Slavery’s relationship to capitalism is the focal point in Walter Johnson’s work that helps untangle slavery’s economic circuits, explaining how British credit helped Mississippi planters purchase Black bodies capable of producing enough cotton to satisfy a burgeoning and global industry that benefited all but those who labored.
“The Destruction of Black Civilization” took Chancellor Williams 16 years of research and field study to compile. The book, which was to serve as a reinterpretation of the history of the African race, was intended to be “a general rebellion against the subtle message from even the most ‘liberal’ white authors (and their Negro disciples): ‘You belong to a race of nobodies. You have no worthwhile history to point to with pride.'” The book was written at a time when many Black students, educators and scholars were starting to piece together the connection between the way their history was taught and the way they were perceived by others and by themselves.