Many prominent American banks including JP Morgan and Wachovia Corp made fortunes from slavery and accepted slaves as “collateral”. JP Morgan recently admitted that it “accepted approximately 13,000 enslaved individuals as collateral on loans and took possession of approximately 1,250 enslaved individuals”.
The story that American schoolbooks tell of slavery is regional, rather than national, it portrays slavery as a brutal aberration to the American rule of democracy and freedom. Slavery is recounted as an unfortunate detour from the nation’s march to modernity, and certainly not the engine that drove American economic prosperity. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A lot of serious thought and writing on American race relations is coming to the fore these days, including this lucid piece by Harvard scholar Garikai Chengu.
And this, selected by CP's Jeffrey St. Clair as one of the best books of '15.