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Slavery and Its Consequences

Selected and introduced by David Tucker


This volume adds to the Ashbrook Center’s growing collection of primary document volumes covering major periods, themes, and institutions in American history and government. The documents in this volume address the codification of race-based chattel slavery and the related grievous problem of racial prejudice, as well as the development of a principled resistance to both slavery and its social, cultural, and political effects over the course of four centuries. The enslavement of some human beings by others was never a practice unique to the territory that would become the United States. Over time, however, a uniquely American discourse arose around the practice, as those who sought freedom and equality for themselves had either to grapple with the logical problem of denying it to others or to accept expanding such principles to encompass all men and women without regard to skin color.


Table of Contents

Documents Include:

  • Virginia Slave Code, October 1705
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Laurens, Envisioning an African American Regiment, February 2, 1778
  • John C. Calhoun, Speech on the Oregon Bill, June 27, 1848
  • Alexander Crummell, The Race Problem in America, 1889
  • Senator Benjamin R. Tillman, Speech in the Senate, March 23, 1900
  • W. E. B. Du Bois, “Returning Soldiers,” May 1919
  • A. Philip Randolph, “Why Should We March,” 1942
  • Fannie Lou Hamer, “We’re On Our Way,” September 1964
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan, The Negro Family, March, 1965
  • Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Charles V. Hamilton, Black Power, 1967
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates and Stephan Thernstrom, Reparations for Slavery, 2007, 2019