This essential book by Craig Wilder sheds critical new light on slavery’s link to Ivy League colleges and higher education in America. Wilder goes through great pains to detail in meticulous fashion the ways universities benefited from the slave trade — from securing land to building endowments. And, NPR notes, the book outlines how in the 19th century the schools legitimized scientific racism that classified Black people as more of a piece of property than as humans.
Historian Edward Baptist reveals how the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. At times, this oral history from formerly enslaved people, documented during the Great Depression, offers a horrifyingly personal view of the brutal violence deployed against enslaved Black people, according to NPR. The author’s primary position is that slavery is not an aberration in American history but a fundamental part of industrial capitalism and national identity.