A startling and superbly researched book demythologizing the North’s role in American slavery
“The hardest question is what to do when human rights give way to profits. . . . Complicity is a story of the skeletons that remain in this nation’s closet.”—San Francisco Chronicle
The North’s profit from—indeed, dependence on—slavery has mostly been a shameful and well-kept secret . . . until now. Complicity reveals the cruel truth about the lucrative Triangle Trade of molasses, rum, and slaves that linked the North to the West Indies and Africa. It also discloses the reality of Northern empires built on tainted profits—run, in some cases, by abolitionists—and exposes the thousand-acre plantations that existed in towns such as Salem, Connecticut. Here, too, are eye-opening accounts of the individuals who profited directly from slavery far from the Mason-Dixon line.
Culled from long-ignored documents and reports—and bolstered by rarely seen photos, publications, maps, and period drawings—Complicity is a fascinating and sobering work that actually does what so many books pretend to do: shed light on America’s past.
About the Author
Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, and Jenifer Frankare veteran journalists for The Hartford Courant, the country’s oldest newspaper in continuous publication. Farrow and Lang were the lead writers and Frank was the editor of the special slavery issue published by Northeast, the newspaper’s Sunday magazine.
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham is the Victor S. Thomas Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. She is co-editor with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., of African American Lives.