Between 1697 and 1807, 2,108 known ships left Bristol to make the trip to Africa and onwards across the Atlantic with slaves. An average of twenty slaving voyages set sail a year. Approximately 500,000 slaves were brought into slavery by these ships, representing one-fifth of the British slave trade during this time. Profits from the slave trade ranged from 50% to 100% during the early 18th century. Bristol was already a comparatively wealthy city prior to this trade; as one of the three points of the slave triangle (the others being Africa and the West Indies), the city prospered. This triangle was called the Triangular Trade. The Triangular Trade involved delivering, as well receiving, goods from each stop the ship took.
The Bristol underground scene was characterised by a sparseness and darkness. Bands like Portishead and Massive Attack are known for using sparse instrumentation - a prominent bass line, vocals with what are usually melancholic lyrics and sometimes other effects commonly associated with hip-hop, such as samples and scratching. (...) Separately to this, some writers have talked of an undercurrent of darkness within the city due to its history.
Racial tensions within the City
An article in 2008 in The Telegraph stated that: "Racial matters have always carried a historical resonance in Bristol, a city made affluent on the profits of tobacco and slave-trading. Street names such as Blackboy Hill and Whiteladies Road remain as reminders." However, the popular belief that both Whiteladies Road and the Blackboy Hill had connections with the slave trade is untrue: both names appear to be derived from pubs.
There has often been a slight undercurrent of tension both in the politics and creatively with artists and musicians in the merger of black and white culture. During the 1950s the Bristol Evening Post carried what many today would consider openly racist articles, warning of the dangers of black bus drivers.