PBS Documentary to Explore History of Transatlantic Slave Trade: BlackPressUSA

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Transatlantic Slave Trade
Photo Via Wikipedia

Some people say that slavery is a thing of the past and it’s time to stop harping on it. For those misguided individuals, acclaimed filmmaker Stanley Nelson has a different perspective. That’s why Nelson is producing “Creating the New World: The Transatlantic Slave Trade” through his company Firelight Films, reported Black Press USA. It is slated to air on PBS in 2021.

“It’s impossible to understand the modern world without a grasp of the transatlantic slave trade. The business of buying and selling human beings shaped economic, social and political institutions; established racial and geographic hierarchies; and entrenched wealth disparities,” Nelson said 

Despite arguments to the contrary, American slavery still deeply affects the quality of life for Blacks and whites. The difference is whites enjoy the benefits of it, while Blacks struggle to keep pace in a system that was never designed to help them in the first place.

Nelson’s four-part documentary will conclude his Independent Lens series that focuses on varying aspects of the Black American experience. The series also included: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” and “Tell Them We are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” reported the Defender Network.

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The timing of Nelson’s announcement is also significant. The country will mark the 400th anniversary of the first Africans’ arrival on slave ships to Virginia in August.

“The transatlantic slave trade was a crime against humanity that took place across centuries and reached every corner of the globe,” Nelson said.

The old adage, “If you don’t know your history, you are likely to repeat it” is at the core of Nelson’s work.

“In the United States, current debates about Confederate monuments, reparations for descendants of enslaved people, and systemic racial inequality can be traced to enduring fault lines around the legacy of slavery,” Nelson said.  “In order to grapple with this painful legacy, we must first understand it.”