The Business of Brutality: Slavery and the Foundations of Capitalism

Sunday, May 5 | 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
  • ASL Interpreted programming
  • Current Affairs
  • History
  • Race/Identity

2019 Pulitzer Prize winner David Blight, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, Caitlin Rosenthal, moderated by Jennifer D. King

Look around. How much of our infrastructure—from roads and bridges to factories and food supplies—was built on the backs of American slaves? Three writer-researchers examine how the brutal history of slavery laid the foundation of American capitalism and shaped today’s racial and economic inequality. In “They Were Her Property,” Stephanie Jones-Rogers reveals the active role that white women played in the American slave economy. In “Accounting for Slavery,” Caitlin Rosenthal examines how elite planters turned their power over enslaved people into a productivity advantage. In “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom,” which just won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for history, David Blight investigates the legacy of the escaped slave and abolitionist, who wrote, “The white man’s happiness cannot be purchased by the black man’s misery.”

Hotel Shattuck Plaza - Crystal Ballroom

Sponsored by the Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation