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African Holocaust | The Greatest Holocaust in History | Slavery and Africa





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

What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?

– '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



Not Just History, But Legacy

Alik Shahadah
'Alik Shahadah 10-2005 (revised 07/2012)

Holocaust     Holocaust
Songs we would never hear! Histories we would never know! Art we would never see! Because the European had the capacity to destroy and didn't have the moral restraint not to Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Maulana Karenga

The word '''Maafa''' (also known as the African Holocaust) is derived from a Kiswahili word meaning disaster, terrible occurrence or great tragedy.[1]

The term today collectively refers to the Pan-African discourse of the 500 hundred years of suffering of people of African heritage through Slavery, imperialism, colonialism, apartheid, rape, oppression, invasions and exploitation.

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The African Holocaust is a pan-African discourse on the global historical and contemporary genocide against the mental and physical health of African people. The effects of this genocide impacts all areas of African life; religion, heritage, tradition, culture, agency, self-determination, marriage, identity, rites of passage, and ethics. And finally acts to marginalize Africans from their historical trauma and historical glory. This study does not seek to promote a binary or Manichean history, but moreover a lens for looking at patterns of persecution from within an authentic African centered framework. [2][3]

The African Holocaust or Maafa, is a crime against humanity and is recognized as such by scholars, who have documented the primary and overwhelming culpability of mainly Europeans in the ongoing Holocaust against African people. Slavery, corrupted and stripped both the enslaved and the slave master of their humanity and dignity. The African Holocaust represents an existential threat to the peoplehood and agency of African people for the last 500 Years of world history. Africa is the most exploited continent in the history of humanity; more human victim's have been procured from Africa than all the continents of the world combined. The consequences of this drain in human and mineral resources is one of the major factors in the global condition of African people.

However, this history would be incomplete and distorted, without also reflecting on the acquiescence; collaboration, rape, genocide, slavery, corruption, and warfare that Africans, as free agents,[4] as members of nations and native religions, have also engaged in. [5] Moreover, it would be morally reprehensible to neglect the contemporary trade in Africa and across the globe.

The African Holocaust is the greatest continuing tragedy the world has ever seen. It was also the most impacting social event in the history of humanity. Not only in terms of scale but also in terms of legacy and horror. It is a Holocaust which is constantly denied, mitigated and trivialized. The African Holocaust is white-washed and Africans denied their human value and treated as a people only suitable for slavery.

Holocaust TransAtlantic

The Maafa reduced humans with culture and history to a people invisible from historical contribution; mere labor units, commodities to be traded. From this Holocaust/Maafa the modern racial-social hierarchy was born which continues to govern the lives of every living human where race continues to confer (or obstruct) privilege and opportunity.

And because the African Holocaust is rarely treat as a continuous history, worthy of an ongoing discourse, the inter-relations and the agents of this Holocaust escape treatment. It makes it easy to make people forget, or see slavery, colonialism, apartheid as divorced from one another. Treating them as isolated studies, often misses the pattern of white supremacy throughout African history. And in the 21st century the legacy of enslavement manifest itself in the social-economic status of Africans globally. Without a doubt Africans (as well as Native Americans and Australians) globally constitute the most oppressed, most exploited, most downtrodden people on the planet; a fact that testifies to the untreated legacy of Slavery, colonialism and apartheid. Not only is this reality in the social-economic spectrum, it is also experienced in the academic and political value the Maafa receives compared to the Jewish genocide.

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. Over 10 million died as direct consequences of the Atlantic slave trade alone. 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. rg
Slavery was not only an aspect of history, today Slavery is still a World wide problem; millions of people are trapped in domestic slavery...

from China to USA. We usually hear about modern slavery in Sudan, but more people are trafficked in America than in Sudan. [3]

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The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny, and it is useless for the innocent to try by reasoning to get justice, when the oppressor intends to be unjust Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Aesop's Fables



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Until the Story of the hunt is told by the Lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust African Proverb

The attack on African history manifests in blame reassignment, normalizing (everyone had slavery), and statistical downsizing. Blame reassignment refocuses study

on African and Arab slavery. But murderers don't get off by pleading to the judge that someone else committed an equally bad murder, or that the murder was less server because the victims parents handed them the knife.

The other ploy is statistical downsize serves to lessen the volume of Africans impacted by enslavement (Holocaust denial). 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, Afrocentric, "Black" supremacy or a Zionist agenda [2] Because of the contemporary implications it is a deeply political discourse with no clear "good vs. bad" guys, but competing agendas. It is critical to deal with these agendas in seeking any sort of authentic and balanced understanding of the Maafa.

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Without willing sellers they could be willing buyers Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Issac Ossei

It is obvious that Afrocentrics and other pro-African groups play binary blame games, while denying African culpability and agency. Their objective is to make Africans the victims, and even when Africans are accountable for horrendous acts, they still place responsibility outside of Africa (it was the foreign religions and culture). But this neglects and tramples African agency, because it reaffirms the child-like canard of African people: incapable, and impressionable. Africans are not impressionable children who get "influenced" by everything that blows into Africa. It comes in the box of "consciousness," but in reality this attitude of "they did this to us" only reaffirms Arab and European superiority; to have so much power to control every last action Africans have ever done. But Africans, as full an uninfluenced people, did engage in the African Holocaust; and are fully, although not equally, responsible for their partnering with the Atlantic and Arab slave system.

On the other side, almost every single European-run historical discourse, led by the likes of John Thornton, 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." "Africans sold Africans to Europeans so they are just as guilty." "Without African involvement they could be no slave trade (Thornton)." And while that may be true, it does not absolve the continued benefits 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. If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can't simply say, 'Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game.'"[3]

The European controlled slave trade was not some private venture divorced from state and church. That state and church was a representation of "the people." It represented the wealth and security of Western nations. So the vast majority of Western Europeans and their descendants global profited from slavery—a privilege people of European ancestry still enjoy at the expense of African development. And yet some still suggest to avoid discussing slavery to avoid hurting their conscious.

The total percentage involvement and profits from that involvement gained by Africans who engaged in selling other Africans is infeasible small. It accounts for maybe 1% of the billable slave hours in the working life of a first generation enslaved African. It accounts for 0% of the billable hours for the many generations of Africans enslaved on European owed plantations, and the years of exploitation after emancipation. How then are we calling it a partnership of equals?

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[To] see Africans as partners implies equal terms and equal influence on the global and intercontinental processes of the trade...Africans had great influence on the continent itself, but they had no direct influence on the engines behind the trade in the capital firms, the shipping and insurance companies of Europe and America, or the plantation systems in Americas. They did not wield any influence on the building manufacturing centers of the West Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Anne Bailey

This issue of emphasis creates a peculiarity that seems unique to Africa, but all over the world, in every single conflict you will find weak or greedy members of that community who side with oppression—why is Africa any different? What is true for the African is 100% true for the Jew. So the biggest manipulation is not so much in the facts, but in the weight or emphasis of "they sold each other." Also, most enslaved people in the West were in that state for all of their lives by European process, not African. Those who were captured in Africa were touched by the African component briefly-- and never again in the history of their enslavement. African involvement, while shameful, was was hardly a partnership in Holocaust, beyond the initial capture and sale. And Europeans also have this tradition of underplaying their role in direct capture. But it is a fact in the early days, and especially in the later (peak) days of the slave system, Europeans directly procuring captives. (Bailey 2005)

As unethical as it sounds, no degree of slavery in Africa would have destroyed Africa as a continental political force. When African talent started being exported out of Africa, is when African underdevelopment, from a political-economic and social perspective, became an issue.

The distant Arab slave trade with its states in Zanzibar have long vanished from the economic-political landscape. But the wealth of Great Britain and France continue uninterrupted. The governments, churches, businesses, royal decree, that funded and approved slavery remain unaltered. 140 million Africans in the Western Hemisphere, representing around 14% of the world's population are the visible consequences of Western Slaving and this is not only a numbers issue,

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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 ardent orientalist, and Zionist) as the prime authority even Afrocentrics are reading.

There is no escaping African culpability 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. And no degree of historical revision can wash out or dilute aspects of African partnership in the African Holocaust. But we should also balance the exception vs. the rule vs. a phenomena. [5]

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. We should not make Africa a monolith, and ignore other forms of social inequity and violence in native African communities, which predate any influence of Arabs and Europeans. Africans, like people all over the world have the same human nature, which can be both creative and loving, as well as destructive and inhumane. But it is utterly dishonest to compare the capitalist-driven actions of Western Europeans, with the mainly duress-driven actions of a community being forced to sell their neighbors (or even their own children) into slavery for fear of the entire family being sold. To compare these circumstances as equal is moral reprehensible. 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— A large percentage of the trauma was experienced inside of the slaving zones.


Why do we study the past? To learn from it and set up precedents for curbing patterns which produce inequity. And to reproduce patterns and habits that produce enlightenment and progress for all of the Earth (humanity and nature). Every doctor understands why the epidemiology is critical to modern medicine; prevention and cure rest on successful analysis of the problem.

African Holocaust Slavery is not wrong because slavery is wrong. Slavery is wrong because of another higher human consideration — human rights. Where human rights in our modern era are intolerant to the systems of oppression slavery perpetuated. It is the immorality of slavery, the contempt for humanity that is the focus of our issue with slavery and all its enduring side effects, one being aspects of modern racism. The history of interactions among disparate peoples is what shaped the modern world through conquest, epidemics, and genocide.

