"How can slavery be described? Perhaps not at all by those who have not experienced it."

                                       Howard Zinn

                               A People's History of the United States

"It is clear that some men are by nature free and others are by nature slaves, and that for these latter, slavery is both expedient and right."

-Aristotle Politics (350 B.C.)


"Our new government is founded on the opposite idea of the equality of the races...Its cornerstone rests upon the great truth that the Negro is not equal to the white man; that his natural and normal condition...This government is the first in the history of the world, based upon this great physical and moral truth."

Alexander Stephens (Confederate Vice President. before U.S. Civil War)


"Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as to Christ."

Ephesians 6:5


"Mammon is the largest slaveholder in the world."

-Frederick Saunders


"In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy."

-Ivan Illich


"Another type of slave is the working-class foreigner who rather than live in wretched poverty at home, volunteers for slavery in Utopia."

-Thomas More, Utopia


"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

Galatians 3;28



"No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he is free."



"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude..."

-Article 4, Universal Declaration of Human Rights


"You had better all die-die immediately, than live as slaves and entail your wretchedness upon your posterity."

Henry Highland Garnet, (Black revolutionary 1843)


"An oppressed class which does not strive to learn to use arms, to obtain arms, deserves to be treated as slaves."

-V.I. Lenin


"We live in oppressive times. We have, as a nation, become our own thought police; but instead of calling the process by which we limit our expression of dissent and wonder "censorship," we call it "concern for commercial viability."

David Mamet


"Not one of you dares write your Honest Opinions."

John Swinton (at the time Chief of Staff for The New York Times)


"Servants that are strictly managed, and closely watched by a good overseer have no possible opportunity of communication with abolition incendiaries, and they cannot of themselves organize any diabolical arrangement….In fact, they do not know what is going on beyond the limits of the plantation, and feel satisfied that they could not, if they were disposed, accomplish anything that could change their condition."




"I say we are slaves. All of us. And in bewildering ways , our bondage is more pernicious than the slavery of old, for the New American Slave embraces the myth of his freedom as he would a dead puppy and, with all affection, speaks to it as if it were alive."

Gerry Spence

Give Me Liberty!*



".....We are all of us descended from slaves, or almost slaves. All our autobiographies, if they went back far enough, would begin by explaining how our ancestors came to be more or less enslaved, and to what degree we have become free of this inheritance. Legally, of course, slavery has been abolished (not all that long ago: Saudi Arabia was the last country to end it in 1962), but slavery also has a metaphorical, broader meaning: it is possible to be a slave of the passions, or of one's work, or of one's habits, or of the spouse one cannot for various reasons leave. The world is still full of people who, though they have no recognized slave masters, see themselves as having little freedom, as being at the mercy of uncontrollable, anonymous economic and social forces, or of their circumstances, or of their own stupidity, and whose personal ambitions are permanently blunted thereby. The modern descendant of a slave has even less hope than a sinner, who can repent; the impotent, trapped human being can see no comparable instant cure. ....."

Theodore Zeldin

An Intimate History of Humanity


   "The solution for slavery was not its abolition, at least that was not a total solution, because new forms of slavery were invented under another name. The factory workers who toiled in poisonous air from sunrise till sunset and never saw daylight except on Sundays, obeying in silence, probably led even worse lives than many ancient slaves. And today, all those who prefer to do what they are told rather than think for themselves and shoulder the responsibility-one-third of Britons, according to a  poll, say that is what they prefer-are the spiritual heirs of the voluntary slaves of Russia. It is important to remember that it is tiring, and trying, being free; and in times of exhaustion affection for freedom has always waned, whatever lip-service might be paid to it.

   The conclusion I draw from the history of slavery is that freedom is not just a matter of rights, to be enshrined in law. The right to express yourself still leaves you with the need to decide what to say, to find someone to listen, and to make your words sound beautiful; these are skills which need to be acquired. All that the law says to you is that you can play your guitar, if you can get hold of one. So declarations of human rights provide only a few of the ingredients out of which freedom is made."

