Althea Legal-Miller, writing at Clutch magazine, explains why she's furious and hurt by a classroom exercise in London in which 13- and 14-year-olds made business plans centering on the slave trade.
… Students aged 13 and 14 were given imaginary tools including manacles, whips, thumb screws, iron brands, muskets and barracoons, and asked to devise a Dragon's Den-style (a reality TV show known as Shark Tank in the US) business proposal for the capture and enslavement of African people. Lesson materials included direction on how to carry out a "slave raid" and manipulate "African Chiefs" through bribes and lacing them with alcohol. Perhaps the most debased suggestions were that the "best" aspect of being a slave trader was having "an affair with a beautiful African girl," and that adult male "mixed race" offspring could be sent to Africa to "run the slave business" while his white father sailed to America.
Teaching the history of enslavement via a business plan model serves to erase violence, oppression and numerous traumatic events such as the systematic rape of black girls and women …
Read Althea Legal-Miller's entire piece at Clutch magazine.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.