Penn Press at AAIHS 2024

Beyond 1619

Beyond 1619

The Atlantic Origins of American Slavery

by Paul J. Polgar, Marc H. Lerner, Jesse Cromwell

  • Hardcover
  • 9781512825015
  • Published: October 2023



Beyond 1619 brings an Atlantic and hemispheric perspective to the year 1619 as a marker of American slavery’s origins and the beginnings of the Black experience in what would become the United States by situating the roots of racial slavery in a broader, comparative context.

In recent years, an extensive public dialogue regarding the long shadow of racism in the United States has pushed Americans to confront the insidious history of race-based slavery and its aftermath, with 1619—the year that the first recorded enslaved persons of African descent arrived in British North America—taking center stage as its starting point. Yet this dialogue has inadvertently narrowed our understanding of slavery, race, and their repercussions to the U.S. context. Beyond 1619 showcases the fruitful results when scholars examine and put into conversation multiple empires, regions, peoples, and cultures to get a more complete view of the rise of racial slavery in the Americas.

Painting racial slavery’s emergence on a hemispheric canvas, and in one compact volume, provides historical context beyond the 1619 moment for discussions of slavery, racism, antiracism, freedom, and lasting inequalities. In the process, this volume shines new light on these critical topics andillustrates the centrality of racial slavery, and contests over its rise, in nearly every corner of the early modern Atlantic World.

Contributors: John N. Blanton, Jesse Cromwell, Erika Denise Edwards, Rebecca Anne Goetz, Rana Hogarth, Chloe L. Ireton, Marc H. Lerner, Paul J. Polgar, Brett Rushforth, Casey Schmitt, Jenny Shaw, James Sidbury.