May 24, 2006
Few chapters in American history are more painful than the Atlantic slave trade. Historian Sheldon Stern, author of Fordham's Effective State Standards for U.S. History: A 2003 Report Card, is certainly aware of that. "For nearly two and a half centuries," he writes in the current issue of Academic Questions, "the overwhelming majority of black people in America were classified as ‘chattel slaves'.... After the abolition of slavery, black Americans had to endure a century of segregation...that thwarted the chance to earn a decent living, get an education, shop or eat in a public facility, and even vote." But he's also aware that the Atlantic slave trade was larger than what transpired in the United States. And his new paper is a call for American educators to do a better job covering the entire sordid affair-from the internal trade in Africa to the selling of slaves in the shadows of the U.S. Capitol. A provocative subject, no doubt, but one with a history that deserves a detailed and truthful telling. The article, entitled "The Atlantic Slave Trade-The Full Story," is not currently available online, but you can order a copy (though it will take some effort) by contacting Metapress, here.