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Slugs & Steins – Beyond the Middle Passage: Slave Trading within the Americas, 1619-1807
August 10, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
More than 12 million enslaved African people endured the infamous Middle Passage across the Atlantic in the slave trade, but for many, the forced migration was not yet over when they reached an American port. Demand for enslaved labor was so rampant in the Americas, that speculators purchased many arriving people only to ship them from colony to colony for resale, often smuggling across imperial borders. This additional phase of the slave trade within the Americas was important not only for the danger it added to enslaved people’s traumatic journeys, but also for what it reveals about the centrality of slavery to early American life. The routes of the intra-American slave trade spread the institution to virtually every colonial outpost, and traders used the trafficking in highly valuable human beings to build their networks and establish themselves as traders of goods, as well as people.
Greg O’Malley is associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His first book, Final Passages: The Intercolonial Slave Trade of British America, received four awards: The Forkosch Prize (American Historical Association—British History); the Rawley Prize (American Historical Association—Atlantic World); The Owsley Award (Southern Historical Association); and the Goveia Prize (Association of Caribbean Historians). The project examines a complex network for distributing enslaved Africans throughout North America and the Caribbean after their survival of the Atlantic crossing. O’Malley is also co-editor (with Alex Borucki) for the Intra-American Slave Trade Database, an online research tool that documents more than 11,500 slave trading voyages from one port in the Americas to another. He is also conducting research for a new book, The Escapes of David George: One Man’s Struggle with Slavery and Freedom in the Revolutionary Era, a biography of a man, born enslaved in colonial Virginia, whose attempts to escape bondage led him on a remarkable odyssey.
About the Slugs and Steins Lecture Series: Join us for a series of free informal lectures, brought to you by the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Association. Each talk will engage one of our favorite Professors in discussion with you, the local community of Silicon Valley. We will cover everything from organic artichokes to endangered zebras, self-driving cars to Shakespeare. All are welcome. Audience participation is encouraged.