Gold, Silver and Slaves

A historic look into Britain's slave trade

Over 500 years ago Europeans and Africans met for the first time on African shores. The encounter created the slave trade and radically changed the world.

The slave trade remains the missing chapter in British history, yet Britain was one of the leading forces in the world to exploit human cargo.

Although the focus is on European slave trade, the documentary also takes a look at slave-trading by Africans. Greed led many African Kings to sail well over a million people across the ocean.

The documentary goes on to explain the trade did not grow by accident, as it was a global business created by royal appointments.

Gold, Silver and Slaves takes a hard focus at a darker time – where slavery was seen as normal and a booming business. It is a period of dark history for Britain, but today we can reflect on what was done and hopefully improve.

The British Slave Trade shows us the fact that British cultural, social and economic life wouldn’t have been as good without slavery.

That British Slave Trade could explain how a middling European power could transform itself into the strongest country in the world, as well as trace the impact it had on British way of life.

Along the way, the documentary also unearths historical evidence showing how many families that think of themselves as ‘pure’ English stock are in fact descended from slave ancestors.

Gold, Silver and Slaves
  • Info
  • Release date1999
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Gill Barnes, Ninder Billing
  • Also known asGold, Silver, Negroes, Slaves
  • Production companyBrook Lapping Productions