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Stories

Enslaved.org contains information on hundreds of thousands of individuals involved in the historical slave trade — including enslaved people, slave owners, and slave traders. For most of these individuals, we can offer little more than fragmentary evidence in datasets; for some individuals, however, we can tell fuller life stories from across Africa and the Americas, of enslaved people fighting for their freedom, of the shifting boundaries between enslavement and liberation, and of the dynamics of slave trading, raiding, and life. Through these biographies, we can better understand the complexities of people’s lives and the role of slavery and freedom in shaping them.

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Story Contributors

The core of Enslaved.org’s Stories come from three biographical dictionaries produced by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University and published in print and online by Oxford University Press (https://oxfordaasc.com/).

African American National Biography (2008; 2013)
Editors in Chief: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham
https://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/aanb

Dictionary of African Biography (2011)
Editors in Chief: Emmanuel K. Akyeampong and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
https://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/dab

Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (2016)
Editors in Chief: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Franklin W. Knight
https://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/dcalab

Adapted versions of more than 75 of these individual biographies are included here, along with timelines, a bibliography, and links to other resources, including the full, original biographies. New stories have been added to this original core by contributors, sharing deeper information beyond the datasets they have submitted to Enslaved.org. The Executive Editor for Hutchins Center Enslaved.org Stories is Steven J. Niven; contact him at sjniven@fas.harvard.edu to inquire about publishing a story.