> Skip to content
  • Published: 7 April 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241392485
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Black Ghost of Empire

The Long Death of Slavery and the Failure of Emancipation

  • Kris Manjapra



A revelatory historical indictment of the long afterlife of slavery in the Atlantic world

To understand why the shadow of slavery still haunts our society today, we must look at the unfinished way it ended. We celebrate the abolition of slavery - in Haiti after the revolution, in the British Empire in 1833, in the United States during the Civil War. Yet in Black Ghost of Empire, acclaimed historian Kris Manjapra reveals how during each of these supposed emancipations, Black people were in fact dispossessed by the moves that were meant to free them.

Ranging across the Americas, Europe and Africa, Manjapra unearths the uncomfortable truths about the Age of Emancipations, 1780-1880. In Britain, reparations were given to wealthy slave owners, not the enslaved, in vast sums that were only paid off in 2015. In Jamaica, Black people were freed only to enter into an apprenticeship period harsher than slavery itself. In the American South, the formerly enslaved were 'freed' into a system of white supremacy and racial terror. Across Africa, emancipation served as an alibi for colonization. As Manjapra argues, none of these emancipations involved atonement by the enslavers and their governments for wrongs committed, or reparative justice for the formerly enslaved.

Timely, original and courageous, Black Ghost of Empire shines a light into the enigma of racial slavery's supposed death, and its afterlives.

  • Published: 7 April 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241392485
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Related titles