Enslaved: Episode 2, Rationalization

How did Europeans rationalize the practice of chattel slavery? A team of investigative journalists finds out in Episode 2 of Enslaved, Oct. 25 at 9 p.m.

How did Europeans rationalize the practice of chattel slavery?

Samuel L. Jackson and Afua Hirsch in Elmina, Ghana


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Samuel L. Jackson and Afua Hirsch go to Elmina, Ghana, to the site of fort that was a holding place for captured Africans before they were sent to the Americas 1:30

In his quest to expose the history of the transatlantic slave trade, Samuel L. Jackson recruits two award-winning journalists, Simcha Jacobovici and Afua Hirsch, to go on location in the footsteps of the slavers. 

Simcha Jacobovici, Afua Hirsch and Samuel L. Jackson at Fort Amsterdam, Ghana. (Remi Pognante/Associated Producers/Cornelia Street)

How did people rationalize 400 years of trafficking and the murder of millions of Africans? In the ancient world, colour was not a criterion by which people judged each other. So how did the ideology of racism begin? Jacobovici and Hirsch go on a mission to understand the process that led Europeans to see slavery as not only profitable, but rational and justified. 

Meanwhile, in the English Channel, Diving with Purpose divers locate the earliest slave wreck ever found. They make history: retrieving an object that was buried for 350 years at a depth of 350 feet. 

This episode is shot on location in Ghana, the UK and Spain.

Samuel L. Jackson and Afua Hirsch on a fishing boat outside of Elmina fish market in Elmina, Ghana. (Remi Pognante/Associated Producers/Cornelia Street)

Enslaved contains disturbing depictions of the inhumanity faced by enslaved people from African countries during the transatlantic slave trade, which may be traumatizing to some viewers. If you need support, there are resources available across the country, you can find links to a number of these resources in this post, curated by the Unison Benevolent Fund: https://www.unisonfund.ca/blog/post/mental-health-resources-black-canadians