Greg O’Malley

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Our monthly show featuring Irena Polic, Managing Director of the Institute for Humanities Research continued in March. Irena brought onto the show UCSC Associate Professor of History, Gregory O’Malley, who is a UCSC Faculty Participants in the IHR World History Research Cluster that focuses on new research in the world and transnational history.

We talked about Greg’s book, Final Passages: The Intercolonial oMalley_final_PBSlave Trade of British America, 1619-1807, that examines the dispersal of African captives throughout the Americas after their initial arrival from Africa and redraws the map of the forced African immigration during the slave trade era. Building on the scholarship of the Atlantic slave trade and the material in Voyages: A Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, he extends the study of the Atlantic slave trade to what he terms ‘‘final passages’’: the voyages of the intercolonial and intra-American slave trade. 

Now with the help of a $220,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a project titled Final Passages: The Intra-American Slave Trade Database, O’Malley is creating an interactive, free Web-based database about the slave trade within the Americas that will be integrated into the Voyages site.

“I think what drew me to the colonial period was an interest in race relations as a core dilemma of American society,” O’Malley observed. “We are living in a country where black lives are often treated as if they didn’t matter, and it’s built on this trade of slaves,” O’Malley added. “This disregard for their welfare and well-being is really important background for modern race relations. I think it shows we have a long history of devaluing black lives in American society.”

To hear our interview, please click on the play button below.