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- Garvey Economics
- Cabral Theory
- NGO and Development
- Garvey Legacy
- Willie Lynch Hoax
- Malcolm OAAU
- Ethics of the Reparations
- Afrocentrism Pseudohistory?
- Marley Film Review
- Abolition and Wilberforce
- Black Panther Critique
- Jews and Slavery
- Gay Rights
- Failure Of African Leadership
- Capitalism or Socialism?
- Female Genital Mutilation
- Failure to Engage
- Libya Invasion
- Dubois: Souls of Black folk
- Slavery in America
- Amilcar Cabral
- Agency and Africa
- Mis-Education of the Child
- African Revolt
- The Flag of African Cinema
- The Politics of Liberation
- White Supremacy
- The Horrors of 500 Years
- Africa and the Rise of Islam
- Why Kwanzaa
- Ptahhotep Ancient Egypt
- Seen But Never Heard
- African Classical Music
- South Africa: 10 Years On
- Music and Dance in Religion
- White Abolition of Slavery
- A Threat to Black Studies
- Art of Revolution
- African Influence in Barbados
- Origins of Voodoo
- Black Out White Wash
- Ethiopian Slave Trade
- Darfur Report
Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter
– African Proverb
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will
– Frederick Douglass
The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave
– Malcolm X
Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.
– Ancient Egypt
Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right.
– Dr. Martin L. King, Jr
What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?
– Owen 'Alik Shahadah
We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.
– Chester Higgins Jr.
Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.
– Harriet Tubman
If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it
– Zulu Proverb
If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.
– ' Alik Shahadah
If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.
– African Proverb
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
– Martin L. King, Jr
The greatest threat to freedom is the absence of criticism
– Wole Soyinka
No longer must the African genius be trapped between bureaucracy and mismanagement
– Alik Shahadah
How can I turn from Africa and live?
– Derek Walcott
For far too long, a majority of Africans have been indifferent to misrepresentations about who they are
– Childo Nwangwu
We cannot have the oppressors telling the oppressed how to rid themselves of the oppressor
– Kwame Ture
It makes no difference what language Africans speak if our first language is not Truth
– Hilary Muhammad (NOI)
However, It is estimated that 40 -100 million people were directly affected by slavery via the Atlantic, Arabian and Trans-Saharan routes. Some historians conclude that the total loss in persons removed, those who died on the arduous march to coastal slave marts and those killed in slave raids, exceeded the 65–75 million inhabitants remaining Africa at the trade's end. But no one knows the exact number: Many died in transport, others died from diseases or indirectly from the social trauma left behind in Africa. Not only was Transatlantic Slavery of demographic significance, in the aggregate population losses but also in the profound changes to settlement patterns, epidemiological exposure and reproductive and social development potential. And prehaps one profound difference between Arab and European systems was that Africa's development potential was being experienced outside of Africa, as opposed to inside Africa.
Slavery or forms of servitude of one form or the other are features of human history, however the ultimate degradation and dehumanization characterized by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is in the reduction of human beings to mere commodities; labor units, made void of language, religion, culture, and history. And chained to the chattlelization of Africans was the most horrific feature of Chattel Slavery--mental Slavery.
And it is this mental Slavery that would be the most enduring legacy of the brutality visited upon African people, for after 500 years these mental shackles would prove the hardest to break.
Approximately 40 million people were harvested from Africa --stolen into 500 years of night. Mother Africa would populate the Americas with her sons and daughters in the millions. Nations and civilization would be built on their backs, their bodies now lie in the unmarked annals of history.
There are no words to describe the plight of entire civilizations of people forced out of their home into an alien New World . There are no words to describe the dehumanization experienced at the hands of European and Arab enslavers. There are no words to describe the anger and frustration as these same people continually rewrite and re-interpret African history to suit their interest in a sour attempt to alleviate their guilt. Worst still is the evil ingenuity, which reverses accountability and makes the victims responsible for their own Holocaust. And ironically, it is Africans who are made to bear embarrassment for telling their own story. If justice is an inalienable right for all humanity then those millions upon millions who died deserve to be remembered and those who murdered, brutalized and betrayed them must be called into historical account. It is not to make others feel bad, but part of the process of telling the truth; a truth washed away in stolen history and cultural domination. If the ancestors of some Arabs, Turks, Europeans, and some Africans were participants in the destruction of African civilizations then it is not sensible for fear of offending to avoid these topics. In addition, it is equally not fair for the victims' descendants, to apply the same "racism in reverse." It is about a dialogue to heal the wounds and the bitterness.
This process must be allowed to take place, and those who hinder, obstruct, and avoid this grieving are carrying on the social Holocaust against African people. rid legacy of their forebears whose bloody hands turned humans into chattel, kings in to beast-of-burden and chaste African queens into sex-objects. The brutality visited on African people should make humanity look in the mirror, and be so disgusted that that the roots of racist oppression be realized.
