Changing hearts and minds or just the law?
There are those that wonder why we still talk about the Slave Trade; ‘it was so long ago, why don’t we just forget about it and move on?’ they say. What they don’t seem to recognise is that the Transatlantic Slave Trade made an impact on society and history that can still be felt today. Here, we look at just one aspect of that impact.
The 1807 Act to abolish the Slave Trade and subsequent legislation made it illegal to buy and sell human beings within the Empire. Over decades, in the Caribbean and America, the trade was brought to an end. However, this was only the dismantling of the legal framework that made property out of human beings; what happened to the underlying attitudes towards Black people that had perpetuated this system?