From the 16th to 19th centuries, Britain transported over 3 million enslaved Africans to the New World, nearly 13% of whom died on the voyage. The exploitation of these Africans – together with that of the new working classes at home – formed most of the human engine-room of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, generating wealth and economic growth that laid the foundations of our modern society, but at a cost that has been largely hidden.
When slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833, £20 million was paid to British slave owners: 40% of Government expenditure for 1834. The equivalent to £17 billion today, this remained the largest Government payout ever made until the rescue of the banks in 2008. Not a penny was paid to the slaves themselves. That £20m was finally paid off by the British taxpayer in 2015. 
This injustice left a legacy of underdevelopment and poverty in the Caribbean islands – and has left its mark on Britain today. A number of banks, institutions and companies, still well known today, were founded and flourished due to enslavement. Numerous streets, buildings and memorials are named after slave traders who became rich through abusing people, and used some their wealth to endow schools, charities and churches. A modern equivalent would be Jimmy Saville.
After the last war Caribbeans, many of whom had served in the British forces, were encouraged to settle in Britain due to post-war labour shortages. Their labour was welcome but their presence was resented. “No Blacks” greeted them in many places. In recent years what has become known as the 'Windrush Scandal' has seen many of these people denied citizenship or 'right to remain' despite many years of hard work and paying taxes. 
While such open racism is no longer tolerated, hidden attitudes, injustices and inequality still linger. 200 years of silence and historical amnesia on the facts and effects of slavery – both the suffering caused and the benefits it created for Britain – has kept the wider British public in ignorance of what their forebears did in Africa and the Caribbean, of which they are still the beneficiaries. In short: the legacy of slavery impacts us all.
Image, Kiyun Kim, from Racial Microaggressions