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This article argues that contemporary antislavery activism in the United States is programmatically undermined and ethically compromised unless it is firmly grounded in a deep understanding of the African American past. Far too frequently those who claim to be "the new abolitionists" evince no interest in what the original abolitionist movement might have to teach them and seem entirely detached from a U.S. history in which the mass, systematic enslavement of African Americans and itsdoi:10.17645/si.v3i1.143 fatcat:apkfw3xwqjh2dfnlccftugwm2a