Almost every incident of conquest involves a stronger technological people subdued and exploiting a "weaker" or less developed technological people. That is the one most profound observation and pattern we can grasp from history. The consequences of that conquest have never stopped, the reverberation is heard around the global in all areas of conflict. Understanding history, as Jared Diamond states, is more often the tool used to interrupt the negative outcome, than to repeat it.

Slavery today, as slavery then has the common theme of weak vs. strong, rich vs. poor. That personality has never altered and every time there is a gross imbalance it is the breeding ground for all forms of exploitation. It then seems a correct approach would be also to deal with the breeding ground of slavery. It is far more than a Black people vs. White people debate. In Cameroon the "weaker" peoples are exploited by the "stronger" people. So this pattern of oppression's commonality needs to be addressed. Garvey clearly articulated this when he said :

Holocaust     Holocaust
Slavery is a condition imposed upon individuals or races not sufficiently able to protect or defend themselves, and so long as a race or people expose themselves to the danger of being weak, no one can tell when they will be reduced to slavery Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Marcus Garvey

All humans are the same: anyone cut with a knife will bleed, anyone left without cultural identity will fit the Willy Lynch theoretical model. The only factor in the degree of impact is culture. This is why some people experience a Holocaust and come out even stronger than they went in. A Holocaust must therefore be looked at comparatively, depending on three key factors: the heat of the fire, duration, and their cultural integrity. Unfortunately where Africans are concern the fire, or nature of the Holocaust, was hot, the duration was long, and African cultural integrity, due to disunity, was weak.


Everyone calls everyone else backward, that is human nature, it has nothing to do with religion, but moreover with people (religion only follows the pre-existing trends like a hand shapes a glove). The more powerful someone is, the more agency they have to make the other feel the pain of otherness. The Ewe were targeted for slavery because the Ewe did not have the culture or religion of the Akan, they became a slave pool because they were the "other"; had weaker gods in the eyes of their captors—slavery was therefore "religiously sanctioned." This has nothing to do with Islam vs. the other, or Christianity vs. the other, or even European vs. the other. This is the history of human nature from time immoral. The other is in parenthesis in the Old Testament; thou shall not kill (members of my own tribe). It was with us in the beginning of humanity, and if not careful will follow us to the grave of humanity.

The Osu caste system in Nigeria and southern Cameroon, can be traced back to an indigenous religious belief system of the Igbo nation. Some Igbo traditionalists hold that the Osus are people historically owned by deities, and are therefore considered to be a 'living sacrifice', an outcaste, untouchable and sub-human. The was true in Ethiopia; the very name Falasha means (foreigners/exiles) was given to Ethiopian Jews by the Emperor Yeshaq in the 15th century.

In some slave trading African societies, East, North and West, the conquest in the temporal was a mirror of a divine conquest. Zulu means "The people of the sky" vs. other people who are less "chosen" and because of that status were subject to a vicious campaign. "The Other" is a human problem, fanned by ignorance and binary accusations.

The historical record must not be washed away, we must call the name of those who engaged in the apex of the trade to account for their historical genocide. But at the same time, balance must caution anyone of perceptually blaming Europeans and Arabs, while skipping the internal complexities, weakness and failures still plaguing African communities. Because it does not bring a complete solution to the roots of slavery and inequity; the roots of war and hate.


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The events which transpired five thousand years ago; Five years ago or five minutes ago, have determined what will happen five minutes from now; five years From now or five thousand years from now. All history is a current event Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust John Henrik Clarke 

The act of murder, torture, enslavement, and persecution is equal regardless of who, when or where. Killing 6 Jewish civilians is no different from killing 6 Palestinian civilians: The distinctive act of murder is equal. It does not become equal if that murder goes from 6 to 6 million. It is that act of "murder" multiplied by 6 million. Torturing someone, dehumanizing them, taking them from their home (kidnapping), raping them all constitute separate instances of human rights violation. And human rights is human rights regardless of if we are discussing 2011 or 1011, it has generally never been acceptable in human society to torture and rape another human being.

Now the act of taking an African from their home by force and violence is a crime, and in that crime a minority of Africans played a major role. However, that is one set of crimes and each incident re-occurred over the centuries destabilizing local communities’ development potential.

And without the assistance of any Africans we then come to storing Africans in dungeons and subjecting them to all manner of unspeakable horrors, including rape, in places like Goree or El Mina. All of this constitutes yet another set of human rights violations.  Loading and packaging human beings on a ship like sardines and subjecting them to living and breathing in their own urine and excrement is another set of crimes against humanity (no African from the Motherland are guilt of that).  Taking them and selling them off like chattel is yet another crime, dehumanizing them and enslaving them on the plantation is yet another set of crimes against humanity.  To disrupt the culture, names, language and religion of those captive people is yet another crime against humanity. To exploit to build the empires of the West for over 300 years; torture, persecute dehumanize them is yet another crime. To finally release them from their Holocaust to be subjects and victims of all forms of racism up until the 60’s is yet another crime. And finally to continue to enjoy the fruits of that legacy, deny and oppress them into the contemporary moment is yet another crime against humanity. And still we see every generation of African inheriting the terrible legacy of self-hate and potential inhibition created at that instance 500 Years ago in Africa.

Numbers (Quantity) and Duration and Nature (Quality of oppression) are three unique factors in the African Holocaust. There is no statute of limitation if the institutions that profited from slavery are today still in existence rich and better off for that terrible trade in flesh.  It is only when we understand the African Holocaust in these terms that we realize what is unique about it. There are no comparisons in human history.


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 capitalisms best system for achieving 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 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.

Holocaust Denial, African or Jewish

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 (equaled 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 monuments 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 Du Bois, Garvey and Malcolm? That speaks only to a mental defect which is the greatest legacy of our African Holocaust.


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For slavery to really work, it requires the belief in white superiority, in both the enslaved and their enslavers Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust 'Alik Shahadah

See [Mental Slavery]

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 an inferiority-complex. It infects every concept from notions of beauty, values, and even the preference of "renting" over the prospect of "buying." Many Africans, especially in the Diaspora, continue to wear their wealth on the outside (shoes, clothing, cars) while other groups wear their money on the inside (educational development) first. Mental slavery, also impacts African discernment. Because failure to know oneself also means failure to identify self-interest it is often in this confused state the offense of oppression cannot be located in the minds of the mental slaves. It is no wonder they are given to attack the seat of their own liberation for minutia issues.

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Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Matthew 7:6

In chattel slavery Africans could not own anything, you could not have long term investment plans in your family (they could be sold away at any moment).

Myopic thinking is a vestige of slavery, as no enslaved African had the luxury for over 300 years of thinking beyond the moment. So today a flashy car (instant gratification) takes the place of any true wealth (like owning a house).

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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. Some Africans are so mentally confused that they are active agents of whitewashing and escaping from slavery, they will state "I am sick of hearing about slavery the past is the past." 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 once 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. There was also an evolution from one type of slavering into another; as happened inside of the African slave system where captives where a casual consequence of national warfare evolved into a reason for warfare.

We must identify the different levels of enslavement in the historical narrative of Africa. Some where client-supplier, others were consequences of the overspill from internal polities clashing. 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 professional war bands. ("Atlantic Warfare", Thornton) One key difference between Africans as agents for Europeans, and the domestic internal slavery was the level of brutality associated with procurement.

Below is a list of zones of enslavement and types of slavery:

  • Internal enslavement in native societies (Domestic slavery)
  • Route - African/Arab agents to Arabia (Persia, India, Mediterranean)(Sex/Domestic)
  • Slavery in the Arab world, Including the Trans-Saharan trade
  • Route - African groups (agents) for the Europeans (Clients)
  • Enslavement of Africans by Europeans (Chattel Slavery)


No one traveled all the way into the Congo Basin to procure Africans because of some deep hatred of African people. Slavery has a sociological factor and will always prefer to enslave someone not related to the community (any definable group with shared self-interest). When this logic is expand out it explains slavery of the "other." if I am Fulani then the other is Mandingo, If I am English then the other maybe Irish. The more different the better. Any perceived notion of difference became the ideological backdrop to what would become modern racism. "They are not as advanced as us", "They do not believe in the same god as us." "They are deserving of enslavement."

While subjective, the slavery in Africa was uniracial; with Africans as slave masters and Africans as enslaved people. While ethnic difference would have acted like "race" it was still relatively easier for the captive, after time, to become part of the enslaving race (Turaeg for example). With Arab systems, which include Turkish, Chinese and Indian, slavery were multiracial up until the 19th Century when it started to become dominated by African people as the targeted racial group.

Race & Slavery
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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: for example Somalia was not supply zone -- as part of the Islamic world Somalis were at least nominally protected by the religious tenet that free Muslims cannot be enslaved. Although sometimes the conquering group would just saw the target Muslim group they were guilty of shirk ( شرك‎ širk) thus taking them outside of Islamic protection), in the West no mitigating factor could override race.

So much so that a European could parent children with enslaved African women and still could imposed the most horrendous crimes upon his own offspring without consideration and mercy: whipping them, torturing them, selling them for profit. So corrupt and vile was the systems of slavery that it poisoned natural parental bonds, where a slave master could rape his own daughter and go to church on Sunday without seeing the gross immorality. Read More

"Who Sold us Out?"

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The fact of the dual involvement of Europeans and Africans in the slave trade did not imply equal partnership, but rather parallel lines of activity originating from different cultural and political space Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Anne C. Bailey

In popular circles there is a "Who sold us into slavery?" debate that has been raging for years. It however has done little to advance a pure understanding of the African reality. It has always been used to divide African loyalty, and foster further distrust in Pan-African communities: by targeting certain countries, ethnic groups or religious groups. If African people are to heal and come to terms, and hence grow and reach a higher potential, it is impossible to avoid this issue for it will stymie Pan-African development. Understanding this notion of "Selling out" is critical aspect of the African Holocaust.

