Students Asked to Brainstorm Business Plans for Selling African Slaves

Being a teacher must be hard. How do you get students invested in learning about important historical events like the history of the African slave trade? One teacher at a girls' school in London had an idea: ask kids to create a business plan for enslaving Africans without being wasteful.

According to Clutch:

Students aged 13 and 14 were given imaginary tools including manacles, whips, thumb screws, iron brands, muskets and barracoons, and asked to devise a Dragon's Den-style (a reality TV show known as Shark Tank in the US) business proposal for the capture and enslavement of African people. Lesson materials included direction on how to carry out a "slave raid" and manipulate "African Chiefs" through bribes and lacing them with alcohol. Perhaps the most debased suggestions were that the "best" aspect of being a slave trader was having "an affair with a beautiful African girl," and that adult male "mixed race" offspring could be sent to Africa to "run the slave business" while his white father sailed to America.

The Head teacher of the Queen Elizabeth's Girls' School in Barnet issued an apology after a mother complained, according to Ligali:

"On behalf of the school, I apologise unreservedly for the distress and anguish caused to [the student] and to her mother, as well as to you and others in your community who this material may have been shared with. Now I have had the opportunity to view the Powerpoint in its' entirety, I share your concerns".

(Go to Clutch to check out some of the slides; they really have to be seen to be believed.)

Looks like it's back to the drawing board. Maybe next semester the teacher could ask students to brainstorm how to best economize gassing Jews in the Holocaust, or how Europeans could shoot down as many Native Americans as possible? So many genocides, so little time!

Image via michaeljung/Shutterstock.