We are writing this “Editors’ highlights” column on what is an historic day – a global “highlight” indeed. By the time we finish writing, Barack Obama will have been inaugurated as the 44th President of the USA and the first president of African-American descent. There are people in America whose great-grandparents were bought and sold as slaves, and for them the impact of this event must be overwhelming, but the rest of us across the world can share the feeling of inspiration. Sadly, it was Europeans who introduced slavery into the Americas, and during the period of British colonisation, cities such as Glasgow, Liverpool and Bristol prospered greatly due in large part to the transatlantic slave trade. The UK can take only a little comfort from the fact that slavery was abolished in the British Empire 32 years before its abolition in the USA.
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Published online: January 30, 2009
© 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.