From the 17th century to the 21st, enslavement—even when it took place outside of Massachusetts—shaped the province and the state in significant ways. It was and has been central to creating wealth: family fortunes, institutional endowments, and public budgets in Massachusetts have benefited from its spoils. This panel explores the Commonweath’s connections to slavery and the trade of enslaved people, the wealth—and the poverty—enslavement created and bequeathed, and how the legacies of enslavement are reflected in injustices that haunt Massachusetts to this day.
This five-part series was developed by the Northeastern University School of Law Criminal Justice Task Force. It is hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society and sponsored by a number of Boston-area organizations.