Slate’s new podcast series reminds me of why I love studying history

As part of Slate’s strategy to take over the internet (and world) via their new podcast platform, Slate’s started a series of lecture podcasts under a new umbrella, “Slate Academy.”

Each episode of the “History of American Slavery” series follows an enslaved person and uses their stories–often written by the individuals themselves–as a jumping off point to talk about the era and the state of slavery at the time.

I’ve learned so much that I didn’t know, but one of the most interesting areas that they’ve explored are the ways in which American conceptions of slavery have evolved. Contrary to what I had thought (and what is taught, and what I think is widely believed), slavery wasn’t always thought of as the ‘natural state of man’–in fact, it was viewed by many as more of a “necessary evil” in the 18th century, and was later viewed by some as the natural, state for an ‘inferior’ species.

Slate Academy Website (you might need a Slate+ membership; a free excerpt is available here).

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