History through an oppressors eyes will always be twisted and distorted. Historically in European media Africa is represented as a totally negative entity which has played no part in human advancement. The image of Africa is hence either of lions or of starving children. The legacy of “take-away” was institutionalized to devalue African people to serve as slaves and colonial subjects. Today African people are labeled as “black” and terms like sub-Saharan Africa, black African, tribe are widely used; racist terms that were fostered by Europeans. When we look at the legacy of this Dark Voyage in African history, it is still starkly apparent; we see African people subservient to every other group, even in countries where Africans are the majority. Even the Asian (Indo-Pakistani)-African relationship within Islam, is washed with this racism and manifest itself in African people in Asian dominated communities being excluded from marriage, business opportunity, and religious representation in the clergy, etc. In South Africa and parts of East Africa , we see the colonially installed Indian communities acting as a buffer group between Africans and the Europeans, and like the Europeans actively dominating and controlling the majority African population, through economic exploitation without any form of return.
The involvement of religion in the enslavement of African people is very hard for the devout to come-to-terms with, because they are often lead to believe in a fairytale euphoric nostalgic past. In addition, religion is a Human-God relationship of morality and divine worship; if any institution should be firmly against the brutality of enslavement, it should be the religious bodies. Nonetheless, the truth is the truth and there is no escaping the reality of the brutality visited on others by proponents of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and other mono-ethnic faiths. We must stop being naive and idealistic, as the fruits of this mentality is to turn a blind eye to this ungodly oppression. In addition, when we do this we become guilty, because it is our inability to deal with these situations that allowed them to occur in the first place.
Truth is not always pretty, but truth is the ultimate destination of every religion, and every noble principle of human endeavors. How can we stand before God and tell half-truths or outright cover the history of a people? Worst of all this oppression is far from over. In Sudan and Mauritania , Africans still find themselves the enslaved by of Arabs and some Africans. In Dubai , Pakistanis fall prey to the child slave trade, Ethiopian women in Saudi Arabia , Eastern European women in sex-slavery in Israel . Over 27 million people are hidden in plain view of the world, trapped in slavery. From Bangladesh to Beijing from Texas to Berlin . Most of them are trapped by debt; all of them are exploited and manipulated via poverty. It is estimated that this industry generates 13 billion dollars annually.
The model of racism in the modern era is characterized by the European-African interaction. The legacy of this oppression extends into our present day and manifests itself as the social-economical phenomenon where African culture is devalued. This manifestation is so infectious that many people of African descent embrace this presumed historical worthlessness. This precipitates into self-hatred, which is expressed in community violence, genocide, underachievement, imprisonment, broken homes, and all forms of social ills that disproportionately plague people of African decent. At the root of some of these problems is mental Slavery. An infectious and destructive process inherited and sustained through the media, academia, religion, law and politics. Mental Slavery is immeasurable but no succeeding generations of Africans have escaped its deadly touch. How the world relates to Africans and how Africans relate back to the world is locked in the cultural nexus of this inferiority complex. Without question, Africans and African culture is viewed on the outskirts of civilization and the people that created these works viewed as primitive and incapable of unassisted greatness.
Europeans did not create racism but they have successfully explored and expanded it in their 500 years of expansion and conquest. They have made it into an industry for birthing civilizations. To believe race (but not necessarily the European racist classification models; i.e. Negroid, Mongoloid, etc) does not exist is both destructive and regressive; for it denies the clear diversity God has blessed humanity with. Racism is believed to be the first sin in the Islamic account of the Garden of Eden. And despite all the brotherhood brought through sharing religions we still see racism's ugly face; With Christian practice, with the modern and ancient Islamic world we see Arab nationalism. In Israel the African Jewry is again at the bottom of the social chain, harvested from Ethiopia to serve a "White" Israel. Closing our eyes to the existence of race is like pretending that knives do not cut.
The solution is to share in the commonalities of religion, but to also celebrate our differences racially and culturally as gifts from the heavens. If we can identify the root of racial hatred and address it by exchanging our experiences through education, travel, marriage and dialogue in order to solve this dilemma. Saying it should not matter does not mean it would not matter. We are different but we are also the same, this similarity can only be realized through interaction. When all languages, cultures, and people are valued equally maybe we can turn this thing around. Darfur is happening right now with inter-African conflict built from the vestiges European occupation. Africans hating other Africans because of inherited racism based on light skin and dark-skin. Rwanda , Palestine , Kashmir are signs that the past horrors if not addressed will occupy our future. Our greatest error is to discount the lessons of the past and walk head first into the same trap.
