[UPDATED] Online Company Markets Slavery

Update 1 12/5/16 8:00 A.M. EST:

Due to the publication of this article, an online petition was started by Hannah Murray of the U. K. to request that Redbubble, Zazzle and Cafepress remove the offensive items from their websites. Ms. Murray, who is the Ph.D. student who started the petition was in contact with BBC Radio Nottingham’s Jodi Law and Ms. Law reported on her Dec. 4, 2016, show (segment starts at the 1:21:18 mark) that Zazzle and Cafepress  have removed the offensive items. I have no word on any similar actions from www.redbubble.com 

The skirt that was the focus of the article does not seem to be available through Redbubble any longer but they continue to carry other items that profit from horrors of slavery and the Atlantic slave trade.

[Original Article below]

A slave skirt was for sale with other items available with the middle passage print from the company Redbubble.com. The company markets itself as:

Redbubble is quite simply the finest and most diverse creative community and marketplace on the interlink. There, we said it. With artists and designers hailing from every corner of the globe, displaying eye opening talent, skill, passion and enthusiasm for all forms of creativity there really is no better place for you to get your artistic kicks.

After seeing a post on social media about the skirt I went to their site and typed in “slave skirt” which returned the following items:


One skirt centers on the words “no good dead” which appears to be a printing from a poster to recapture runaway slaves and a copy of JMW Turner’s Slave Ship:

If you go to their site and place a search for “Slavery” you find a long list and variety of items emblazoned with slavery-themed prints. A current search of the site finds that the word slavery returns 773 results. Buried amid the nerdy references to Princess Leia and BDSM related items you can find items with Harriett Tubman’s picture and Black Lives Matter t-shirts.

But you can also find slave rings fashioned after slave anklets and bracelets used on American slaves: slave-ring

T-shirts proclaiming the effectiveness of slavery:


Alongside these items there are references to the Ku Klux Klan:


and White Supremacy:


Some might consider this akin to prints of Nazi concentration camps which they also carry:


The Middle Passage skirt was available earlier today, but it seems that it is no longer publicly accessible through the website at this time.

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

One Comment

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  1. Defamation of race breaches their user agreement. Let’s have a bunch of people flag it so that they can take all this stuff down. Most of RedBubble’s content is hosted by their users and generated by the website. I don’t think RedBubble meant for this stuff to see the light of day. I’m going to flag every piece of merchandise presented in this article.

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[UPDATED] Online Company Markets Slavery