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When Columbus arrived in 1492, the first free black person --a sailor -- set foot in the Americas. Over the next 400 years, as slavery spread and became entrenched in the Western Hemisphere, free blacks built communities throughout North and South America, playing a critical role in every region, colony, and country. From Canada to the Caribbean to Chile, they established vital economic and social institutions, championed the cause of abolition, and formed a bridge between the worlds of free whites and enslaved blacks.
Examines every effort to end slavery in the United States and the transatlantic world. It focuses on massive, broad-based movements, as well as specific incidents, events, and developments, and pulls together in one place information previously available only in a wide variety of sources.
Illuminates daily life in slave society in America from colonial times to the end of the Civil War. Provides information on the business and regulation of slavery, the plantation way of life, work, family and community, culture and leisure, health and medicine, religion, resistance and rebellion, and slavery and freedom in the North.