People must control their own history if justice is to be truly given. Enslavement does not mark the totality of the African Diaspora, but a brief period in recent history, none the less, enslavement is very important because it is part of that journey, it is the reason for our current location and condition. It will guide who and what we will become tomorrow. History is not solely for the assertion of racial pride for the sake of restoring racial pride, but the right of a people to tell their stories and to share their history with other peoples of the World. Only through a dialogue can we hope to unify under the banner of humanity. For those that forget the lessons of the past they are destined to repeat past mistakes. The legacy of suppression manifests itself in hatred under the banner of mono-cultural conformity, which equals assimilation, but assimilation is annihilation. The global European culture, which dominates the Earth, destroys human diversity and sets non-White people as cultural stepchildren of their conquerors. With every stroke of the pen, every cry we must bring a new world of plurality and tolerance.
There can be no advancement of a people who discard their past; no kingdoms are born without reverence of history. Each of us from our very different, yet similar backgrounds must seek to preserve and interact with our past as an aid to learning and growing in a constructive manner. Every nation venerates their past heroes and builds plaques to honor their dead; Museums and libraries are set-up for this purpose. In a free and equal society, we should be free to express our cultural and religious identity. We must embrace with open arms our collective journey, share, exchange, and discuss, if ever we are to navigate this life with humanity and success. God did not accidentally make us superficially different, it was intentional, it is time we realize the Gods greatest gift to humanity is diversity, and this diversity is expressed through our beautiful and distinctive cultures and histories.
There is also a linguistic tone which takes away the humanity of African people by referring to enslaved people as "slaves" and "black African slaves." It reaffirms Africans as history's slave pool; mere commodities, black bodies without history and higher destiny. This orientalism is evident in most Eurocentric studies by celebrated white historians.
The authentic study of Africa is often masked with political or emotional objectives; whether these objectives are Islamaphobic, Anti-African, European supremacy, "Black" supremacy or a zionist agenda 
Almost every single European-run historical discourse into the Maafa attempts to reduce the impact, severity and legacy of the African Holocaust. Normalization white-washes slavery into "everyone did it; it is part of world history." And while that may be true it does not absolve the continued benifits Europeans have gained and continue to gain from enslavement of African people. No other nation still inherits the wealth of their former slaves like the West.
representing around 14% of the world's population are the visible consequences of Western Slaving and this is not only a numbers issue,as this Diaspora also represent the absolute bottom of every social-economic graph.All of this is necessary to show the backdrop to the attitudes and motives for the "new" focus on Arabs. And when we look at the principle authors of this "new" study we see the hands of people like Bernard Lewis (An orientalist, and Zionist) as the prime authority even Afrocentrics are reading.
There is no escaping African culpablity in the "destruction" of Africa. The failure to form unity around spheres of interest when faced with a formidable foe is a failing Africa cannot escape. Greed and corruption continues to adversely poison the hope of Africa, even today. But we should also balance the exception vs. the rule vs. a phenomena. Yes people did sell their family into slavery, yes kings did invade and use other ethnic groups for a slave pool. But it is inaccurate to highlight this as the African norm (as Dr. Akurang-Parry says). Nor should we confuse a phenomena as the natural way in which African people lived for millennium. What happened in Africa was a Holocaust and victims were not limited to those being shipped across the Atlantic to European plantations or the salt marshes of Iraq.
From surf to sultan was a feature of both the native African systems as well as Arab systems of slavery. Mazrui, Hunwick both make the argument that Arab slavery, unlike the European counterpart, used enslaved people's in their armies and thus created a large powerful military who could one day capture power. What made the European trade in enslaved Africans particular was it deliberately targeted Africans, for most of its duration. And part of the legacy of this was the natural association of Africans as inferior: Slavery in the West was by virtue of your skin color, and while religion usually override this in the Arab system (being Muslim and Africa might save you from being enslaved, although sometimes the conquering group would just saw they were guilty of shirk ( شرك širk) i taking them outside of Islam), in the West no factor could override race. Somalia did not supply slaves -- as part of the Islamic world Somalis were at least nominally protected by the religious tenet that free Muslims cannot be enslaved.
CAPITALISM AND SLAVERY
'Alik Shahadah: Often the emotion view of slavery sees racism as the principle motive for the Atlantic Slave Trade. However, the mere existence of a capitalist ideology will by default create degrees of servitude. Capitalism looks at numbers and has no moral consideration. It has a relentless dedication to reduce liabilities and increase profits. The numerical capitalist heaven is zero-expense. Slavery was captialims best system for acheiving a number as close as possible to zero. In this cold calculation slavery was inevitable once new territories were found and sugar cane and other products added to the markets of Europe.
It has been often argued, by some scholars, that slavery did not end for moral reasons. There was no new awakening in the capitalist heart for the inequities which besieged the African slave. The profitability diminished and new alternatives such as sharecropping had brighter lights. It is in the shifting economics of industrialization that slavery as a system began to lose its shine. Again capitalism looked at the numbers and found that between; feeding, clothing and sheltering Africans, as well as quelling rebellions – it was far cheaper to end slavery. And with the rise of Western consumerism all of those ex-slaves became the new clients of their former slave masters.
