Black Ivory: History of British Slavery by James Walvin
This social history looks at African slavery and the Atlantic slave trade which, in the space of 300 years, transported more than 11 million Africans to the Americas and the Caribbean - with millions more dying en route. No other slave system in world history was so regulated and determined by the question of race, or had forcibly removed so many people and scattered them across such vast distances or had such prodigious results for the slave-owning class. Using contemporary accounts, this book shows how the British maritime trade and power were transformed by the Atlantic slave trade, and how ports like Bristol, Liverpool and London grew into international trading centres on the backs of the slaves. The book describes the enslavement of Africans, the brutal conditions for the human cargoes, the slave auctions and prosperous plantocracies of the slave colonies in the West Indian islands of Barbados and Jamaica, the songs of the slaves, revolts and runaways, the effects of conversion to Christianity and growing literacy among the slaves, the abolition campaign, the problems of freedom and the legacy of racism.