Letter: Slavery's cruelty goes beyond colour

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The Independent Online
Sir: Laura Zeller queries if the slave trade is discussed in British history lessons (letter, 29 July). Assuredly it is. It is part of European history that Greek civilisation was run on slavery - much of it white - as was the Roman Empire. British slaves existed in these islands under Roman rule for over three centuries; and many schoolchildren know the story of St Augustine referring to blond slave boys in Rome as Angels - not Angles.

Here in the fishing town of Looe, Cornish children know that in 1625, 80 Looe men were taken into slavery by Moroccan raiders, and in 1634 another hundred were captured. Other Cornish harbours suffered similarly. Naturally, our children learn of the infamous British role in shipping countless black slaves - captured by African slave masters - to America, and of the life's work of William Wilberforce to abolish that appalling trade. Hopefully, American discussion of the worldwide evil of slavery is also 'fully rounded' to include the misery of all slaves - black and white.

Yours sincerely,




30 July

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