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Marks of Domination: The Branding of Human and Animal Slaves

The practice of branding animals and humans has a long history, dating back 4,000 years to the Egyptians. The Greeks, Romans, and Anglo-Saxons carried on the tradition, it was a regular form of punishment and identification during the European/American slave trade, and it continues to this day on ranches all over the American West. Brands cruelly and successfully denote ownership and domination, and we examine their presence in animal and human slavery in today's episode, ending with a poem by African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906), son of former slaves, who understood "why the caged bird sings."



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