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Reading the Writings of Enslavers

Overview: In many world history classes, students learn about the transatlantic slave system. Although there are some primary sources written by enslaved Africans, such as Olaudah Equiano and Mary Prince, most of the extant sources were written by enslavers. In this lesson, students will read a short primary source written by an enslaver and a short excerpt from Rebecca Hall's graphic history Wake: The Hidden-History of Women-Led Slave Revolts. Students will use the ideas discussed in the Hall reading to learn how to read "between the lines" in the writings of enslavers.

Background: Students should have already read about the Middle Passage in their textbooks.

Time: One class period.