Theodore Zeldin

An Intimate History of Humanity


"We are today dazzled by our own extraordinary achievements. Yet modern industrial society, if we could only see it, is only the modern form of slavery. Workers are not tied to individual employers as in the slave or feudal societies of the past. They are usually free to choose their employer and can bargain collectively for the improvement (within narrow limits) of their conditions. Modern industrial society under these conditions forces millions of men and women to devote their life's energies to work that is routine, individually meaningless and soul destroying. The system, it is true, produces commodities in immense quantities, but for the vast majority of people it suffocates every vestige of their creativity."

Felix Greene

The Enemy


"The most important Manhattan Projects of the future will be vast government-sponsored enquiries into what the politicians and the participating scientists will call "the problem of happiness"-in other words, the problem of making people love their servitude."

Aldous Huxley

Brave New World



"Any time you have to depend on the country that enslaved you to feed, clothe, and shelter you , you are still a slave. There were 4 million slaves at the end of emancipation. We are still enslaved; we are just modern-day slaves."


Uncivil Wars


America! America!

Thine own undoing thou hast wrought

For all thy wrongs to Africa

This cup has fallen to thy lot

Whose dregs of bitterness shall last

Till thou acknowledge God in man;

Till thou undo thine iron grasp,

And free thy brother and his clan."

James Madison Bell (1864)


"Again , do not you see this same virtuous man himself, that even when he is sold he does not appear to be a servant, but he strikes all who behold him with awe, as not being merely free, but as even being about to prove the master of him who has purchased him?"

Philo  (3rd century AD)


We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government….But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design To reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security"

Declaration of Independence


"Up to now, this has been suggested only in fiction, notably in the works of Wells, Huxley, Orwell, and others engaged in the imaginative anticipation of the sociology of the future. But the fantasies projected in Brave New World and 1984 have seemed less and less implausible over the years since their publication. The traditional association of slavery with ancient preindustrial cultures should not blind us to its adaptability to advanced forms of social organization."



   "Women in the antislavery movement found that the chief spokesmen against their public agitation were ministers. The church was also a main support for slavery. The chief material quoted against women and against the slaves were biblical quotations. So it was natural for women to question some religious matters and, when you question one religious dogma, you are apt to doubt all the other dogmas. So from questioning the divine right of slavery, you are likely to question the divine right of men over women. This is what antislavery women did, and they drew some unpleasant comparisons between the status of women and the status of slaves.

Queen Silver


The idea that there are human beings who are slaves by nature was widely held in Aristotle’s time and in theory, is no longer believed. But we have not come as far as we might think: new forms of slavery exist in the modern world. Child prostitutes, child soldiers, women up-rooted from their countries and forced into prostitution, and illegal immigrants who work off the cost of their passage for years without receiving a salary are just some of the faces of slavery at the end of the 20th century."

Silvia Soler, Busqueda, Montevideo, May 7, 1998


…The practice of slavery flourishes in war-ravaged interior of Sudan, Africa’s largest country. Countless thousands of southerners have been abducted in raids by Arab marauders and forced into bondage in northern Sudan…


"The state of slavery, among these wild barbarous people(Sierra Leone) as we esteem them, is much milder than in our colonies. For as, on the one hand, they have no land in high cultivation, like our West India plantations, and therefore no call for that excessive, unintermitted labour, which exhausts our slaves: so, on the other hand, no man is permitted to draw blood even from a slave."

                                    John Newton (a slave dealer who later became antislavery)


   "The Indians worked as slaves. They took me from my mother when I was a child. Afterwards I heard that they hung my mother up all night....She was very ill and I wanted to see her before she died....When I got back they thrashed me with a raw-hid whip.....One day the IPS(Indian Protection Service) agent called a carpenter and told him to make an oven for the farmhouse. When the carpenter had finished the agent asked him what he wanted for doing the job. The carpenter said he wanted an Indian girl, and the agent took him to the (mission) school and told him to choose one. No-one saw or heard any more of her.....Not even the children escaped. From two years of age they worked under the whip....There was a mill for crushing the cane, and to save the horses they used four children to turn the mill.....They forced the Indian Otaviano to beat his own mother....The Indians were used for target practice.

   There were missionaries within earshot when these things happened."

Norman Lewis

The Missionaries  (ed note: This book will make you boiling mad at the role of 'Missionaries' in the enslavement and destruction of native peoples all over the world...and it is going NOW)


"I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion as may possibly lead those unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion....What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference-so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plucking, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land.....

