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"It is estimated that some 50 million people were taken from the continent during the years of the slave trade. These 50 million were the youngest, the strongest, those most capable of bringing great profit, first to the slave trader, and later to the slave owner. These Africans were scattered throughout South America, the islands of the West Indies, and the United States... But it was in The United States that a system of slavery evolved that was more cruel and total than almost any other system of slavery devised by one group of men against another. No other country where blacks were enslaved destroyed African Culture to the extent to which it was destroyed here... The slavery instituted by the founders of America has few comparisons for its far-reaching cruelty."
- Julius Lester
The above excerpt comes from To Be A Slave by Julius Lester; © 1968, Scholastic Inc., NY, NY; Page 27.
In the 1960s, Julius Lester was a professor of black studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. To Be A Slave is an anthology of statements made by Americans regarding their personal recollections of slavery in the United States. They were documented and archived in conjunction with the Federal Government's Writers Project undertaken in the 1930's. In essence, To Be A Slave is Lester's collection of poignantly descriptive statements made by a sampling of the last living Americans freed from slavery within the continental borders of the United States of America. The book includes commentary by the auther. Julius Lester also authored the book entitled Long Journey Home © 1972.
- Watts Resident