Now who did the "selling out" is not a binary Diaspora vs Continental issue. The "selling out" personality was on the boats that carried Africans to the New World, it was on the plantations, it followed its way into current leadership in Africa and the America's: It lives in the heart of all those who try to fragment Africans by location, tribe and religion. It creates distrust and suspicion around great works, and leads Africans into nothingness rather than glory. It tries to suggest patterns of "selling out" to create distrust to further the political agenda of certain groups: "Oh it was the Christians that sold us out." But the historical record clears both Islam and Christianity as the primary agent involved in "selling out" Africans to the Atlantic or even Arab slave trade. So what we are left with is the 100% agency of African people: Africans as free people, uninfluenced doing Holocaust.

Ethnic groups who may have engaged in selling other groups, at later stages as the system got out of control, may have themselves been taken to the New World. So there is zero point in binary Diaspora vs Continent blame games. It is impossible to point to West Africa and say "they sold us out". It was a human personality that betrayed truth and justice when under duress, there is a more worrying and insidious human personality of greed and myopic ambition that has found its way through history into the current African leadership, that sells it resources and condemns its people to poverty to service Western designs, which reward this betrayal with trinkets.

Who sold Africa out is the personality of greed and selfishness, and moreover disunity. The failure of African people to purge the "devil" within. It is not the people of Ghana, or the people of Nigeria, The Muslims, or the Christian converts, that was the sole culprit, because this generalization does not account for the traitors on the plantations of Louisiana. It does not account for the overseers who made deals to usurp African rebellion. And it goes soft in dealing with the flaws inside of ATR that were the biggest justification for enslavement. It also generalizes targeted African groups who remained in Africa but were equal victims of enslavement.


A lot of research has revealed that Africans as a group were suitable for enslavement due to physical endurance; resistance to disease, the advantages of procuring large numbers from slave pools. But there was something more profound than that, that made Africans ripe for enslavement. A failure of people of Africa to form defenses around spheres of interest. And that started, for what ever reason, because of a failure to understand continental interest above national interest. And this is tied hard and fast to notions of identity. Through no fault of African people in antiquity, since they had no reason then to have a Pan-African identity. However it is certainly an ongoing issue in Africa today, where blame can be laid squarely with contemporary Africans and no one else.

What Africans are still not getting, is, never let "internal" squabbles or confusions around difference (religious, ethnic, political, etc), allow a foreign aggression or agendas in Africa: Some term this divide and conquer, but steps to counter it are fleeting, especially when those that advocate unity are also busy causing disunity. So still the lessons of history have not be learned The failure to have a clear hierarchy of agendas allowed the African Holocaust. The African Holocaust affected all Africans, and required all Africans to close ranks around this issue. However. the issue of a pan-African concern was secondary, or non-existent to a "tribal" concern. The myopic acceptance of partnerships with Europe to rid one of a local enemy still work then and now in African politics. And even with hindsight this pattern of divide and rule is stated, but not fully understood. Africans will always have to deal with each other and conflict is inevitable, but in the hierarchy of interest, defense of the Motherland today must reign supreme.


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 opportunity 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.

Perhaps this is also the largest factor which added the European interest in Africa, lack of a singular identity. The Aro Confederacy and the Imbangala cult, all had strict conceptions of what made an individual eligible for enslavement. Among such criteria were constructions of gender, definitions of criminal behavior (which expanded and corrupted as demand increased), and conventions for dealing with prisoners of war. The Serer for example had a policy of not keeping their enemies as slaves, so they killed them. (Martin Klein) While in other communities various regulations govern their POW. All of this was never static as duress increased from the consequences of the Atlantic slave machine.


How did you become enslaved? Especially in the beginning people would have been debt slaves, or religious violators, people who were political rivals, or general undesirables (Nehusi). But as the trade progressed that internal supply pool from within ones nation was limited. The best source of new captives were prisoners of war; bought, traded or procured directly by violent warfare.

The ethnic groups that were most frequently transported across the Atlantic came from a relatively small ethnic pool. [12]

  • BaKongo of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
  • Mandé of Upper Guinea
  •  Gbe speakers of Togo, Ghana and Benin (Adja, Mina, Ewe, Fon)
  • Akan of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire
  • Wolof of Senegal and The Gambia
  • Igbo of southeastern Nigeria
  • Mbundu of Angola (includes Ovimbundu)
  • Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria
  • Chamba of Cameroon
  • Makua of Mozambique

Groups most active in procuring captives where:

  • Oyo, Benin
  • Igala
  • Kaabu
  • Imbangala
  • Asanteman
  • Dahomey
  • The Aro Confederacy of Angola (includes Ovimbundu)


African Holocaust
The crimes against humanity are not limited to non-Africans. Honesty cannot be a one-way mirror: Inhumanity is not racially exclusive.
Although the slave trade made an extremely small number of chiefs wealthy, it ultimately undermined local economies and political stability as villages' vital labor forces were shipped overseas as slave raids and civil wars became commonplace. Indigenous systems had ways of dealing with prisoners and these systems became corrupt to a point where all crimes became punishable by enslavement.

Historians have described collaborators in two other major Holocausts: the Jewish Holocaust and the Native American Holocaust. Yet some academics, ignoring the historical record, makes the morally unacceptable error of collapsing three distinct groups involved in the Holocaust of enslavement: perpetrators, collaborators and victims. (Karenga). The Jewish Holocaust had its Judenräte, Jewish councils which chose Jews for enslaved labor and for the death camps and facilitated their transport to them,

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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 (Nehusi). 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.

In history, as now, the balance of trading powers was never equal. Some, namely Eurocentric authors such as Henry Louis Gates, suggest a trade relationship which was mutually beneficial to both European and African slave traders. While the Europeans did engage and recruit some African kingdoms notable kingdoms of western and central Africa. These included the Akan of the kingdom of Asante in what is now Ghana, the Fon of Dahomey (now Benin), the Mbundu of Ndongo in modern Angola and the Kongo of today’s Congo. Once the enslaved African was sold, that was the beginning and end of profit for the slaving kings; supply and demand. However, for Europe is was an investment, which procured profit over hundreds of years, from generation to generation.
Enslaved Africans

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 Jewish Holocaust.

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.


Holocaust     Holocaust
African slavery is hardly to be praised. But it was far different from plantation or mining slavery in the Americas, which was lifelong, morally crippling, destructive of family ties, without hope of any future. African slavery lacked two elements that made American slavery the most cruel form of slavery in history: the frenzy for limitless profit that comes from capitalistic agriculture; the reduction of the slave to less than human status by the use of racial hatred, with that relentless clarity based on color, where white was master, Black was slave Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Howard Zinn

The line that defines what is and isn't slavery is blurred and there is no secret that when ethnic groups and nationalities

fought in wars the vanquished where given into a system of subservience to the victors: askew rules of war. However, let not the word "slavery" allow an analogue to what happened on the plantations of Jamaica, Brazil and America.

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.

The most brutal phase of enslavement came into play when enslaved people started to become transported outside of their local zones to distant locations (inside of Africa or outside of Africa). This happened as greater centralized African and later Arab powers came to the table. They had the power to seek captives in distant slave pools, and the lust to source free labor to expand their national objectives. The transportation over long distances increase mortality. The rise of larger civilizations meant specialization became more frequent, the dedicated solider, the merchant, and the professional slaver.


New research reveals that up until the 15th century, most of the world was still under band and tribal groupings. (Diamond, 2005) Africa was no different, as a majority of the continent, like the majority of most continents, were not in organized states. Only states have use for slavery, it is not a feature of hunter gather society which does not have the specialization to accommodate captives. Tribal groupings also rarely have slavery. It would therefore be safe to say African slavery was confined to states, and kingdoms. It was not an ubiquitous reality.


While traditional studies often focus on official French and British records of how many Africans arrived in the “New World” these studies neglect the death from raids, the fatalities on-board the ships, introduced European diseases, the victims from the consequences of enslavement,
How Many Died in Slavery

and the trauma of refugees displaced by slaving activities. The numbers of arrivals also neglects the volume of Africans who arrived via pirate ships who for obvious reasons wouldn't’ have kept records. In her book Dreams of Africa in Alabama, Sylviane Diouf details the lives of the enslaved Africans to be brought to the U.S. even after emancipation. Most of this history is neglected in calculating numbers of Africans stolen into slavery.

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)

If 12-15 million Africans arrived in the New World. Over 10 million died as direct consequences of the Atlantic slave trade alone. But no one knows the exact number. An often-neglected study within history is the value of population demographics as a function of time. 30 million people 500 years ago is not equivalent to 30 million people today because 30 million as a percentage of the world population represented 500 years ago is far greater than what it represents today.

We must also realize the percentage of Africans in a state of slavery might have meant that 40% of all Africans alive were enslaved at any given period in the last 300 years. In short this means that African, by a landmark, are the most enslaved people in the history of humanity; by any and all definitions of 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"

How Many Died in Slavery
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-economic development potential. (Shahadah) Thus Africa's development potential was being experienced outside of Africa, as opposed to inside Africa. This was perhaps the most profound destructive factor to the development of Africa. Systems of enslavement inside of Africa never underdeveloped the continent, while the Transatlantic Slave trade did at the same time enriching Europe.

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 consequence 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.


