With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

UK Historian David Starkey Quits Cambridge After Slavery Remarks

British historian and TV presenter David Starkey has relinquished his honorary fellowship at a University of Cambridge college after he drew outrage for his comments about Black people and whether slavery should be considered genocide.

Starkey said in an interview for a YouTube show posted online Tuesday: "Slavery was not genocide, otherwise there wouldn't be so many damn Blacks in Africa or in Britain, would there?"

"An awful lot of them survived and again, there's no point in arguing against globalisation or Western civilisation. They are all products of it, we are all products of it," he added.

The remarks prompted Sajid Javid - a former finance and interior minister who has talked about how his Pakistani father faced discrimination after coming to Britain - to call Starkey a racist.

"We are the most successful multi-racial democracy in the world and have much to be proud of," Javid tweeted on Thursday.

"But David Starkey's racist comments ('so many damn blacks') are a reminder of the appalling views that still exist."

Read entire article at Al Jazeera