The Queen's Silence: Tracing the British Monarchy’s Ties to Slavery in the Archives

6:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, February 22, 2024
6:00 p.m. ET (reception at 5:30 p.m.)

Benjamin Franklin Hall
427 Chestnut St
Philadelphia, PA, 19106

Charles I and Henrietta Maria

Access the live stream at 6:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 22, 2024

Brooke Newman will discuss her current book project, "The Queen's Silence: The Hidden History of the British Monarchy and Slavery" (Mariner), which examines the historical links between the British Crown and slavery from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. Written for a general audience as well as scholars, the book traces the extent to which British monarchs and members of the royal family invested in and defended the transatlantic trade in African captives and the expansion of colonial slavery before pivoting to embrace anti-slavery during the age of Victoria. Her work reveals how Crown involvement in slave trading and slavery evolved as the institution of the monarchy and the exercise of royal power transformed over the centuries. 

Brooke Newman is an Associate Professor of history at Virginia Commonwealth University and the 2023-24 APS-NEH Sabbatical Fellow at the American Philosophical Society. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society, her award-winning book A Dark Inheritance: Blood, Race, and Sex in Colonial Jamaica was published by Yale University Press in 2018. She is the co-editor of Native Diasporas: Indigenous Identities and Settler Colonialism in the Americas and frequently writes about historical topics for news outlets including the Guardian, Slate, the Washington Post, i-news, and Der Spiegel. Her current work in progress, The Queen’s Silence: The Hidden History of the British Monarchy and Slavery, examines the Crown's historical ties to the transatlantic slave trade and the expansion of African slavery in the Americas. Learn more at