Letter: Slavery's cruelty goes beyond colour

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The Independent Online
Sir: Laura Zeller (letter, 29 July) asks if slavery is a subject in school history. It was when I was at elementary school, 60 years ago. From Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia (an Edwardian venture) I learnt about William Wilberforce as well as at school. Oddly, Ms Zeller's letter appeared on the 160th anniversary of Wilberforce's death, and of the Emancipation Act.

The majority of slaves were not black Africans; other races have outnumbered the wretched millions dragged from Africa (largely sold by Arab slavers). Aesop, Epictetus and Cervantes were slaves: perhaps they don't count, being dead white European males.

Yours etc,

J. O. G. N. GILLARD WATSON

Oxford

29 July

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