The Digital Editions format of this unit is FREE through June 30, 2022, thanks to funding through the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University.

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Racial slavery was at the center of the Atlantic World’s economy for centuries. One of the primary legacies of racial slavery is that white supremacy and anti-Black racism became so deeply ingrained in the Atlantic World that they became part of the structures of society that are with us to this day. Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies provides the opportunity for students to consider how the past shapes the present on these fundamental issues. This curriculum provides a wide-ranging overview of racial slavery in the Americas over many centuries. It is not comprehensive. Instead, it provides a broad and illustrative survey of the development of the colonial systems that led to the creation of racial slavery. The focus throughout is on how enslaved people experienced and resisted these systems of oppression and how the legacies of racial slavery have shaped our world today. Racial Slavery in the Americas: Resistance, Freedom, and Legacies covers more than four centuries of history of the Atlantic World. The unit is divided into four parts. Each part includes:

  • Student readings
  • Accompanying study guides, graphic organizers, and key terms
  • Lessons aligned with the readings that develop analytical skills and can be completed in one or more periods
  • Videos that feature leading experts

This unit includes additional synthesis lessons that allow students to synthesize new knowledge for assessment. You do not need to use the entire unit; feel free to select what suits your classroom needs.

This unit was developed in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ) at Brown University with the generous support of a gift to CSSJ from Mary and Jerome Vascellaro. CSSJ is a scholarly research center with a public humanities mission.

Preview this unit. Preview includes the Table of Contents for the Student Text and the Teacher Resource Book as well as a student reading excerpt and one lesson plan.

“The Choices unit on racial slavery offers a concise but thorough exploration of this terrible period in American history, including applications to the present day. It will be a welcome supplement to conventional coverage of slavery, which often leaves out more than it includes.” – Kate Shuster, Director of the Teaching Hard History Project

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