Everyone with a PhD and not, has had a crack at the numbers lost to the Atlantic Slave system. In American Holocaust (1992), David Stannard estimates that some 30 to 60 million Africans died being enslaved. He claims a 50% mortality rate among new slaves while being gathered and held in Africa, a 10% mortality among the survivors while crossing the ocean, and another 50% mortality rate in the first "seasoning" phase of slave labor. Overall, he estimates a 75-80% mortality rate in transit.

In "The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Holocaust" (Is the Holocaust Unique, A. Greebaum, ed., 1996), Seymour Drescher estimates that 21M were enslaved, 1700-1850, of which 7M remained in slavery inside Africa. 4M died "as a direct result of enslavement". Of the 12M shipped to America, 15%, or 2M more, died in the Middle Passage and seasoning year.

Jan Rogozinski, A Brief History of the Caribbean (1994): "[A]s many as eight million Africans may have died in order to bring four million slaves to the Caribbean islands."
In The Slave Trade, Hugh Thomas estimates that 13M left African ports, and 11,328,000 arrived. Here are a few other numbers from Thomas:

Rummel estimates a total death toll of 17,267,000 African slaves (1451-1870)

  • Among slaves going to Orient: 2,400,000 dead
  • Among slaves staying in Africa: 1,200,000 dead
  • Among slaves going to New World: 13,667,000 dead

Fredric Wertham claims that 150,000,000 Africans died of the slave trade. Looking at all the speculations on demographic impact on Africa we can estimate that at bear minimum 35% of those enslaved in Africa died before reaching the slave ships. Between these extreme possibilities the most likely mortality rate is 62%.

In terms of absolute numbers, the lowest possible is 6 million. If we assume the absolute worst, a death toll as high as 60 million is at the very edge of possibility (including indirect death, epidemiological exposure, etc.; however, the likeliest number of deaths would fall somewhere from 15 to 20 million.[ref]

Death Rates












Ocean Crossing












If 5 million slaves were shipped in the 18th Century (the busiest century, see Hugh Thomas, above), then the 18th Century death toll could be around 8.1 million. (=5/11*17.8)
And what is often neglected, deliberately so, that these numbers are only the dead among the first generation of enslaved Africans brought from Africa. Subsequent generations would contribute additional unnatural deaths..[ref]


Muhammad Shareef: The image is always given that the Africans themselves acquiesce to the process of slavery. But you'll find that in West Africa there was a polity or a political entity that existed that guaranteed security right across West Africa

and that was the Songhay Empire. 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. Also the campaigns of Nasr al-Din's [Nasser Uddin] (Tubenan movement) anti-slavery and Western imposition galvanized Africans in the region in the late 17th century.

We had Nzinga and the Southern areas of Africa as well that was fighting its resistance against European invasion. All the way up until the 17th Century men like Umar Tall, Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodiod and Umar Futi as well as Ahmed Lobo. And then we had the courageous wars, which took place in 1884 under the armies of Muhammad Ahmed, Ibn Abdullahi of the Sudan as well as Muhammad Abdullahi al Hassan of Somalia. And then we had in 1903 finally, the wars that took place between the Sokoto Empire.

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Holocaust     Holocaust
The man that enslaves you doesn't get a medal for stopping enslavement—You not supposed to enslave people in the 1st place Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Shahadah

Probably about one in ten slaving voyages experienced major rebellions, of which the attempts to control increased the costs of a slave voyage to the point where far fewer slaves entered the traffic than would have been the case without resistance. In addition, vessels from some regions on the coast appear to have been more prone to experience slave uprisings than those from other regions. So the Africans did not acquiesce colonialism, nor did they acquiesce towards slavery, they fought at every point. The image of Europeans as the liberators of African (as if Africans just waited by the river watching the clouds go by) is part of the take-away from Africans as agents. 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.

Holocaust     Holocaust
If any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy. They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children to prevent and cure them from running away Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Samuel A. Cartwright

Drapetomania was a supposed mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused African slaves to flee captivity. So ingrained was the notion of Africans only purpose being in the capacity as slaves, it was seen as unnatural and a sickness that would cause them to want to escape slavery. And today we must ask what has really changed? Africans in America seeking to rename their children in the African traditions, or seek African ways of life, African religions, or African culture, are seen as "confused." 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. It is preposterous and a historical denial to say that slavery did not significantly build the West. Obviously the likes of John Thornton are self-serving and protecting the wealth of the West by denying and spinning the contributions gained from slavery. There was not only direct monetary reward from holding slaves to do work on a plantation. Enslaved people also allowed their captors "free hands" to pursue activities which further enriched the West.

"Slave Money" | Okpoho
Nearly 4 million enslaved Africans with a market value of close to $4 billion lived in the U.S. just before the Civil War. Masters enjoyed rates of return on slaves comparable to those on other assets; cotton consumers, insurance companies, and industrial enterprises benefited from slavery as well. Such valuable property required rules to protect it,

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.

Slavery chart

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.

See Also: Ideology versus the tyranny of paradigm : historians and the impact of the Atlantic slave trade on African societies. (J E Inikori)


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.


The United States owes African-Americans over $100 trillion in reparations, based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, with a compounded interest of 6%. Africans in America today have been enduring struggles of discrimination, lynchings, indentured servitude, high imprisonment rates from disproportionate bias sentencing, sold to the highest sugar cane and sharecropper plantation owners and the historical impact that slavery had on African American even today, that lost of wealth in inheritance, land, pay, history, culture, family names.

When it comes to the Jews the flexibility of justice twist and turns to explain why Jews deserve compensation but Africans do not. Laws are used to obfuscate and blur issues. Broken analogues are made "If we paid everyone for every wrong in history where would it end?" There is however no statute of limitations on an ongoing Holocaust which impacts Africans the world over. It is not a historical event like when Rome sacked Greece; confined to ancient history. After the WW2, until now, Germany is sentenced to pay reparations even to grandchildren of the victims of the Jewish Holocaust.

As Boyce Watkins in response to Henry Louis Gates controversial remarks: "If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can't simply say, "Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game...I am not sure why Gates has gone out of his way to assuage white guilt in America. I hope that's not the price a Black man must pay in order to write an op-ed in the New York Times."

There is no escaping African culpability in the Atlantic slave trade. However, the principle benefactor was clearly European nations. Also African participation in the 300 year old system was for but a blink of an eye. How could it be possible to hold both equally guilty? The person that sells the gun is guilty for that moment, but the person that uses it to kill for years is clearly at a different level of criminality.

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Also, most enslaved people in the West were in that state for all of their lives by European process, not African. Those who were captured in Africa were touched by the African component briefly-- and never again in the history of their enslavement. African involvement, while shameful, was was hardly a partnership in Holocaust, beyond the initial capture and sale.

And while the institutions of Arabia and Zanzibar that have profited from slavery have long vanished from our era, those in Europe still remain. They therefore have inherited both the profit and the lost of their trade in human flesh. And the victims of this horror are exclusively African. Therefore those victims have the right to forgive those whom they chose and bring charges against those they deem key persecutors of crimes against humanity.

It is not appropriate for the principle culprit to point fingers and say "I didn't act alone." Each will be judged according to the level of crime and the profits they derived from the crime. It is actually even part of European law; no court gives a lesser sentence to each individual because they happen to act in a group. Africans can therefore (without suggestion or help from Whites) deal with those African nations and kings who profited from slavery as they see fit.


Reparations means repair. And that repair has to last every subsequent generation to come. When you go and buy a BMW with the "reparations check" what will that repair? Apart from BMW USA sales? So repair means things like University education -- for free, for those willing (a critical component in repair to engage a persons own healing processes).

After all this time the general public still frames the debate in terms of a personal cash windfall, a check in the post. We (Africans) do it because we sometimes do not realize repair, the Holocaust and lack of full conscious means a corruption of the holistic understanding of repair and healing. The institutions destroyed by slavery must be rebuilt so that the people, for every generation to come, can rebuild themselves and their self worth.

Personal Message: Now the crime against our ancestors is an open wound. And we cannot rest until there is justice. But there is a justice we can do for self. Do not be dis-empowered, do not be uneducated and do not be economically weak, do not destroy family and do not disunite. Let those who died for Africa know that we escaped the shackles of slavery. But every time we drop out of school, do crime, disrespect our history and our culture we are doing an injustice to their memory. We are confirming the legacy of slavery.


Today there is an overemphasis on the word 'slavery' where slavery means the involuntary removal of an individual’s freedom. But the restriction of degrees of freedom is an ongoing aspect of human societies; where if members of a given society commit undesirable acts (not paying tax, adultery, treason, terrorism, etc) then systems were designed to curb the freedom of these individuals. So today America calls it the Criminal Justice System, history calls it Slavery. And in America's system Africans are again targeted and taken out of the voting process and the competitive job process. So while this is not chattel slavery it is akin to the broader social slavery seen in history.

Slavery in Africa

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.


Africans became black when Africans became enslaved. This was a critical process in the making of a slave; disconnecting the African from any notion of having a Motherland. Black people (Negroes in Spanish) is a construction which articulates a recent social-political reality.

