The slave trade was officially abolished throughout the British Empire in 1807 and all slaves were freed in British jurisdictions in 1838. This documentary reveals one of Britain's darkest secrets: a form of slavery that continued well into the 20th century - the story of Indian indentured labor.
Coolies: How Britain Reinvented Slavery tells the astonishing and controversial story of the systematic recruitment and migration of over a million Indians to all corners of the Empire. It is a chapter in colonial history that implicates figures at the very highest level of the British establishment and has defined the demographic shape of the modern world.
Combining archive footage and historical evidence the program includes interviews with Gandhi's great-grandaughter, Uma Dhupelia-Mesthrie, about Gandhi's campaign to end indentured labor and David Dabydeen - author and academic - whose great-grandfather was an indentured laborer in British Guyana.
Coolies: How Britain Reinvented Slavery traces family stories through epic voyages across South America, the South Pacific and Africa, as descendants investigate their past and trace the last surviving witnesses.