Sociologists and other social scientists disagree. The past may be the past but it continues to have a measurable influence on contemporary social outcomes, and “legacy of slavery” research shows that chattel slavery is directly related to a wide variety of phenomena in the United States: violent crime rates, black election turnout, executions, educational inequality, economic inequality, school segregation.
And internationally, researchers find that the slave trade significantly stunted the economic development of places in Africa where slaves were stolen and places where slavery was more widespread historically, with the exception of the United States.
However, my research takes a slightly different approach. Rather than continuing to ask the question “How have black people been disadvantaged by slavery?” I wanted to answer the question “How have white people been advantaged by slavery?”