Slavery

Why must we be in constant battle with the ocean?

8 June 2024 9:00 am

As we continue to fill the depths with plastic and radioactive waste, our coastlines are increasingly battered by tsunamis and erosion

The slave’s story: James, by Percival Everett, reviewed

27 April 2024 9:00 am

A retelling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in the voice of Huck’s companion the runaway slave changes the nature of the pair’s relationship – not always for the better

Has the C of E got its reparations bill all wrong?

27 April 2024 9:00 am

Reparations have a troubled history, and rightly. The word itself, in its familiar sense, seems to have been a euphemism…

Letters: the real problem with a Labour super-majority

13 April 2024 9:00 am

Good trade-off Sir: I applaud your excellent editorial (‘Trading in Falsehoods’, 6 April) – a succinct and insightful essay on…

New light on the New Testament

23 March 2024 9:00 am

Candida Moss reveals that many New Testament texts, including St Mark’s Gospel, were penned by enslaved scribes who became influential interpreters of Christian scripture

Ghosts of the KKK still haunt American politics

23 March 2024 9:00 am

The extreme savagery of the ‘white knights’ may be a thing of the past, but echoes of the Klan were all over the shameful Capitol attack of 2021, says Kristofer Allerfeldt

The popularity of ‘Amazing Grace’ owes much to its melody

16 December 2023 9:00 am

The song has evolved from Christian hymn to secular anthem for humankind. But the powerful tune we know today was not its original one

The hell of the antebellum South: Let Us Descend, by Jesmyn Ward, reviewed

21 October 2023 9:00 am

Teenage Annis and her enslaved mother endure beatings and rape as they are marched in chains to New Orleans to be sold to the latest brutal plantation owner

Wallowing in misery: Tremor, by Teju Cole, reviewed

21 October 2023 9:00 am

An introspective art lecturer immerses himself in the history of slavery – and fears he has grown addicted to screen depictions of extreme brutality

Public lies and secret truths

2 September 2023 9:00 am

Smith’s sweeping historical novel spans slavery in Jamaica in the 1770s and the marathon trials of the Tichborne Claimant in London a century later

Our great art institutions have reduced British history to a scrapheap of shame

12 August 2023 9:00 am

Calvin Po laments the pious distortions of history at two of Britain’s best-known galleries

From revolutionary Paris to the moon

12 August 2023 9:00 am

Thirlwell’s protagonist Celine flees malicious gossip in revolutionary France to ponder on sisterly solidarity, patriarchal violence, motherhood, colonialism and slavery

Black Britons betrayed

5 August 2023 9:00 am

Racism in Britain may be less acute than in America or even France, but the false promises made to the Windrush generation have left a bitter aftermath

Heritable guilt is in vogue

15 July 2023 9:00 am

I made a poor excuse for a Presbyterian even as a kid. I resented religious indoctrination every precious school-free Sunday.…

Stop tearing down controversial statues, says British-Guyanan artist Hew Locke

16 July 2022 9:00 am

Rather than tearing statues down, Hew Locke believes in reworking them to highlight their place in our imperial history. Stuart Jeffries speaks to him

It’s a miracle this exhibition even exists: Audubon’s Birds of America reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

In 2014, an exhibition of watercolours by the renowned avian artist, John James Audubon, opened in New York. The reviews,…

Tsunami of piffle: Rockets and Blue Lights at the Dorfman Theatre reviewed

11 September 2021 9:00 am

Deep breath. Here goes. Winsome Pinnock’s new play about Turner opens with one of the most confusing and illogical scenes…

Quietly radiates a wholly justified confidence: BBC 1’s The Pact reviewed

22 May 2021 9:00 am

There was certainly no lack of variety among new TV dramas this week, with a standard British thriller up against…

The distortion of British history

20 February 2021 7:00 pm

The British Museum has announced the appointment of a curator to study the history of its own collections. On the…

The National Trust’s shameful manifesto

26 September 2020 9:00 am

The National Trust has brought out its ‘Interim Report’, with the clumsy title ‘Addressing our histories of colonialism and historic…

kamala harris reparations

Should Kamala Harris pay reparations?

11 August 2020 9:04 am

What do Stokely Carmichael, Harry Belafonte, Colin Powell, Sidney Poitier and Busta Rhymes have in common? And how are Beyoncé,…

Italy owes Wales reparations for the wrongs of the Roman Empire

18 July 2020 4:10 pm

There’s talk of reparations in the air. Lobbyists from around the world are demanding sin-payments from former colonial powers. Let…

Europe's eye-popping first glimpse of the Americas

16 May 2020 9:00 am

The earliest depictions of the Americas were eye-popping, and shaped European art, says Laura Gascoigne

Fear and loathing in Jamaica: Caribbean slaves turn the whip on their masters

11 January 2020 9:00 am

In the shadows of the British Enlightenment lurked the Caribbean sugar plantations. Masters routinely raped their slaves, punished minor wrongdoings…