Rhode Island and the Slave Trade: BUYING AND SELLING HUMAN BEINGS

Unrighteous traffick

In the summer of 2020, where racial injustice is at the forefront of our nation’s concerns, several readers suggested that we republish Paul Davis’ 2006 Journal series “Unrighteous Traffick,” which discussed the history of slavery in Rhode Island.

Paul’s series shed considerable light on current debates. But it wasn’t accessible to current readers. Its very depth means that it’s also very, very long — 15 stories, many of which would take more than a page of newsprint to republish.

So instead, we are relaunching the series online, where it will be available to all Rhode Islanders to illuminate our current controversies for free. We hope it will also be a resource for schools, so that as Rhode Island discusses racial issues in the future, the conversation continues to be enlightened by knowledge of our past.

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