What is slavery?

Slavery is...

"a condition of subordination and domination involving forced labor and servitude, which has been present since the dawn of civilization; it is a condition made possible through distinguishing insiders and outsiders, creating social groups who are possible to enslave, to dominate, and to make use of." - Cambridge dictionary of sociology.


Slavery has been present since the beginning of civilization and has taken place in many different societies, contexts, and conditions.

In this guide, we will be covering information specifically on how slavery began, developed, and ended in North America. Please remember that slavery and the legacy of slavery is unique in the United States and that different countries have different experiences with slavery. 

Find Background Information

Background information is like the information you might find in Wikipedia. These sources will give you basic information about an issue, topic, or event. You can generally find this type of information in encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference works. These types of resources generally do not include criticism, opinions, or interpretations, although no source is totally free of the author's lens. 

Reference Databases

Encyclopedias and Dictionaries from the UHV Library