage by Marcus Rediker
- Read a 1700 Anti-Slavery Tract
by Rebecca Onion
- Ep. 2: The First Bestselling Slave Narrative
by Adam Hochschild
- Read the Complete Autobiographyby Olaudah Equiano
- Ep. 3: If a Slave Is Family, Is He Still a Slave?by Emily Blanck
- Ep. 3: “Born Free and Equal”by Douglas R. Egerton
- The Surprising Demographics of American Slaveryby Rebecca Onion
- The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutesby Andrew Kahn, Jamelle Bouie
- Ep. 3: Compartmentalizing Slaveryby Heather Andrea Williams
- Ep. 4: The Unsung Hemingsesby Annette Gordon-Reed
- Ep. 5: The Slave Bubbleby Joshua Rothman
- George Washington’s 1761 Ad Seeking Fugitive Slavesby Rebecca Onion
- Ep. 5: The Most Successful Slave Rebellion in Historyby Edward E. Baptist
- Ep. 6: How Enslaved Families Navigated the Auction Block by Daina Ramey Berry
- A Detailed 1855 Slave Auction Brochure by Rebecca Onion
- Ep 6: Why Systematic Violence Became a Necessity by Edward Baptist
- Ep. 7: How Enslaved Women Wielded Reproductive Capital by Marie Jenkins Schwartz
- Ep. 8: Why They Fledby Eric Foner
- Ep. 8: Strength in “Ober-litionism”by Steven Lubet
- Rare Records of Underground Railroad Activityby Rebecca Onion
- Enslaved People’s Poignant Petitions for Freedomby Rebecca Onion