A spoonful of sugar—not taken—helped bring down the global slave trade. Starting around 1791, abolitionists in Britain, with Quakers at the forefront, boycotted the sugar that slaves produced on Caribbean plantations. At the time, refined sugar was Britain's largest import and a crucial link in the global economic exploitation of human beings in sugarcane fields.

The genius of the sugar boycott was that everyone could understand it and anyone could participate. Some 300,000 Brits made common cause through the boycott. In response, retailers soon offered sugar "ready for sale, produced by the labor of freemen." Sales soared. The boycott's success became one of many factors that 200 years ago led the British to abolish the trading of slaves.

Starting on page 30 of this issue, we present a package of articles on modern-day slavery and slave trading, also known as human trafficking. Senior writers Deann Alford and Sheryl Henderson Blunt examine different aspects of a terrible practice that many are shocked continues today. Parachurch leader Gary Haugen makes a persuasive case that Christians should recommit themselves to the antislavery cause. Our editorial page notes the enduring lessons from British abolitionism, and Mark Moring, CT Movies editor, assesses Amazing Grace, the new feature film on Wilberforce.

Why devote so much attention to this topic? Slavery is larger than ever. Tea with sugar may not be a "blood-sweetened beverage" in 2007, but hidden links to modern slavery may be in the clothes we wear or the food we eat.

Here's our Beginner's Guide to Abolitionist Activism:

Make a call. Phone 1-888-428-7581 if you see someone being forced to work or held against their will. The U.S. Department of Justice operates ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
On a Justice Mission Subscriber Access Only
Thanks to William Wilberforce, we already know the key to defeating slavery.
RecommendedThe Real History of the Crusades
The Real History of the CrusadesSubscriber Access Only
A series of holy wars against Islam led by power-mad popes and fought by religious fanatics? Think again.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickFinding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
Finding My ‘True Self’ As a Same-Sex Attracted Woman
In my young-adult struggle with sexual identity, both legalistic condemnation and progressive license left me floundering.
Christianity Today
No Spoonful of Sugar
hide thisMarch March

In the Magazine

March 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.