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The Transatlantic Slave Trade
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Products of Slave Labor

Sugar, rum, rice, cotton, tobacco, coffee, and cocoa: the majority of enslaved Africans worked on plantations that produced these seven commodities. More than half raised sugarcane. In the Caribbean and South America, sugar plantations created the greatest demand for African labor from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. By the eighteenth century, profits from the trade in slaves and slave-produced sugar and coffee made Saint Domingue (Haiti) the richest European colony in the Americas.

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