Beyond corn fields, and cracking whips slavery has a dark and fastidious legacy which is rarely examined holistically. And this legacy (African Holocaaust) goes a long way to explaining the social condition which constitutes an African crises across the globe. Most notable of this is the global racist perception and value of African people. It explains the fragmentation of all areas of people relationships (family, business, humanity) between African people. It explains the inferiority complex which no Jewish person inherited from being in the Nazi death camps. Because in the camps of Poland and Germany Jews were still persecuted as a human being (a member, though hated, of humanity - not a sub-human or beast). They died in the gas chambers with a knowledge of self, of Torah, of history and culture. In the Americas the African was exploited for over 400 years as a common beast, denied from history and humanity. The African in slavery died without ever even knowing he or she was a full member of the human race. This Jewish sense of identity goes a long way to explaining why Jewish people today are able to draw strength from their tragedy while the African-Diaspora still continue to be victims of their Holocaust.
The Jewish nightmare resonates so much that they have shared their pain beyond their cultural group: The image of suffering is iconized in the Jewish holocaust. We can see a film such as "Freedom Writers" where mischievous "ethnic minority" teens are told a Jewish story as an example of "real" suffering." Why would African-Americans with the most tragic history in America (equalled only by the Native American Holocaust) need to look to European Jews for a story of tragedy? The answer is simple African-Americans are not agents of these stories which impose themselves at the expense of the African narrative. Even in South Africa (which has no history of Nazi extermination) you will find a Jewish holocaust museum in every major city. Thats not the fault of any Jew, and we must respect their dedication to their holocaust study. But where is the African Holocaust museums? Where is the great momuments built to honor the millions of Africans whose bodies lie at the bottom of the Atlantic? Where is the Pan-African centers for teaching the legacy of Dubois, Garvey and Malcolm? That speaks only to a mental defect which is the greatest legacy of our African Holocaust. (read more)
When we really understand slavery, it is more than a ball and chains 150 years ago. More than the film Roots, of lives on a plantation exposed to inhumanities. The most violent product of chattel slavery is mental slavery. It expresses itself by creating, among other things, dependency and improvident. It infects every action from the preference to "rent" over the prospect of "buying."
Investment in education was futile in slavery and still this legacy continues. Mental slavery also impacts most of all value of self, value in seeing African stories. How else can we explains why the Jewish story in film and print is everywhere in the world despite Jews only being a World population less than the city of Lagos. And why is it the story of Africa (more than 1 billion people) is rarely told and when it is told it is at the hands of European agents. The African voice, the African woman and man, the African relationships and African films and media have no value in the minds of those who have no value of self. And this pervasive legacy washes not only this contemporary African generation, but future generations waiting to be born. [500 Years Later] and [Motherland]. See [Mental Slavery]
It was believed that the Atlantic slave trade was a largely self-contained phenomenon, it is now acknowledged that this slave trade is part of a much wider picture, which includes traditional African slave systems and the Arab slave trade. At various stages in their history conflicted and complemented each other.
We must identify the different levels of enslavement in the historical narrative of Africa. Although the internal African trade became the trade which procured captives for Europeans and also Arabs, it is a distinctive trade with unique features, and moreover distinctive consequences. Economically the growth that should have been experienced in Africa, from African human resources, was experienced in the West - as opposed to in Africa. The primary African groups involved in procurement for European interest became particularly adept and brutal at the practice of enslaving where the Oyo, Benin, Igala, Kaabu, Asanteman, Dahomey, the Aro Confederacy and the Imbangala war bands. One key difference between Africans as agents for Europeans and domestic internal slavery was the level of brutality associated with procurement.
AFRICAN IDENTITY IN ATLANTIC AFRICA
The viewpoint that “Africans” enslaved “Africans” is obfuscating if not troubling. The deployment of “African” in African history tends to coalesce into obscurantist constructions of identities that allow scholars, for instance, to subtly call into question the humanity of “all” Africans. Whenever Asante rulers sold non-Asantes into slavery, they did not construct it in terms of Africans selling fellow Africans. They saw the victims for what they were, for instance, as Akuapems, without categorizing them as fellow Africans. Equally, when Christian Scandinavians and Russians sold war captives to the Islamic people of the Abbasid Empire, they didn’t think that they were placing fellow Europeans into slavery. This lazy categorizing homogenizes Africans and has become a part of the methodology of African history; not surprisingly, the Western media’s cottage industry on Africa has tapped into it to frame Africans in inchoate generalities allowing the media to describe local crisis in one African state as “African” problem – Dr. Akurang-Parry, Ending the Slavery Blame, Ghana Web
When we study the dilemma which created a supply of slaves for the Western markets we see that the primary process was warring Africans. While some historians consider these merely "Slave Raids" it can be shown that casualties would have been experienced on both sides and thus making such activities more akin to warfare. Even if that warfare was against a "weaker" nation who served as a target group for procuring captives. The long standing temptation is to paint all these groups as African fighting Africans. However, in this historical period there was no African identity. People in 15th century Africa never heard of "Black people" as an identity. While they had knowledge of self from an internal perspective, that knowledge of self lacked a relationship to other African groups in the broader sense, especially when confronted with the arrival of Europeans. And that is key because being proud to be Zulu, for example, but seeing a Xhosa as different is a narrow understanding of 'self.' And this failure made it easy for identities, whether ethnic or national, to be used as a oppertunity for exploitation. And this is not unique to Africa, the same thing happened everywhere the European went in his expansion where he met different ethnic groups.
