Slavery and the Economic Value of a Human Life
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 550 , Segment 6
Episode: Trump and Nixon, Parent Confidence, Slavery and Human Value
- May 10, 2017 11:00 pm
- 22:55 mins
Guest: Daina Ramey Berry, PhD, Associate Professor of History and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas-Austin, Author of “The Price for their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation” In the middle of the nineteenth century, when slavery was widespread in the American South, a healthy adult male slave could be purchased for what would be, in today’s currency, a sum of $23,000. Today, it's shocking to think of assigning a price tag to a human life. But analyzing the values placed on enslaved people throughout their lifetimes is the focus of a new book by historian Daina Ramey Berry called "The Price for their Pound of Flesh: The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation." Not only does she place front and center the market values of enslaved people, she reveals what slaves themselves thought about the price their owners paid for them and how they coped psychologically when other people tried to determine what they were worth.