A historical reckoning for the global slave trade

At the Tate Modern museum in London, they’ve just reopened after the coronavirus lockdown, to discover that the installation – thought to be bold when it first opened in the museum’s enormous entrance hall last fall – now seems positively clairvoyant.

It’s a statement about slavery by American artist Kara Walker. As she explains in an accompanying video, “[This] is an allegory of the Black Atlantic, and really all global waters which disastrously connect Africa to America, Europe, and economic prosperity. England was the beneficiary of the slave trade and its products. And so, you have…

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