Enslaved

Enslaved: Episode 3, Follow the Money

How did Europe's 17th Century mania for coffee cause an expansion in the transatlantic slave trade? Find out on the third episode of Enslaved, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m.

How did Europe's 17th Century mania for coffee cause an expansion in the transatlantic slave trade?

Afua Hirsch in Brazil

CBC Television

3 months agoVideo
1:44
More enslaved Africans were taken to Brazil than any other country in the Americas. Afua Hirsch goes there to find out why. 1:44

This episode investigates the economics of the slave trade. The Diving with a Purpose team goes to Suriname to dive the wreck of "The Leusden."

This Dutch ship represents the single greatest loss of life during the entire slave trade. As "The Leusden" was going down, the crew nailed the hatches, drowning over 640 Africans that could have been saved. The owners of "The Leusden" didn't hide this fact. On the contrary, they made an insurance claim for the dead Africans as "lost cargo." Navigating the jungles of Suriname, the Diving With a Purpose team go to the ruins of an old sugar plant to solve this centuries-old mass murder. 

The Diving with a Purpose team travelling along the Maroni River, Suriname. (Evan Seccombe/Associated Producers/Cornelia Street Productions)

Meanwhile, journalists Afua Hirsch and Simcha Jacobovici find out how the European desire for sugar became the driving force behind the early days of the transatlantic slave trade.

Samuel L. Jackson examining the “Dido Belle” painting in London, England. (Gareth Gatrell/Associate Producers/Cornelia Street Productions)

Hirsch goes to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to the site of a former wharf where captured Africans were deemed "fit for sale." Jacobovici heads to Portugal and the U.K., where the financiers of the slave trade operated, thousands of kilometres away from the horrors that made them rich, and finds out how a European passion for coffee helped caused were key in the formation of the slave trade.

Dr. Leo Balai in Akoloi Kandre maroon village, Suriname. (Evan Seccombe/Associated Producers/Cornelia Street Productions)

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

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