The Equal Justice Initiative – Transatlantic Slave Trade Report

The Equal Justice Initiative has released a new report on the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The overview to the report states:

“Nearly 13 million African people were kidnapped and trafficked across the Atlantic to the Americas, including the British, French, and Spanish colonies that would later comprise the United States. Two million people died during the barbaric Middle Passage.

African countries were destabilized and left vulnerable to conquest, colonization, and violence for centuries. In the Americas, a caste system based on race and color emerged in tandem with legal and political systems to codify white supremacy and enshrine enslavement as a permanent and hereditary status.

Kidnapping, trafficking, abusing, and dehumanizing African people and their descendants was as lucrative for Europeans and white Americans as it was traumatizing for Black people. The Transatlantic Slave Trade enriched many white people across occupations and industries—from early European colonists to priests and popes, shipbuilders to rum and textile producers, bankers to insurers—and generated the capital used to build some of America’s greatest cities and most successful companies.

While many families, businesses, and institutions continue to benefit today from the enormous wealth produced by enslavement, and Black Americans are still forced to grapple with its legacy of inequality and injustice across all areas of American life, few have acknowledged or honestly confronted this history.

This report seeks to contribute to a new era of truth-telling and reckoning with our past in order to create a healthy and just future.”