“Christy Clark-Pujara research focuses on the experiences of black people in British and French North America in the seventeenth, eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. She examines how the business of slavery—the buying and selling of people, food, and goods—shaped the experience of slavery, the process of emancipation, and the realities of black freedom in Rhode Island from the colonial period through the American Civil War.”
This is one of the many videos produced by the Choices Program about slavery in the New England (especially Rhode Island). Featured in the videos is Dr. Christy Clark-Pujara, who wrote “Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island.” There is a reason to what we learn in history, and there are also reasons to the histories that are rarely told. More than any other of the original thirteen colonies and states along the Eastern Seaboard, Rhode Island plied the triangle trade transporting more slaves to the Americas than all the other states combined.
Some Rhode Island slavery facts:
- In 1776, Rhode Island had the largest proportion of slave population of any of the New England colonies.
- During the antebellum period Rhode Islanders were the leading producers of “negro cloth,” a coarse wool-cotton material made especially for enslaved blacks in the American South.
- More than 60 percent of all the slave ships that left North America left from Rhode Island.