slavery

During the middle of the 1800s, cotton became the world’s largest commodity. The cheapest and best cotton came from the southern United States.

Edward Baptist argues in his new book, “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” that the forced migration and subsequent harsh treatment of slaves in the cotton fields was integral to establishing the United States as a world economic power.

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

Jesse Dukes does not have Confederate ancestors. But in the time he has spent writing about Civil War re-enactors, he has met many who say they do.

THURSDAY: authors Prof. Walter Johnson and Dr. John La Puma

Jan 30, 2014

Jim Engster speaks with Professor Walter Johnson, a leading historian, about the history of slavery in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and Dr. John La Puma discusses his latest health book "Refuel."


Solomon Northup was born free in early-19th-century upstate New York. He lived the life of a respected and elegant musician until 1841, when he was lured South by the promise of a lucrative stint playing his fiddle in a traveling circus.

In Washington, D.C. — in the shadow of the Capitol — Northup was drugged. When he came to, he was in chains: a slave headed for the hellish world of plantation life. Only the hope of being reunited with his beloved wife and children kept him going.