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. Black or African


Today terms like sub-Saharan Africa dominate history books and discussions on Africa. But this term is not an African construction but yet another European linguistic tool to divide and conquer. It is a vestige of the colonial project used to describe European terms of African homogeneity. This barrier of sand hence confines Africans to the bottom of this make-believe location, which exists neither politically (African Union), ethnically (Tuareg), linguistically (Afro-Asiatic), religiously (Islam) or physically (Sudan and Mali). Sub-Saharan Africa is used as a by-word for primitive African: a place, which has escaped advancement. Hence, we see statements like, “no written languages exist in Sub-Saharan Africa” and “Egypt is not a Sub-Saharan African civilization.” It is a term used to satisfy negative perceptions and feed the "Dark Continent." Black or African

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. Black or African

Language is a principle factor in understanding the African Holocaust even in how demographics are understood. The highly contested number of people disrupted or lost to European slaving activities is partly locked in definitions. This is why Karenga takes issue with the term "Slave trade", as it has the power to mitigate or mask the reality of a Holocaust. So if we measure "slave trade" we get the European promoted number of 10 million arriving (notice the word arriving to further limit their culpability). However, the minute we change the linguistics to : "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" an entirely new figure emerges. European historians have generally been very skillful at using language to define reality so that African casualties by their hands are very low but the casualties by African or Arab hands are as high as possible. Black or African


Holocaust     Holocaust
Religion is not the opium of the masses but religion must be used as an arm by the revolutionary forces Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Kwame Ture

See | Myth of Religion and War | Religion and Slavery

There is not one major indigenous African faith (that engaged in slavery) that had an issue with slavery, not one African native religion had principles that denounced slavery. Between the most aggressive slavers in West Africa such as Oyo, Benin, Igala, Kaabu, Asanteman, Dahomey, the Aro Confederacy – none of them Christian or Muslim.

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 indigenous 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.

Holocaust     Holocaust
During the capture, when the slave raiders were grabbing people and destroying villages. A village may have been Mandinka, another village Fon. At what point did that fact come to bear when the gun fire cleared? In the dungeons where we lay, in our own excrement, uncertain of our destiny, in Goree, in El-Mina, some where Orisha, some where Muslim, some were Asante, some were Igbo, at what point did those definitions spare the inhumanity? On the ship when they were throwing our people overboard, some cried in the night to Allah, others to Alusi and others to Olodumare. Some where from Sokoto, some where from Gambia. At what point did any of this give us an advantages during the dark voyage, infected with disease and death? Holocaust
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Holocaust Maafa | African Holocaust

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 (Dahomey especially) the rituals which were set-up for purity and celebrating the deities became an opportunity to acquire more captives.

Life is beautiful and ugly too, but always diverse enough to respect the good in something while cursing the bad. Rome was a tyrant where Africa was concerned. But it doesn't mean every last thing in Rome was vile. Our world is far too sophisticated for such simplistic deductions. Ships carried every African from the Motherland to Africa (America?), do we curse the ship? Surely without ships there could never have been slavery. Planes were used to drop poison on Ethiopia, do we curse the plane?

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 creating new colonies all over creation. However, this does not invalidate the principles of democracy just because of Obama and Bush have abused democracy.

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 language. 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 spiritual systems, for hundreds of years, in West Africa practiced, and still practice, Trokosi: The giving of virgin girls to the gods for services or religious atonement. 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." In traditional Efik societies It is believed that Abassi gave certain tribesmen the ability to heal the sick through necromancy. If the witch doctor was unable to heal the ill person, they were thrown on a fire because it was believed that Abassi did not want them to be healed. Khasso Kingdom (17th to 19the century) like the Bambara Empire to the East, depended heavily on the slave trade for their economy. A family's status in a society was indicated by the number of slaves it owned, leading to wars for the sole purpose of taking more captives.

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 practices were destroyed or in some cases augmented. 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.

Holocaust     Holocaust
The knife in the hands of a skilled surgeon can heal; the same knife in the hands of a tyrant can kill Holocaust
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Holocaust 'Alik Shahadah

Organized mainstream religions are spiritual technologies responsible for the backbone of civilized societies. Out of these organized rituals came vehicles for perpetuating culture, law, justice and morality. However, religion has been fingered time and time again as being the inspiration and agent of slavery and brainwashing. Mass religion is a big soft target since most people are members of a religious group it is easy to say it was this religious factor, above all others, which is responsible for any and all negative behavior. Anti-religious Russia and China witnessed some of the most barbaric regimes, pure inhumanity and severe oppression-- Yet no religion. So the argument about religion as an agent for dividing people is equally true for politics, race, color, nationality if not more so.
religion and Slavery in 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? Or the bloody Mfecane of Shaka Zulu as he forcible united the Ngoni people. 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.

Arabian Slavery
Before there was a Church of England there was an Ethiopian Orthodox state in Ethiopia, before Islam was ever heard of in Iran and Iraq or Syria or Medina it was being practiced on the African continent; these religions are traditional African religions. The unique African expression within these faiths is not homologous but in Ethiopia and West Africa, the African traditions are distinctively African. This is because the process of acceptance had Africans as agents of their destiny and hence Africanized these religions as opposed to be victims of other people’s interpretations.

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 partners 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.

The question to all those that seek to re-divide up Africa by being anti-Islamic or anti-Christian is what, in practical terms, do they want Africans to do? Beyond the rhetoric, what is their plan to fix what they see as a conflict? Should the Ancient Churches and Mosque of Lalibella and Sankore be burnt? Are you going to rip the Islam from the corpse of Malcolm X and see what is left? Do they expect 1 billion people to mass exit these two religions? In addition, what religion are they bringing as an alternative? Will this native African religion work in the 21st century? Today many so-called native faiths have very harmful practices such as the Muti in South Africa and other faiths which are highly superstitious.

Muslims in Africa
The African Holocaust or Maafa, as it is referred to by many, is a crime against humanity and is recognized as such by the United Nations, scholars, and historians who have documented the primary and overwhelming culpability of European nations for enslavement in Europe, in the Americas and elsewhere.
Holocaust TransAtlantic

So practically, it is a futile endeavor to attempt to mass convert a continent in which the fastest growing religion is Islam, followed by Christianity. It would be far better to Africanize these faiths and make them service the people and the culture at the same time. It would be more sincere to unite all these people around common moral core. And as Karenga said; speak the ethics of the religion.

So in the America's we see Christianity being used as part of the making of a slave by transplanted Eurocentric values. In Africa we see Islam, or lack of Islam, being used as justification for enslaving people.

We also see how selective interpretations were used in both Islam and Christianity (Curse of Ham, etc) to sustain slaving. However, when slavery became a liability due to the numerous revolts and the industrial changes the same religious institutions, which formally sanctioned became vocal in the abolition of slavery. The sincere question regarding the role of religion in Slavery has to be looked at from the perspective of 1st came the greed and 2nd came the justification. Religion, like political systems (communism, democracy, etc), offer the justifications for the greed of man and all three world religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been used in this way, as well as indigenous religious systems.

African Holocaust

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.


See 21st Century Slavery

The African Holocaust is also sadly not confined to history or to external influences. Darfur, the Congo, Sierra Leon and Rwanda are testimony to some of the horrors today. And although the legacy of Colonialism is clearly at the root of these problems it would be immoral not to see that Africans, like everyone else, are capable of unspeakable brutality. Just as in the European-European Holocaust during WW2.

Darfur & S Sudan
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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 abolition 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.


Another issue with 21st century slavery is it is easy to lose the word "slavery" in the linguistic technicality of what is and what is not 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 regarding 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.


The term Maafa and African Holocaust express identical ideas. What is true for one is true for the other. They are interchangeable. But the purpose of these two terms is different, Maafa is the African term to self-describe the African Holocaust. The term African Holocaust is the English term to create an instant understanding of the gravity of what this term means to an English speaking audience who are familiar with the horrors the world "holocaust" invoke. Just like the Jews have Ha-Shoah and Jewish Holocaust. No one owns the word Holocaust, and if someone did, it is certainly not Jewish people. It is not a Hebrew or Yiddish word, and was not created to describe their historical experience. Like all words in English, meanings and applications change politically. If there is a copyright on words, well why stop with Holocaust?


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 atonement 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.

Slavery Fact Sheets

1. Enslaved Africans came primarily from a region stretching from the Senegal River in northern Africa to Angola in the South.
2. Europeans divided this stretch of land into five coasts:

    • Upper Guinea Coast: The area delineated by the Senegal and Gambia Rivers
    • Ivory (or Kwa Kwa or Windward) Coast:Central Liberia
    • Lower Guinea Coast: Divided into the Gold Coast on the west (Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana), the Slave Coast (Togo, Benin, and western Nigeria), and the Bight of Benin (Nigeria and Cameroon)
    • Gabon
    • Angola

3. The Angolan coast supplied nearly half the slaves sent to the Americas.

1. The notion of ethnic groups, combing a common language and customs with a political structure is mistaken. Atlantic Africa was divided into states (political units) and nations (cultural units). Slavery was a royal enterprise; the European kings sponsored slavery and issued assientos, royal slaving permits. These were sold to the elite merchants of the day and become items of value like stocks and shares today. Ovando, the Spanish governor of Hispaniola complained not to export anymore Africans as they were aggressive and reinforcing the ranks of resistance among the Native-Americans. These early imported Muslim Africans were proving hard to handle but as labor shortage got critical due to the waning of the indigenous population, Ovando reassessed the situation and demanded that Africans be sent. Royal decree targeted the Guinea coast in a mandate, which was to avoid the Islamic African influence. However, over the duration of the trade approximately 30% of those sent to the New World were Muslims

2. While some states were quite large, others were quite modest in size and many were tiny, consisting of a capital town of a few thousand people and a dozen villages under its control.
3. In the 17th century, 70 percent of the people lived in states with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.
4. Private wealth usually derived from control of dependents--clients, pawns, wives in polygynous households, and indentured servants.

African Slavery

1. African law recognized slavery but respected the culture and linage of those that were enslaved. Slaves were also part of the family and often the line between slave and non-slave was blurred.

