Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

How Corporate Slavery Was Founded

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

How Corporate Slavery Was Founded

Article excerpt

How Corporate Slavery Was Founded ··· Hilary McD. Beckles. The First Black Slave Society: Britain's "Barbarity Time" in Barbados, 1636-1876. Jamaica: University of the West Indies Press, 2016. ISBN: 978-976-640-585-4.

A history of enslavement in Barbados by the British. The "disposable" workforce created fortunes from sugar farming for the British elite. The book propagates that Britain owns Barbados' blacks a fiscal debt. Beckles looks closely at how Britain structured its first slave-driven economy on the backs of white bonded prisoners before focusing on dehumanizing the black slaves. The chapters in the book are logically divided into topics such as how white women participated in the enslavement, or how whites ganged up with "brown" people against blacks. The chapters are also chronologically organized, as a later part looks at how the slave owners turned to breeding slaves rather than buying them, or increased physical punishments. The last section looks at how the pre-viously enslaved people were then forced to work for nearly nothing to pay for their own emancipation. The book is well designed with images of chains and innovative lettering smudges. The cover is composed of two drawings, one is an dramatic paining of African slaves being driven like cattle, and the other is a propaganda poster-like drawing of the British flag. …

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