"It is no exaggeration to say that the only thing I learned about slavery during my British education was that we 'ended' it." ~ Zadie Smith French asks us to re-evaluate the centrality Africa and Africans have played in the narrative of modernity in this ambitious book.
"If slavery is a manifest and universal evil, why did no one seem to realize this until relatively recently? What does that mean about our traditions of moral reasoning or divine guidance? Why do our scriptures condone slavery and why did our prophets practice it? How can we venerate people and texts-- the prophets, Founding Fathers, a scripture or founding document-- that considered slavery valid or normal? And, if we see clear and egregious moral wrongs that those people and texts so conspicuously missed, why are we venerating or honoring them in the first place?"