2. A relatively low population density existed in Africa as compared to Europe and Asia. This low density had profound impact on Africa’s development potential after slavery became a economic mainstay of Europe.

3. Slavery had existed in the medieval empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, and slave exports had supplemented the export of gold. Most of those enslaved where prisoners of war or debt criminals. Large prisons were not a concept and hence slavery was a system to deal with undesirables.

4. Although African slavery was generally domestic slavery akin to indentured servitude. In Africa the enslaved were used in a wider variety of ways than in the New World: they were employed as agricultural workers, soldiers, scribes, servants, and government officials.

5. The great majority of slaves sold to Europeans were not slaves in Africa; they were usually recent war captives or victims of banditry and judicial proceedings.

6. Chattel slavery, manumission and social ascension were very rare.

7. Multi-generational slavery was uncommon in Africa; in part this reflected the fact that most African slaves were women.

8. During the early years of enslavement, African slaves usually worked under supervision. Then many became "allotment slaves," who worked five or six days until about 2 p.m. on the master's lands, and in the evenings and on their days off, worked their own plots. In the third stage settled slaves spent most of their time working their land in exchange for a fixed obligation, usually what it took to feed an adult male for a year.

Slave Trade

1. During the era of the Atlantic slave trade, 90% of those enslaved, were sent to the Caribbean and the South America.

2. The Atlantic slave trade carried about two to three men for every woman.

3. The slave trade reduced the adult male population by about 20 percent, dramatically altering the ratio of working adults to dependents and of adult men to adult women.

4. One result of unbalanced sex ratios was to further encourage polygyny.

5. Another result was to reduce traditional male forms of work, such as hunting, fishing, livestock rearing, the clearing of fields, the chopping down of trees, and the digging up of roots. The result was a less protein rich diet and a reduction in agricultural productivity.

6. About 14 percent of slaves sent to the New World were children under 14; 56 percent were male adults; and 30 percent were female adults.

Myths About Slave Trade and Slavery


Myth: Not all African women were forced to sleep with the slave masters (raped).
Fact: Rape is not only grabbing someone and throwing them in the bush and forcing sex on them against their will—that is violent rape. But there is another kind of rape that went on during all oppressions placed on African people. There was also a process of fear, which persuaded African women to lay with their oppressors and give into the masters wants or suffered a life of misery: Exposed to the lash of an overseer in the hot sun, or had your entire family split up to the abyss by the speculators. Another form of what is a social rape is to create a society so oppressed that it seeks from the enslaved some way to lighten the color of its children so they might escape the whip of slavery and the taboo of "blackness." The implanting of the notion of a helpless African man, contrasted against the power and security—and hence superiority of the White man—was also a mental form of oppression imposed on African women. See "Incidents of a slave girl" Harriet Jacobs.

Myth: Slavery is a product of capitalism.
Fact: The transatlantic slave trade is in direct relationship with modern concepts of exploitive capitalism. Capitalism was the driver behind the transatlantic slave trade (see Eric Williams)

Myth: Slavery is a product of Western Civilization.
Fact: Slavery is virtually a universal institution. However the industrialized chattel slavery  the race base nature and the duration are peculiar to the transatlantic slave trade.

Myth: Slavery in the non-western world was a mild, benign, and non-economic institution.
Fact: Slaves were always subject to torture, sexual exploitation, and arbitrary death. However the scale of the brutality and the institutionalization of people as chattel was unique in type and proliferation in the Western slave models.

Myth: Slavery was an economically backward and inefficient institution.
Fact: Many of the most progressive societies in the world had slaves. Forms of slavery allowed the building of many of the world’s empires. Today the low wage lower classes and machines fill the roles slaves traditionally did in society. So still the wealthy today exist because of some form of exploitation of the majority.

Myth: Slavery was always based on race.
Fact: Not until the 15th century was slavery associated primarily with people of African descent. Race became a factor which justified enslavement once it became the mainstay of Western economies. (see Black Codes)

Enslavement and the Slave Trade

Myth: New World slaves came exclusively from West Africa.
Fact: Half of all New World slaves came from central Africa.

Myth: Europeans physically enslaved Africans or hired mercenaries who captured people for export or that African rulers were "Holocaust abettors" who were themselves to blame for the slave trade.
Fact: Europeans did engage in some slave raiding; the majority of people who were transported to the Americas were enslaved by Africans in Africa. Europeans politically created anarchy in Africa feeding greed and putting others in a dilemma “sell or be sold.” With the destruction of the economy and the absences of the most virile in African societies slavery became a mono-economy feeding the cycle of destruction. Europeans created mechanisms which ensured conflict and the push-pull demand for slaves.

Myth: Many slaves were captured with nets.
Fact: There is no evidence that slaves were captured with nets; war was the most important source of enslavement.

Myth: Kidnapping was the usual means of enslavement.
Fact: War was the most important source of enslavement; it would be incorrect to reduce all of these wars to slave raids.

Myth: The Middle Passage stripped enslaved Africans of their cultural heritage and transformed them into docile, passive figures wholly receptive to the cultural inputs of their masters.
Fact: Slaves engaged in at least 250 documented shipboard rebellions. The destruction of African culture happen not on the slave ships but via the plantation system where Christianity and terror were used to mentally enslave African people. Evidence shows that in areas where new African slaves were constantly being introduced (such as Jamaica) had more incidences of rebellion due to the resistance of the new arrivals.

Slavery in the Americas

Myth: Most slaves were imported into what is now the United States
Fact: Well over 90 percent of slaves from Africa were imported into the Caribbean and South America

Myth: Slavery played a marginal role in the history of the Americas
Fact: African slaves were the only remedy for the labor shortages that plagued Europe's New World dominions. Fact: Slave labor made it profitable to mine for precious metal and to harvest sugar, indigo, and tobacco; slaves taught whites how to raise such crops as rice and indigo.

Myth: Europeans arrived in the New World in far larger numbers than did Africans.

Fact: Before 1820, the number of Africans outstripped the combined total of European immigrants by a ratio of 3, 4, or 5 to 1.
Myth: The first slaves arrived in what is now the U.S. in 1619
Fact: Slaves arrived in Spanish Florida at least a century before 1619 and a recently uncovered census shows that blacks were present in Virginia before 1619.

Slave Culture

Myth: The slave trade permanently broke slaves' bonds with Africa.
Fact: Slaves were able to draw upon their African cultural background and experiences and use them as a basis for life in the New World. The drum and the Griot tradition are still alive in the music of the Diaspora. The food and elements of the language, the social structure, the “cool” still are defining characteristics of the African Diaspora. The greatest disconnection with Africa may have actually happened post-emancipation where being American or being more integrated allowed cultural drift into a more Eurocentric identity.

Myth: Plantation life with its harsh labor, unstable families, and high mortality, made it difficult for Africans to construct social ties
Fact: African nations persisted in America well into the 18th century and even the early 19th century despite the overt destruction of the family the denouncement of religious and marital values.

Myth: Masters assigned names to slaves or slaves imitated masters' systems of naming.
Fact: In fact, slaves were rarely named for owners. Naming patterns appear to have reflected African practices, such as the custom of giving children "day names" (after the day they were born) and "name-saking," such as naming children after grandparents.

Myth: Slaveholders sought to deculturate slaves by forbidding African names and languages and obliterating African culture.
Fact: While deculturation was part of the "project" of slavery, in fact African music, dance, decoration, design, cuisine, and religion exerted a profound, ongoing influence on American culture.
Fact: Slaves adapted religious rites and perpetuated a rich tradition of folklore.

Economics of Slavery
Myth: Slaveholders lost money and were more interested in status than moneymaking; slaves did little productive work
Fact: Slaves worked longer days, more days, and more of their life. The life expectancy of enslaved Africans in places like Barbados was a few decades due to the strain of labor.

Myth: Slavery was incompatible with urban life and factory technology
Fact: Sugar mills were the first true factories in the world; slaves were widely used in cities and in various kinds of manufacturing and crafts.

Myth: Slaves engaged almost exclusively in unskilled brutish field labor.
Fact: Much of the labor performed by slaves required high skill levels and careful, painstaking effort.
Fact: Masters relied on slaves for skilled craftsmanship.


Myth: West and Central Africans received their first exposure to Christianity in the New World.
Fact: Most Africans learned about Christianity as they learned about the European trade in enslaved Africans. A few Catholic missionary activities began in the central African kingdom of Kongo half a century before Columbus's voyages of discovery and Kongo converted to Catholicism in 1491.

Myth: The Catholic Church did not tolerate the mixture of Catholicism with traditional African religions.
Fact: In Kongo and in Latin America, the Church did tolerate the mixture of Catholicism with African religions, allowing Africans to retain their old cosmology, understanding of the universe, and the place of gods and other divine beings in the universe.

Myth: Before the Civil War, the Southern churches were highly segregated.
Fact: In 1860, slave constituted about 26 percent of the Southern Baptist church membership.

Myth: Slave Christianity was essentially a "religion of docility."
Fact: Christianity was dual edged and marked by millennialist possibilities; whites could not prevent black preachers from turning Christianity into a source of self-respect and faith in deliverance.


Myth: Slaves were brainwashed and stunned into submission and rarely resisted slavery.
Fact: Resistance took a variety of forms ranging from day-to-day resistance, economic bargaining, running away and maroonage, and outright rebellions

Slavery and World History

1. The most ancient civilizations--ancient Mesopotamia, Old Kingdom Egypt, and the budding civilization that formed in the Indus and Yangtze river valleys--all had some form of slavery present in their earliest years.
2. In none of these cultures did slaves constitute a large proportion of the population.
3. It was in classical Greece and Rome that the first true slave societies came into existence. From the 5th to the 3rd centuries b.c., perhaps a third to a half of Athens's population consisted of slaves. Slaves constituted as much as 30 percent of Rome's population.
4. England's Domesday book of 1086 indicated that 10 percent of the population was enslaved.
5. Although slavery is often stigmatized as archaic and backward, slavery has been found in many of the most progressive societies.
6. Contrary to what many think, slavery never disappeared from medieval Europe. Domestic slavery persisted in Sicily, southern Italy, Russia, southern France, Spain, and elsewhere.

Curse of Ham

The claim that Noah, the biblical father of all subsequent humanity, cursed his son Ham with both blackness and the condition of slavery for looking at him drunk and naked and exposing him to his other sons, Shem and Japheth. In fact Ham was not cursed and his association with black slavery does not appear in the Nebrew Bible.
Noah cursed Canaan--the ancestor of the Semitic Canaanites, who occupied Israel before the Hebrews--to be the "servant of servants." Why Noah was upset with Canaan we are never told according to some sources it was for a homosexual act “looking on his nakedness”. Ham's African sons were Cush (Ethiopia), Put (Libya), and Misraim (Egypt)--and they were not cursed.

Independent communities of fugitive slaves.

Task System
One of two plantation labor systems. Under the task system, slaves were assigned several specific tasks within a day. When those tasks were finished, slaves could have time to themselves to spend however they wished. Slaves who worked in rice and long staple cotton plantations, in the naval stores industry, or in skilled labor positions worked under the task system. The benefits of this system for slaves included less supervision, more autonomy and more free time.

Gang System
Wherever tobacco, sugar or short stable cotton grew, slaves worked in large groups or gangs under the strict supervision of white overseers or black drivers from dawn to dusk. Close supervision meant less autonomy and less free time.

Trash Gangs
Many boys and girls performed light agricultural labor, sweeping yards, clearing dried cornstalks from fields, chopping cotton, carrying water to field hands, weeding, picking cotton at a slower pace, feeding work animals, and driving cows to pasture.

Slavery and the Law in Virginia


Negro women's children to serve accounting to the condition of the mother. 


An act declaring the baptism of slaves doth not exempt them from bondage. 


An act about the casual killing of slaves....If any slaves resist his master (or other by his master's order correcting him) and by the extremity of the correction should chance to die, that his death shall not be attempted felony. 


No Negroes nor Indians to buy Christian servants. 


An act for the apprehension and suppression of runaways, Negroes and slaves....If any Negroe, mulatto, Indian slave, or servant for life, runaway and shall be pursued by the warrant or hue and cry, it shall and may be lawful for any person who shall endeavour to take them, upon the resistance of such Negro, mulatto, Indian slave, or servant for life, to kill or wound him or them so resisting....And if it happen that such Negroe, mulatto, Indian slave, or servants for life doe dye of any wound in such their resistance received the master or owner of such shall receive satisfaction from the public.... 


An act for preventing Negroes' Insurrections. Whereas the frequent meeting of considerable numbers of Negroe slaves under pretence of feasts and burials is judged of dangerous consequence...it shall not be lawful for any Negroe or other slave to carry or arm himself with any club, staff, gun, sword, or any other weapon of defense or offense, not to goe or depart from his master's ground without a certificate from his master...and such permission not to be granted but upon particular and necessary operations; and every Negroe or slave so offending not having a certificate...[will receive] twenty lashes on his bare back well laid....If any Negroe or other slave shall absent himself from his master's service and lie hid and lurking in obscure places...it shall be lawful...to kill the said Negroe or slave.... 


An additional act for the better preventing insurrections by Negroes....No master or overseer knowingly permit or suffer...any Negroe or slave not properly belonging to him or them, to remain or be upon his or their plantation above the space of four hours at any one time.... 


Virginia voted to banish any white man or woman who married a African, mulatto, or Indian. Any white woman who gave birth to a mulatto child was required to pay a heavy fine or be sold for a five year term of servitude. 

African Historiography

Walter Rodney
The slave trade contributed to Africa's depopulation, to the increased use of slaves within Africa, to the development of more predatory political systems, and to a greater gap between rich and poor.

John Fage
A know racist who is one of the leading Eurocentrics who white wash slavery. He Rejected the argument that slave exports led to serious depopulation and contended that the slave trade contributed to political centralization and economic growth.

Eric Williams
Racism was the result and not the cause of slavery; slave economies were a major source of capital for the industrial revolution; abolition came when slave economies were declining in profitability; abolition was driven more by economic interests than by philanthropy.

Frank Tannenbaum
Compared to British colonists, Latin Americans were less tainted by racial prejudice, were more lenient in their treatment of slaves, and extended religious and legal protections involving families and physical cruelty.

Carl Degler
Demographic necessity led the Portuguese in Brazil to promote freedmen and mulattoes into positions of social respectability; in the U.S., poor white yeomanry supported racism to protect their position in society.

Key Controversies

1. The vast majority of New World slaves were captured, bought, traded, and employed by non-Jews.
2. Some Jews participated in the slave trade, owned slaves, and even helped formulate and disseminate the pro-slavery ideology. Other Jews, including the Cincinnati abolitionist Max Lilianthal, Isaac Wise, and Rabbi David Einhor of Baltimore attacked slavery.
3. The Jewish expulsion from Spain coincided with establishment of trading links between Africa, Europe, and the Americas. As a result, the Sephardim found themselves dispersed over critical nodes of the new system, transferring assets and information.
4. The only place where Jews came close to dominating a New World plantation system was the Dutch colonies of Curacao and Surinam.
5. In the antebellum South, about 5,000 Jews (out of 20,000) owned one or more slaves, making up 1.25 percent of Southern slaveowners.
6. The largest Jewish slaveholders were Judah P. Benjamin owned 140 slaves near New Orleans; and Major Raphael J. Moses owned 50 slaves near Columbus, Georgia.
7. No southern Jewish intellectual questioned the injustice of slavery.

Major Rebellions

New York City, 1712
Like many later revolts, this one occurred during a period of social dissension among whites following Leisler's Rebellion. The rebels espoused traditional African religion.

Stono Rebellion, 1739
The Spanish empire enticed slaves of English colonies to escape to Spanish territory. In 1733 Spain issued an edict to free all runaway slaves from British territory who made their way into Spanish possessions. On September 9, 1739, about 20 slaves, mostly from Angola, gathered under the leadership of a slave called Jemmy near the Stono River, 20 miles from Charleson. 44 blacks and 21 whites lost their lives. South Carolina responded by placing import duties on slaves from abroad, strengthening patrol duties and militia training, and recommending more benign treatment of slaves.

Gabriel's Rebellion, 1800
This attempted insurrection near Richmond was organized during the Haitian Revolution and the undeclared naval war between the U.S. and France.

Denmark Vesey's Conspiracy, 1822
This failed insurrection was organized soon after the contentious debate over the admission of Missouri as a slave state. Like Gabriel, Vesey consciously looked to Haiti for inspiration and support.

Nat Turner, 1832
This insurrection took place at a time when slaves in Jamaica had staged one of the largest revolts in history, when radical abolition had arisen in the North, and Britain was debating slave emancipation.

Facts about the Slave Trade and Slavery

Slave Trade
The level of slave exports grew from about 36,000 a year during the early 18th century to almost 80,000 a year during the 1780s.

The Angolan region of west-central Africa made up slightly more than half of all Africans sent to the Americas and a quarter of imports to British North America.
Approximately 11,863,000 Africans were shipped across the Atlantic, with a death rate during the Middle Passage reducing this number by 10-20 percent.
As a result official records show 15 million Africans arrived in the Americas. This does not account for the casualties of slavery who did not arrive alive.

About 500,000 Africans were imported into what is now the U.S. between 1619 and 1807--or about 6 percent of all Africans forcibly imported into the Americas. About 70 percent arrived directly from Africa.

Well over 90 percent of African slaves were imported into the Caribbean and South America. Only about 6 percent of imports went directly to British North America. Yet by 1825, the U.S. had a quarter of Africans in the New World. The majority of African slaves were brought to British North America between 1720 and 1780. (Average date of arrival for whites is 1890)

American plantations were dwarfed by those in the West Indies. About a quarter of U.S. slaves lived on farms with 15 or fewer slaves. In 1850, just 125 plantations had over 250 slaves.
In the Caribbean, Dutch Guiana and Brazil, the slave death rate was so high and the birth rate so low that they could not sustain their population without importations from Africa. Rates of natural decrease ran as high as 5 percent a year. While the death rate of U.S. slaves was about the same as that of Jamaican slaves, the fertility rate was more than 80 percent higher.
U.S. slaves were further removed from Africa than those in the Caribbean. In the 19th century, the majority of slaves in the British Caribbean and Brazil were born in Africa. In contrast, by 1850, most U.S. slaves were third-, fourth-, or fifth generation Americans.


Slavery in the U.S. was distinctive in the near-balance of the sexes and the ability of the slave population to increase its numbers by natural reproduction.
Unlike any other slave society, the U.S. had a high and sustained natural increase in the slave population for a more than a century and a half.
In 1860, 89 percent of the nation's African Americans were slaves; Africans formed 13 percent of the country's population and 33 percent of the South's population.

In 1860, less than 10 percent of the slave population was over 50 and only 3.5 percent was over 60. The average age of first birth for slave women was around 20. Child spacing averaged about 2 years. The average number of children born to a slave woman was 9.2--twice as many in the West Indies.
Most slaves lived in nuclear households consisting of two parents and children: 64 percent nuclear; 21 percent single parents; 15 percent non-family.
Mother-headed families were 50 percent more frequent on plantations with 15 or fewer slaves than on large ones. Smaller units also had a disproportionately large share of families in which the father and mother lived on different plantations for most of the week.

Average number of persons per household was 6. Average age of women at birth of their first child was about 21. Few slaves lived into old age. Between 1830 and 1860, only 10 percent of slaves in North America were over 50 years old.


Most infants were weaned within three or four months
There were few instances in which slave women were released from field work for extended periods during slavery. Even during the last week before childbirth, pregnant women on average picked three-quarters or more of the amount normal for women.
Half of all slave babies died in the first year of life--twice the rate for white babies.
The average birth weight of slave infants was less than 5.5 pounds.
Slave children were tiny; their average height did not reach three feet until they were 4; they were 5.5 inches shorter than modern children and comparable to children in Bangladesh and the slums of Lagos.
At 17, slave men were shorter than 96 percent of men today and slave women shorter than 80 percent of contemporary women.
Slaves did not reach their full stature--67 inches for men and 62.5 inches for women--until their mid-20s.
Children entered the labor force as early as 3 or 4. Some were taken into the master's house to be servants while others were assigned to special children's gangs called "trash gangs," which swept yards, cleared drying cornstalks from fields, chopped cotton, carried water to field hands, weeded, picked cotton, fed work animals, and drove cows to pasture.
By age 7, over 40 percent of the boys and half the girls had entered the work force. At about 11, boys began to transfer to adult field jobs.


At the beginning of the 18th century, it was common for small groups of slaves to live and work by themselves on properties remote from their masters' homes.
Sugar field workers in Jamaica worked about 4,000 hours a year--three times that of a modern factory worker. Cotton workers toiled about 3,000 hours a year.
The median size of slaveholdings ranged from approximately 25 slaves in the tobacco regions of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, to 30-50 slaves in upland cotton regions. Plantations in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia and the sugar parishes of Louisiana averaged 60-80 slaves. In small areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, slaves lived on 125-175 person units.

In 1790, 44 percent of enslaved Africans lived on units of 20 or more slaves. In 1860, the figure was 53 percent (and approximately a third lived on units with 50 or more slaves).
Half of all masters owned five or fewer slaves. While most small slaveholders were farmers, a disproportionate share were artisans, shopkeepers, and public officials.

Prices of slaves varied widely over time. During the 18th century, slave prices generally rose. Though they fell somewhat before the start of the revolution, by the early 1790s, even before the onset of cotton expansion, prices had returned to earlier levels. Prices rose to a high of about $1,250 during the cotton boom of the late 1830s, fell to below half that level in the 1840s, and rose to about $1,450 in the late 1850. Males were valued 10-20 percent more than females; at age ten, children's prices were about half that of a prime male field hand.
By 1850, about 64 percent of slaves lived on cotton plantations; 12 percent raised tobacco, 5 percent sugar, 4 percent rice.

Among slaves 16-20, about 83 percent of the males and 89 percent of the females were field hands. The remainder were managers, artisans, or domestic servants.

Growing cotton required about 38 percent of the labor time of slaves; growing corn and caring for livestock 31 percent; and 31 percent improving land, constructing fences and buildings, raising other crops, and manufacturing products such as clothes.

Slaves constructed more than 9,500 miles of railroad track by 1860, a third of the nation's total and more than the mileage of Britain, France, and Germany.
About 2/3s of slaves were in the labor force, twice the proportion among free persons. Nearly a third of slave laborers were children and an eighth were elderly or crippled.


Slaves suffered a variety of maladies--such as blindness, abdominal swelling, bowed legs, skin lesions, and convulsions--that may have been caused by beriberi (caused by a deficiency of thiamine), pellagra (caused by a niacin deficiency), tetany (caused by deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D), rickets (also caused by a deficiency of Vitamin D), and kwashiorkor (caused by severe protein deficiency).

Diarrhea, dysentery, whooping cough, and respiratory diseases as well as worms pushed the infant and early childhood death rate of slaves to twice that experienced by white infants and children.

Domestic Slave Trade

Between 1790 and 1860, 835,000 slaves were moved from Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.
Between 16 and 60 percent of slaves were shipped west by traders.


Slaveholding became more concentrated over time. The fraction of households owning slaves fell from 36 percent in 1830 to 25 percent in 1860.
The distribution of wealth in the South was much more unequal than that of the North.

Nearly 2 of 3 males with estates of $100,000 or more lived in the South in 1860.
If the North and South are treated as separate nations, the South was the fourth most prosperous nation in the world in 1860. Italy did not achieve the southern level of per capita income until the eve of World War II.

Civil War During the Civil War, 140,500 freed slaves and 38,500 free Africans served in the Union Army.


The Enslavement of Africans Timeline
The world's most heinous crime

1444 - first slaves brought to Portugal from northern Mauritania

1444-5 - Portuguese make contract with Sub-Saharan Africa

1471 - Portuguese arrive in the Gold Coast

1482 - Portuguese begin building Elmina Castle on the Gold Coast

1488 - Bartholomew Diaz goes round the Cape of Good Hope

1490 - first Portuguese missionaries go to Congo

1500 - sugar plantations established on island of Sao Tome two hundred miles from coast of West Africa

1510 - first slaves shipped to Spanish colonies in South America via Spain

1516 - Benin ceases to export male slaves, fearing loss of manpower

1532 - first direct shipment of slaves from Africa to the Americas

1780's - slave trade at its peak

1652 - Dutch establish colony at Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

1700 - Asanti begin to consolidate power

1720's - Kingdom of Dahomey expands

1776-1783 - American War of Independence

1787 - Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano published foundation of the Society for the Abolition of Slave Trade

1789 - French Revolution Life of Olaudah Equiano published

1791 - slave uprising in Haiti (Saint Domingue) led by Toussaint L'Ouverture

1804 - - Danes pass law against slave trade Haitian independence

1807 - British law passed declaring buying, selling and transporting slaves illegal (ownership continues)

1808 - North America abolish slave trade

1814 - Dutch outlaw slave trade

1823 - founding of Anti-slavery Committee London

1834 - British law passed declaring ownership of slaves illegal

1839 - Amistad slave ship rebellion

1848 - French abolish slavery

1860-65 - American Civil War

1865 - 13th Amendment abolishes slavery in America

1869 - Portugal abolishes slavery

1886 - slavery abolished in Cuba

1888 - slavery abolished in Brazil

1873 - slave market in Zanzibar closed

1936 - slavery made illegal in Northern Nigeria

1805 - Muhamed Ali comes to power in Egypt.

1807 - British abolish slave trade

1808 - Sierra Leone declared a colony

1816 - Gambia occuped by British

1820 - British settlers land on Eastern Cape

1820-34 - Mfecane (crushing) establishes Zulus as leading kingdom in South Africa

1822 - Liberia colony established

1830 - French occupy Algiers

1834 - Slavery abolished in British Empire

1835 - Great Trek across Orange and Vaal rivers

1838 - Piet Retief killed by Dingane & Zulus & Vortrekkers in Natal.
Boers beat Dingane Zulus

1842 - Britain takes Natal

1847 - Liberia declares independence.
Slavery abolished throughout the French Empire

1852 - Transvaal declared independent

1854 - Louis Faidherbe conquers Senegal Valley for the French.
First railway on continent in Egypt (from Alexandria)

1861 - US recognises Liberia
Britain occupies Lagos

1863 - French declare Protectorate over Porto Novo (Dahomey)

1866 - French establish trading posts on Guinea Coast

1867 - First diamonds found in South Africa - Hopetown, Cape Colony

1868 - French Protectorate treaties Ivory Coast.
Emperor Theodor of Ethiopia commits suicide.
British annex Basutoland at invitation of King Mosheshwe

1869 - Completion of Suez Canal

1870 - Lobengula becomes king of Ndebele.
Diamond rush to Griqualand South Africa

1872 - Cape Colony made self-governing

1874 - Kumasi, capital of Asanti, sacked by British

1876 - Egypt bankrupt - Anglo French control established
King Leopold of Belgian founds International African Association

1877 - Britain annexes territory from Walvis Bay (modern Namibia) to Cape.
Shepstone annexes Transvaal for British despite protest of Afrikaners

1878 - Berlin Congress

1879 - Zulu War

1881 - French proclaim protectorate in Tunisia Boers invade Natal and are defeated

1882 - Egypt occupied by British army after riots in Alexandria

1884 - USA recognises Congo Free State

1885 - First telegraph cable laid between West Africa and Europe
Mahdi takes Khartoum, death of Governor General Gordon
Germany annexes East Africa British declared Protectorate over Bechuanaland
Bishop Hannington murdered on order of Kabaka (king) of Buganda

1886 - Christians put to death in Buganda by Kabaka (king) Mwanga
1890 - Dunlop invents the pneumatic tyre

1894 - Uganda made Protectorate

1896 - Asantehene (king of Asanti) forced into exile by British Chimurenga war breaks out in Southern Africa

1897 - Khartoum retaken for British by Lord Kitchener

1899 - Kabaka (king) of Buganda and Kabarega (king) of Banyoro sent into exile by British

1904 - 50,000 Herero driven into desert by Germans and die

1912 - ANC established as South African Native Congress Trade in fire arms forbidden by Portuguese in Angola Liga Angolana established

1914 - Outbreak World War I

1916 - Tax riots in Yorubaland (Nigeria)

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