as well as its kapos, Jewish camp overseers, who brutalized their fellow prisoners along with the SS guards. More than 150,000 Mischlinge (mixed blood) fought for the Nazis. In WWII Luftwaffe Field Marshall Erhart Milch, was Jewish. One way or another, at least 6,000 full-blooded Jews served in the Wehrmacht . There is some elaboration of Hitler's obsessive fear of his Jewishness, as well as the probable Jewishness of Reinhard Heydrich, one of the chief architects of the Holocaust itself. Most documents that trace the ancestry of top Nazi officials have been destroyed.<4> In the Native American Holocaust, there were also Native American collaborators who fought with the Whites to defeat, dispossess and dominate other Native Americans. Thus, such collaboration in oppression is not unique to Africa and Africans.
With the rise of a large commercial slave trade, driven by European needs, enslaving your enemy became less a consequence of war, and more and more a reason to go to war. The Europeans skillfully empowered one group over another, they armed some and left some unarmed. Those who promised to trade were favored and those who resisted were crushed. The Gun - Slave cycle and the Horse - Slave cycle. All born from a dependence on technologies not locally found, i.e. inability to make advanced weapons of war, an inability to breed horses. divide, rule worked with scientific accuracy and the outcome was always certain; more slaves for European plantations. The dilemma on the continent was either you sell your neighbor or they would be forced to come and sell you. Because of disunity, the European was able to exploit every social weakness to procure more victims. Indigenous systems had ways of dealing with prisoners and these systems became corrupt to a point where all crimes became punishable by enslavement. In Atlantic Africa during two cycles created a dangerous loop.
The entire Diaspora population was in free-servitude and therefore it is economically and socially impossible to compare the few African slavers verses the national project of Western Europe, and the Americas. Jewish historian William Rubinstein, "Of these 10 million estimated dead blacks [sic], possibly 6 million were killed by other blacks in African tribal wars and raiding parties aimed at securing slaves for transport to America " This is the tone taken to discuss the African Holocaust, the same Rubistein takes a completely different objection to any tone which diminishes or subtracts from the reality or the humanity of the victims of the Holocaust of Jews.
As the trade progressed the items traded with Africa were of no sustainable value. While Europe’s wealth increase African merchants toyed with silly trinkets, images of a white god, inferior cloth, cheap alcohol, damp gunpowder, old pots and pans and all forms of assorted garbage not generally fit for European consumption. If Europe and Africa began their ill-fated relationship as near equals, the influx of European goods, particularly of firearms and alcohol, slowly disrupted the equilibrium of West African cultures. To Europe the enslaved workforce brought power and wealth, but to Africa the so-called trade only brought more efficient means to capture their neighbors and alcohol to corrode societies.
The limits of language take radically different systems, Atlantic slavery and Vassalship in Africa, and subject them to the same treatment because they share the same abstract word "slave." In Africa there were no fields filled with men and women tolling away to the crack of a whip. There was no place where so-called slaves outnumbered their enslavers. Chattel Slavery did not exist within Africa but serfdom, servitude or vassalship did, as it did in most of Europe and the rest of the world. In addition, this vassalship was scattered and infrequent; it was never the commerce of the land. Most non-free people could amass wealth and upward mobility was very frequent. Some, as in the case of Ali Kolon ascended the ranks to become rulers. Many enslaved people were employed in high government office with virtually no restrictions on their native language, religion etc. Naturally, it suits the people who profited from slavery to make the world think that slavery was the fault of Africans, and that slavery was good for Africa and natural to Africans.
In the centuries of death that surrounded slavery some suggest that a few kings got rich or life in Africa was so horrid that being brought to slave plantations was a progressive life style change. (See African Kingdoms for Africa prior to slavery)
It is estimated that by the height of the Transatlantic slave trade the population of Africa unlike the rest of the World had stagnated by 50%.. See How Europe underdeveloped Africa. "Walter Rodney"
Because if 12 million arrived how many generations from that 12 million were subjected to slavery? 140 million Africans in the Western Hemisphere, most of them the direct conquence of the Atlantic Slave Trade. So now consider 350 years of slavery how many African generations were enslaved, how many people died via that horrid process of enslavement? These are the new questions which must be attached to the old study of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade.
and that was the Songhay Empire. We saw the emergence of Nasser Uddin in the 16th Century. We saw Malik Sy in the 16th Century as well, and men like Abdul Qadeer and Cherno Sulayman Kaba, these men who waged resistance in what is known as Futa Toro and Futa Jalon.
So the Africans did not acquiesce colonialism, nor did they acquiesce towards slavery, they fought at every point and in fact when the slaves were landing in the Western hemisphere in Bahia Brazil you saw the emergence of jihad movements. You saw the emergence of men like Muhammad Sambo who led a two-month jihad in the Louisiana territories in North America. Men like Nat Turner and other men who refused to submit to slavery. The Haitian Revolution as well. Men like Macantow. So The Africans never acquiesce to slavery in fact we can say this year that the whole concept of freedom that the American thirteen colonies had, they got that concept of freedom and liberty from the African resistance movement that took place in the Western Hemisphere."
What did the Slave Master learn from Bahia et al? That it was critical to separate the African (the one who just arrived with a memory of home) from the conditioned slave (the one born into enslavement). Teaching the conditioned slave to hate anything African, anyone who remembers another home is dangerous to the designs of slavery. See African Revolt
Modern Slavery is fundamentally an economic phenomenon. Throughout history, slavery has existed where it has been economically worthwhile to those in power. The principal example in modern times is the U.S. South.
and the institutional practices surrounding slavery display a sophistication that rivals modern-day law and business. (100 trillion dollars, based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, with a compounded interest of 6% (and that is only for the USA),
The currency used in the African economic system of was the Okpoho (anillas are penannular armlets, mostly in bronze or copper). The word comes from the Igbo language known to in Spanish as Manillas.
Masters profited from reproduction as well as production. Southern planters encouraged slaves to have large families because U.S. slaves lived long enough -- unlike those elsewhere in the New World -- to generate more revenue than cost over their lifetimes. But researchers have found little evidence of slave breeding; instead, masters encouraged slaves to live in nuclear or extended families for stability. Lest one think sentimentality triumphed on the Southern plantation, one need only recall the willingness of most masters to sell if the bottom line was attractive enough.
Investment banks Brown Bros. Harriman and Lehman Bros. Railroads Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National. Textile maker WestPoint Stevens. Newspaper publishers Knight Ridder, Tribune, Media General, Advance Publications, E.W. Scripps and Gannett, parent and publisher of USA TODAY. 850 The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, part of CSX today, paid slave owners $30 to $150 apiece to rent slaves for a year. Price in 1850: $150 In today's dollars: $3,379 1856 The Mobile & Girard, now part of Norfolk Southern, offered slaveholders $180 apiece for slaves they would rent to the railroad for one year. 1856: $180 Today: $3,737 1859 The Central of Georgia, a Norfolk Southern line today, valued its slaves at $31,303. 1859: $31,303 Today: $663,033 1865 The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, today part of CSX, placed a value of $128,773 on the slaves it lost as a result of emancipation at the conclusion of the Civil War. 1865: $128,773 Today: $1.4 million 1865 The Mobile & Ohio, now part of Canadian National, valued slaves lost to the war and emancipation at $199,691. 1865: $199,691 Today: $2.2 million
Sources: Economic History Services, USA TODAY research The list of corporations tied to slavery is likely to grow. Eventually, it could include energy companies that once used slaves to lay oil lines beneath Southern cities, mining companies whose slaves dug for coal and salt, tobacco marketers that relied on slaves to cultivate and cure tobacco. Slavery's long shadow also could fall over some of Europe's oldest financial houses, which were leading financiers of the antebellum cotton trade. Lloyd's of London, the giant insurance marketplace, could become a target because member brokerages are believed to have insured ships that brought slaves from Africa to the USA and cotton from the South to mills in New England and Britain.
A judicial process was in place throughout most of Africa to preserve the law of the land; resources were such that large expensive industrial complexes were not viable. The Transatlantic Slave system distinguished itself because there was no crime on the part of the victims, simply being of African ethnic origin was the “crime.” Moreover the inhumanity and absolute debasement of the human being and then the subsequent legacy of this system which still exist and still creates privilege and opportunity for the majority of European descendants.
Political blackness is thus not an identity in terms of who a people are; but moreover a social-political consequence of a world which after colonialism and slavery existed in those color terms. Indians are no longer "brown people", Chinese do not respond to being called "yellow." Identity is always geographical and ties the people to their native environment or their core doctrine (Jews of Judaism, Muslims of Islam, Chinese of China). There is no country called Blackia or Blackistan. Hence, the ancestry-nationality model is more respectful and accurate: African-American, African-British, African-Arabian, African-Brazilian, and African-Caribbean.
Part of any examination of Slavery and it's legacy must also look at how language is used to favor European interest and justify slavery. "Black on Black" violence in Africa is a term which is used to say Slavery was self-inflicted. But then the Jewish Holocaust would be "White on White." Words have powerful meanings and a serious effect on historical perception.
