Snopes debunks slavery Internet memeBreaking News
Origin: One of the less well known aspects of the history of slavery is how many and how often non-whites owned and traded slaves in early America. Free black slave holders could be found at one time or another "in each of the thirteen original states and later in every state that countenanced slavery," historian R. Halliburton Jr. observed. That black people bought and sold other black people raises "vexing questions" for 21st-century Americans like African-American writer Henry Louis Gates Jr., who writes that it betrays class divisions that have always existed within the black community. For others, it's an excuse to deflect the shared blame for the institution of slavery in America away from white people.
In the latter vein, "9 Facts About Slavery They Don't Want You to Know" lays out a mixture of true, false and misleading historical claims. We'll address each one in turn below:
The first legal slave owner in American history was a black tobacco farmer named Anthony Johnson.
Possibly true. The wording of the statement is important. Anthony Johnson was not the first slave owner in American history, but he was, according to historians, among the first to have his lifetime ownership of a servant legally sanctioned by a court. ...
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