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This important book considers a number of different aspects of the slave trade: its social and economic basis, why many African leaders facilitated the slave trade, and how enslaved African Americans forged their own cultures and forever changed the Americas. The physical, social, and enduring emotional meaning of the Middle Passage is explored, as is the history and legacy of the abolitionist movement and the struggle for racial justice. Included are rare engravings, published here for the first time, of slave forts along the west coast of Africa, a Colombian postage stamp honoring Jesuit priest Fray Pedro Claver, known as the “apostle of the Negroes” for his kindness, and much more.