The long shadow of slavery

The Executive Council’s Committee on Racism reports, “Our most recent initiative, in response to Resolution A123, has been uplifting for us as we witness eight dioceses actively engaged in the process of discovering how they “were complicit in or profited from the institution of transatlantic slavery.””

The areas in Africa where slaves were taken are still suffering the adverse consequences of their complicity in the trade. Foreign Policy:


Economists Nathan Nunn of Harvard University and Leonard Wantchekon of New York University recently compared historical data on the slave trade with contemporary household surveys on community relations. They found that in regions of Africa where the slave trade was most concentrated, people today extend less trust to other individuals: not only to foreigners, but also to relatives and neighbors. Nunn thinks the trauma associated with the slave trade continues to stall economic development in affected regions of Africa. Major shocks, he says, can “change people’s behavior in ways that seem pretty permanent.”

The Nunn and Wantchekon paper is here. More work by Nunn on slavery here.

To find out more on the topic of slavery and economic development see this article from The Daily Episcopalian.

Past Posts