The top results of a quick Google search of slavery take you to United States history. The Caribbean was the recipient of most slaves in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, not the USA, and yet you get the idea that slavery was invented in America. The US was the third country to abolish slavery, not just from its soil but from other countries around the world also. I venture to believe the status of being a superpower founded under the vision of white men invites a certain kind of scrutiny. As of today, white men are perceived as the main culprit and beneficiary of this shameful legacy.

The word slavery is rooted to the bondage of Slavs in central Europe during the early Middle Ages, before the America was hardly an idea and to this day, slavery flourishes in places like Libya and Cambodia without garnering much attention. At least not from search engines. White Europeans traded Africans with Africans who traded with the Middle Easterners. The historical nuances get more complicated when you consider the thousands of black slaves owned by Native Americans and many free blacks too. Are circumstances to blame when nice people do nasty things? Have in mind sometimes nasty people do nice things, who takes credit for that?

It looks like every group has held other humans in bondage at one time or another. In America, more than half a million white men died in a bloody Civil War fought largely over the freedom of black slaves, mostly owned by other white men. A few years earlier, John Brown, a white, deeply religious man was so disgusted by the institution of slavery that he was driven to commit what some considered horrendous acts of violence against others, acts as vile as the institution itself.

While many didn’t agree with John Brown’s violent methods, some abolitionists believed slavery must be destroyed at any cost, giving a somber nod to this malevolent consent.

THUNDERBOLT: An American Tale vol.1 explores the life and death of abolitionist John Brown like never seen before in this no holds barred graphic novel.

Wilfred Santiago | June 3rd, 2019

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