None of them had principle objections to slavery. Therefore, the challenge which is posed to Islam and Christianity for having a tolerance for slavery is also true for the religions native to Africa. The only true difference between Islam and Christianity and indigenious faith is power. They had more power to destroy and had the added side-effect of carrying the culture of the conquering party: may that party be Arab, European, or another African group (see Songhai and Mali).
And today the old urban legend of religion and oppression is invalid. The new tools of oppression hide themselves in western democracy. And in the trojan horse of democracy are the soldiers of the free market, globalization and debt. False focus on religion is a death sentence, like worrying about a spider when a lion is about to pounce.
Islam, Christianity, and what became known as Vodun all fell prey to human greed. All were used to enhance the position of the slavers. So in native African faith based societies (Dahmoney especially) the rituals which were set-up for purity and celebrating the deities became an opportunity to acquire more captives.
What in the message of Jesus said "Go to African and get as many Africans as you can?", Where in the Qur'an does it say "Where ever you find a Black make him a slave"? Democracy right now is making a job and a half of creating new colonies, this does not invalidate the principles of democracy just because of Obama and Bush's misuse.
If these mainstream religions are the principle agent of mentally enslaving people why is there the same problems existing in countries that do not have the influence of these faiths? Does Benin have some superiority claim over Ethiopia? But if the argument was correct then we should see this. We should see more agency in Benin than in Islamic-Christian Ethiopia. Because if these Abrahamic faiths, as separate elements, are enslaving people then how do you explain Ethiopia's rich and power history? In treating a prostate cancer it is usually a good idea not to cut out the bladder and leave the prostate. Mis- identifying religion is a detrimental to Africa; it is only convenient for people who do not want to waddle through the complexities of the Africa's problem. And the language of "destruction and domination" is political language, not historical langauage. The script destroyed oral tradition, the car destroyed the donkey, the cd destroyed the record, and the turntable destroyed the musical instrument. It is no different with culture and religion anywhere.
Many religion or spritual systems, for hundreds of years, in West Africa practised, and still practise, Trokosi: The giving of virgin girls to the gods for services or religious attonment. Similar practices were also found in the royal court of the Kingdom of Dahomey (in what is now Benin), in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wives, slaves, and in fact all persons connected with the royal palace of Dahomey were called "ahosi", from "aho" meaning "king", and "si" meaning "dependent" or "subordinate." So we must understand the "flaws" of spirituality and religion are not exclusive to the Abrahamic faiths. And with the coming of Islam many of these harmful practises were destroyed. Islam was not selective and some serious aspects of culture were also washed away with its rise. And this must be considered in a holistic understanding in presenting valid arguments regardless of our position on religion and Africa.
More wars are caused over land and resources than God. The largest wars in human history had nothing to do with religion. Even during the crusades (which were supposed to be a Muslim-Christian conflict), the crusaders killed many non-Western Christians. However, far more emphasis has to be placed on greed, wealth disparity, and its effect on the human condition. In the absence of religion, slavery would have taken place. In the absences of democracy and communism, wars would have taken place. If we look at the most ruthless dictators most of them do not kill in the name of religion, (Mao for example said religion was poison). The problem with Mao et al was religion competed with him as a god-head. The biggest wars in history are not really in the name of religion; even the crusades were about Europeans acquisition of trade routes, which Muslims controlled. Outside of Islam and Christianity slavery existed, the largest slavers on the continent were neither Muslim nor Christian. All arguments support that religion is not the primary agent in the oppression of Africa, now or then.
It might not be right, but one thing we need to swallow is that all "advances" and "civilization" is the product of degrees of imperialism and conquest: Take a look at Ethiopian history. Kmt in her brutal conquest of Nubia, and Nubia's conquest of Kemet? If our primary issue is with conquest, then the only thing to celebrate is hunter-gatherer societies. There is a profit from conquest which every society of technological sophistication has inherited, and we must deal with this. The human challenge is therefore how to advance without exploitation.
Terms like "Islamic Invasion" and "foreign religions" are painted all over African history as if this was the only process by which Christianity and Islam came into Africa. Islam has been a native part of the African landscape for 1418 years, Christianity for 2000 and Judaism for far longer. Yet history paints Christianity in Europe as if it was fundamentally a European institution. Europe Europeanized Christianity just like how they paint Buddhism in China as if its origins where Chinese. So the notion of Christianity being a European project needs to be challenged. They were Churches in Africa long before the Vatican.
Anthropologists seek to extract religion from reality and make Africa the perpetual victim of invading Arabs and Europeans. Afrocentric history on one page vilifies these religions but then on the next page tries to score racial points by claiming the glories of the Islamic and Christian contributions such as Mali, Aksum and Songhai. However, Aksum was not a victim when it chose out of its rights as a sovereign self-determined super-power to accept Christianity as a state religion. Nor was Ancient Ghana when it accepted Islam as the state religion. These were super powers under African influences that made these choices, just as Rome did when it accepted Christianity. And in Africa’s recent history some of the greatest minds of liberation were both Muslim and Christian: Garvey, Malcolm, Martin Luther King, etc.
