Be Bold, America!
Pirates of the Slave Trade: The Birth of an American Institution

“Pirates of the Slave Trade: The Birth of an American Institution”

 “Be Bold America!” Sunday, November 19, 2023 at 5:00pm (PT)


No one present at the battle of Cape Lopez off the coast of West Africa in 1722 could have known that they were on the edge of history.

This obscure, yet fierce naval battle, would have a monumental impact on British colonies and the future of slavery in America

We will have the honor to be speaking with historian Dr. Angela Sutton, who outlines the complex network of trade routes spanning the Atlantic Ocean trafficked by agents of empire, private merchants, and brutal pirates alike.

Drawing from a wide range of primary historical sources, Dr. Sutton offers a new perspective on how a single battle that played a pivotal role in reshaping the trade of enslaved people in ways that affect America to this day.


Interview Guest:

Dr. Angela C. Sutton,, is an assistant research professor at Vanderbilt University, where she has taught Seapower in History, the Golden Age of Piracy, and Comparative Slavery. Dr. Sutton is author of the new book, Pirates of the Slave Trade: The Battle of Cape Lopez and the Birth of an American Institution.

She is director of Builders and Defenders, a database of the enslaved and free Black laborers and soldiers who built and defended Fort Negley, a Civil War fortification in Nashville on the UNESCO Routes of Enslaved Peoples, as well as the Fort Negley Descendants Project, an oral history archive of the stories of this population’s descendants.