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Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation’s original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America’s later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy.
As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence.
Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery’s end—and created a culture that sustains America’s deepest dreams of freedom.
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World Muslimah 2013, Miss Nigeria Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola Is Crowned
A Nigerian woman has been crowned Miss World Muslimah 2013.
Obabiyi Aishah Ajibola was awarded the accolade at the third annual event in Jakarta, Indonesia.
"We’re just trying to show the world that Islam is beautiful," the 21-year-old told Agence France-Press on Wednesday.
"It was not really about competition," she added.
Ajibola, who wept and dropped to her knees while reciting verses from the Quran, was awarded with prize money of £1,365 and trips to Mecca and India.
The annual pageant, held exclusively for Muslim women, assesses not only the appearance of contestants, but also their piety and religious knowledge.
The contest saw participants from 20 countries take part, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Brunei and Iran.
A single U.S finalist - Ainee Fatima from Chicago - withdrew from the competition on 13 September, citing her father’s ill health.
The pageant was held ahead the upcoming Miss World competition, which has drawn protests from hardline Indonesian Muslim groups.
It final had been due to be held in a venue near Jakarta, but will now take place in Bali.
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