It is no secret that slavery rests at the base of American capitalism and is often one an the same with the sugar, tobacco, and/or cotton plantations that fueled the Southern economy.
What many may not know is that slavery also rests at the base of many well known companies.
From New York Life to Bank of America, several companies have benefited from slavery.
Many of the companies even admitted they were involved with slavery and offered apologies in an attempt to make right their dark history but, is an apology enough?
Over and over history has shown that slavery has made the lives of African Americans worse and at the same time made the quality of life for white Americans much better.
From everyday racism to the institutions and blocked social and economic opportunities, African Americans are often left out.
Apologies cannot benefit an entire race of people for all of the social and economic issues they face as a result of their enslavement.
They cannot address the carry over effects of slavery.
They cannot provide job opportunities to a race of people who have high unemployment rates.
Apologies without action from the very systems they helped to create. Huh???
If it wasn’t for slave labor, many corporations would not be where they are today and for these companies to admit their involvement in slavery and then simply say ‘Oh, I’m sorry”, is to downplay their role in keeping going the evil already done.
This is pitiful and nothing more than a weak attempt to correct a wrong by pacifying the wronged.
Instead of apologies, these companies could give back to the African American people by donating to Black Colleges and Universities or investing in minority businesses, offering more minority scholarships, or launching programs to increase their number of minority employees.
These companies Include:
New York Life: found that its predecessor (Nautilus Insurance Company) sold slaveholder policies during the mid-1800s.
Tiffany and Co.: Tiffany and Co. was originally financed with profits from a Connecticut cotton mill. The mill operated from cotton picked by slaves.
Aetna: insured the lives of slaves during the 1850’s and reimbursed slave owners when their slaves died.
Brooks Brothers: The suit retailer started their company in the 1800s by selling clothes for slaves to slave traders.
Two companies (Mobile & Girard and the Central of Georgia): became part of Norfolk Southern. Mobile & Girard paid slave owners $180 to rent their slaves to the railroad for a year. The Central of Georgia owned several slaves.
Bank of America: Bank of America found that two of its former banks (Boatman Savings Institution and Southern Bank of St. Louis) had ties to slavery and another (Bank of Metropolis) accepted slaves as collateral on loans.
U.S.A. Today: U.S.A. Today reported that its parent company (E.W. Scripps and Gannett) was connected to the slave trade.
Georgia Railroad and Banking Company and the Bank of Charleston: Two institutions that became part of Wachovia owned or accepted slaves as collateral on mortgaged property or loans.
AIG: purchased American General Financial which owns U.S. Life Insurance Company. AIG found papers that U.S. Life insured the lives of slaves.
JP Morgan Chase: JP Morgan Chase reported that between 1831 and 1865, two of its former banks (Citizens Bank and Canal Bank in Louisiana) accepted about 13,000 slaves as loan collateral and captured about 1,250 slaves when plantation owners failed on their loans.
P.S. – As many would want you to just forget and ‘turn the other cheek’.. and forget yesterday.
Not to mention the true tales of slavery and the trade of Black people are Never ever given in the mainstream.
What happened is real and lives in You