Reveal The Truth: New Database Will Name 6,500 British Investors In The Slave Trade
A new database funded with $1 million in taxpayer money is set to reveal 6,500 British investors, women and companies that participated in the slave trade.
The government project is officially called The Dictionary of British Slave Traders and it highlights research done by British academics, historians and other experts, according to Daily Mail.
It is said to be the largest of its kind in history and was motivated by the increased momentum of the Black Lives Matter movement across the world in 2020.
The team compiling the database consists of faculty and staff from the universities of Lancaster and Manchester, and the University College London (UCL). The entries will cover a period of more than 250 years and include biographies of the named individuals.
The Black Lives Matter movement “made it even more important that people have a resource of high-quality information to go to to obtain data about the breadth of Britain’s involvement in the slave trade,” according to team member Prof. William Pettigrew.
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While companies such as Lloyd’s of London issued public apologies for their roles in slavery earlier this year and committed to paying reparations, the database will also feature smaller investors, women, failed investors and other shareholders for the first time ever.
Critics worry that doing so will cause Brits who have no idea their families have historical ties to slavery to be vilified, according to the report. They have asked for it to be vetted for accuracy before being released to the public online and in print in 2024.
While there have been previous databases that focused on certain Brits’ role in slavery, they mostly focused on those who had dealings in the Caribbean.
Among those to be included are Robert Walpole, Britain’s first Prime Minister, the Royal African Company and more. Advocates hope exposing investors and others who either made or sought to make profits from slavery will help further explore the financial legacy of slave wealth.