chapter  2
Slavery Unwilling to Die
The Historical Development of Systemic Racism
ByJoe R. Feagin, Kimberley Ducey
Pages 25

The intentional attacks on Indigenous peoples —and the devastating effects of European diseases —are estimated to have cost as many as 90 million casualties —the largest case of human destruction in recorded history. Alongside subsistence farming was a profit-making commercial economy, much of it rooted in the slave trade, slave farms and plantations, and commercial businesses linked to the slavery economy. Slavery in the Americas became a large-scale commercial and capitalistic, market-centered, racialized operation, which distinguished it from slavery in the ancient world of Greeks and Romans. While a number of factors played an important role in the expansion of commercial capitalism in the Americas, slavery was one of the most consequential. The early enslavement of black Americans in the North became part of a deep and early systemic racism that facilitated later patterns of institutional racism there. During slavery, and later under legal segregation, many African and African American women were sexually coerced and raped by white men.