    We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. The man who robs me of my earnings at the end of each week meets me as a class-leader on Sunday morning, to show me the way of purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious advocate of purity. He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. He who is the religious advocate of marriage robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the ravages of wholesale pollution. The warm defender of the sacredness of the family relation is the same same that scatters whole families,-sundering husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers,-leaving the hut vacant, and the hearth desolate.....revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together....

    Dark and terrible as this picture is, I hold it to be strictly true of the overwhelming mass of professed Christians in America. They strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.....They would be shocked at the proposition of fellowshipping a sheep-stealer, and brand me with being an infidel, if I find fault with them for it...."Shall I not visit for these things? saith the Lord. Shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?"

Frederick Douglas 1846


Book: "Frederick Douglass" Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

Book: "William Lloyd Garrison and the Fight Against Slavery" ed. by William E. Cain

Book: "The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook" by James Boggs

Book: "The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity and Islam" by David M. Goldenberg

"Presenting Slavery: The Perils of Telling America’s Racial Story" by James Oliver Horton…in the Public Historian (Fall 1999) Dept. of History, Univ. Of California. Santa Barbara, Ca.

See article: "Kosovo's Sex Slave Trade" by Sebastian Junger, Vanity Faire,July 2002

Book: "Slavery: A World History" by Milton Meltzer

Book: "The Horrors of Slavery" by Robert Wedderburn

Book: "A Nation Under Our Feet" by Steven Hahn

Book: "Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy…by Kevin Bales

Book: "History of Slavery" by Susanne Everett

Book: "All On Fire: William Lloyd Garrison and the Abolition of Slavery" by Henry Mayer

Book: "Slavery and the Making of America" by James O. & Lois E. Horton

Book: "Slave Religion: the "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South" by Albert J. Raboteau

Book: "Black Puritan, Black Republican: The Life and Thought of Lemuel Haynes, 1753-1833" by John Sallant

Book: "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass an American Slave"

Book: "Slave Testimony" Ed by John W. Blassigame

Book: "The Gladiator: The Secret History of Rome's Warrior Slaves" by Alan Baker

Book: "Remembering Slavery…Ed. By Ira Berlin

Book: "The Rebellious Slave: Nat Turner in American Memory" by Scot French

Book: The Slave Trade by Hugh Thomas

Book: "Sins of the Fathers: The Atlantic Slave Traders, 1441-1807" by James Pope-Hennessy

Book: "The Diligent" by Robert Harms

Book: "American Slavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia" by Edmund S. Morgan

Book: "The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800" by Robin Blackburn

Book: "The First Woman in the Republic: A Cultural Biography of Lydia Maria Child" by Carolyn L. Karcher

Book: "The Making Of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800" by Robin Blackburn

Book: "The Trials Of Phyllis Wheatley" by Henry Louis Gates. Jr

Book: "The Lost German Slave Girl" by John Bailey

Book: "Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora" by Ronald Segal

Book: "Mississippi In Africa" by Alan Huffman

Book: "To Steal A Kingdom" by Michael Dougherty

Book: "Bury the Chains" by Adam Hochschild

Book: "UNJUST ENRICHMENT: How Japan's Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs" by Linda Goetz Holmes

Book: "The Narratives of Fugitive Slaves In Canada" by Benjamin Drew

Book: "Of Syndicalism, Slavery and the Thirteenth Amendment: The Unconstitutionality of "Exclusive Representation" in Public-Sector Employment," by Edwin Vieria Jr.

Book: "Emancipating Slaves, Enslaving Free Men: A History of the American Civil War" by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel

Book: "The Creole Mutiny: A Tale of Revolt Aboard a Slave Ship" by George & Willene Hendrick

Book: "Captive Passage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the Americas" ed by Caroline Newman

Book: "Black Ivory: A History of British Slavery" by James Walvin

Book: "The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade" by Robert Harms

Book: "Arising From Bondage: A History of the Indo-Caribbean People" by Ron Ramdin

Book: "Classifying The Universe: The Ancient Indian Varna System and the Origins of Caste" by Brian K. Smith

© 2001



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