We often think about slavery as old history, as history that’s completely disconnected from us. That’s simply not the case. Slavery was the engine that helped to fuel the growth of many of our contemporary institutions: Universities, churches, banks, insurance companies. And not just institutions in the south. I’ve written about insurance companies, including New York Life, Aetna and US Life, which sold insurance policies to slave owners, for instance, allowing them to recoup three-quarters of a slave’s value in the event of that enslaved person’s untimely death. And banks absorbed by JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo allowed Southerners seeking loans to use their slaves as collateral and took possession of some of them when their owners defaulted. It is critical to understand that slavery involved more than just the south and that it’s more than just history. It lives with us, all of us, now.