This does not mean that the alteration to culture was not destructive at times, but to use these terms are very loaded. In the case of Eurocentric Christianity, it was partnered with a holocaust and thus was extremely destructive because its primary modus operand was to enslave and destroy. With all these religions, the problem of undue cultural influence became an issue where to be Islamic or Christian meant taking on the cultural attributes of the dominant practitioners of these faiths, may they be Arab or European. So this is a cultural challenge not serviced by throwing the baby out with the bath water. If Muslims and Christians are sensitive to this they will select African Muslim names, as opposed to Arab names, they will seek out African interpretations, which speak to their reality, and the same for Christianity. But religion is part of human globalize culture and cross-fertilization is an aspect of human history and it is in this context that religion should be looked at in Africa and indeed world history.
Europeans and Arabs did not walk into Africa to enslave Africans because of a deep hatred for dark skinned people: The primary motive was profit. South African apartheid was the same. It was a system, which protected European privilege and opportunities. Race was used as a justification to secure this privilege and most found justification in the Bible, the same Bible that Martin Luther King and Nat Turner used for liberation.
Modern slavery in Africa can be seen as a continuation or outgrowth of slave-trading practices in the past. Africans have stepped into the boots and habits of the retreating colonizers. Forced labor was used to an overwhelming extent in King Leopold's Congo Free State and on Portuguese plantations of Cape Verde and San Tome. But the majority factor is abject poverty, if the poverty is fixed it will automatically fix the slavery.
In Sudan and Mauritania and parts of Mali and Chad the slavery vacated by the abolishion of what is called Arab slavery still continue in pockets of the country (explained in the video by Ali Mazrui). It is often cited that the Arab slave trade is still an ongoing activity, especially in places such as Sudan and Mauritania. And this is true, despite it being legally outlawed. But what is not mentioned is slavery goes on all over the world. 27 million people are trapped in some form of modern slavery may it be white sex slaves in Israel and Eastern Europe, Child slavery in Ghana, ritual slavery in South Africa.
PROBLEM IDENTIFYING SLAVERY
Another issue with 21st century slavery is it is easy to lose the word "slavery" in the linguistic technicality of what is and what isnt not slavery. The lines are blurred and in some cases it is hard to determine if it is a human rights issue or a labor rights issue: A case of bad labor rights reagrding how people are treated by their employers. Does it stop being slavery if someone is paid $1 a week? And what is the definition of paid, as payment can be in exchange for food and board. Then the only consideration is "freedom," but freedom in itself is problematic. Are you free to leave your masters home when you have no family, shelter or security outside of their walls? Clearly people can leave but by doing so they put themselves in greater harm. So again "freedom" is a matter of perspective.
MODERN SLAVERY TODAY
Today in the Congo the indigenous people are usually victims of their Bantu neighbors, who have replaced the positions once held by Europeans. Ethnic hatred against vulnerable groups such as the so-called Pygmies (Bayaka) is neglected because it is not as sensational as Darfur or Rwanda. But these people are dehumanized and treated as 2nd class citizens by the Bantu Settlers. The uncomfortable reality is an aspect of the African Holocaust has to be 'self-inflicted' horrors which cannot be escaped via the smooth language of evasion.
Sex slavery is a major problem in South Africa. Women seeking refugee status in South Africa from other African countries are trafficked by other refugees. An estimated 1000 Mozambican girls are trafficked to Johannesburg each year and sold as sex slaves or as wives to the Mozambican mine workers. When identified by police in South Africa victims of trafficking are deported as illegal immigrants with no treatment for being victims of sex slavery. Victims are afraid of law enforcement and do not trust the police to assist them. South Africa shares borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. It has 72 official ports of entry "and a number of unofficial ports of entry where people come in and out without being detected" along it's 5 000km-long land borderline. The problem of porous borders is compounded by the lack of adequately trained employees, resulting in few police officials controlling large portions of the country's coastline.
Religious Slavery ( Trokosi ) in modern Ghana is the continuing tradition of giving of virgin girls to the gods for religious attonment or payment for services. This was part of many ancient religions in this region with some connection to Vodun practices. In West Africa the practice has gone on for at least several hundred years. Similar practices using similar terminology were found in the royal court in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wives, slaves, and in fact all persons connected with the royal palace of Dahomey were called "ahosi", from "aho" meaning "king", and "si" meaning "dependent" or "subordinate."
In Ethiopia, children are trafficked into prostitution, to provide cheap or unpaid labor, and to work as domestic servants or beggars.
The only permanent solution is to eliminate the conditions that perpetuate Modern slavery - poverty. People movements is largely driven by either conflict or poverty, both lead to conditions which foster modern slavery. Tackling just the visible head, as many NGOs are doing, leaves room for the roots to keep recreating the problem.