Wednesday 17 April 2024

Debunking the lie that the whole of Africa practiced slavery before Europe arrived

Such a statement comes from not knowing the specifics of history of the slave trade.

This is why it’s really important to review all the evidence, and not just let Hollywood tell you African History.

(1). Did Most Africans Slave Raid or Slave Trade? The continent has 2,000 ethnicities. There is direct evidence that 30 ethnicities were involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. There is NO evidence 1,970 ethnicities were involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Tell me, is 1970/ 2000 = most Africans? Where 5.7 million Africans was taken from the region of the Kingdom of Kongo, we have a letter by King Afonso of Kongo stating:

“And we cannot reckon how great the damage is, since the mentioned merchants are taking every day our natives, sons of the land and the sons of our noblemen and vassals and our relatives, because the thieves and men of bad conscience grab them wishing to have the things and wares of this Kingdom which they are ambitious of; they grab them and get them to be sold; and so great, Sir, is the corruption and licentiousness that our country is being completely depopulated,

That is why we beg of Your Highness to help and assist us in this matter, commanding your factors that they should not send here either merchants or wares, because it is our will that in these Kingdoms there should not be any trade of slaves nor outlet for them. Concerning what is referred [to] above, again we beg of Your Highness to agree with it, since otherwise we cannot remedy such an obvious damage.”

I repeat “because it is our will that in these Kingdoms there should not be any trade of slaves nor outlet for them.”

(2). What is called slavery by Europeans when they talk about African History?

Forced labour was practiced for various reasons, such as to punish murder, rape, grievous bodily harm, witchcraft, kidnapping, or treason. This form of forced labour is called convict labour, it’s not the same as chattel slavery. In European history or Asian history, we don’t call convict labour slavery. In illiterate societies, a practice called pawnship finance which is similar to mortgages was used which is not the same as chattel slavery. Prisoners of war were however treated as chattel slaves. Some societies did not have any slavery such as the Khoikhoi, the Kikuyu, the Tivs, the Igede, and the Herero. It isn’t accurate to claim the whole of Africa practiced slavery. That would be a geographic over-simplification. People trying to absolve Europe of responsibility usually focus on the 30 or so societies that were involved in the slave trade but ignored about 1,970 societies that didn’t.

(3). Europeans sat on a ship and all Africans brought them kidnapped Africans. Consider this summary of the career of John Hawkins:

“While several other Englishman had already taken slaves from Africa by the mid-15th Century, John Hawkins effectively set the pattern that became known as the English slave trade triangle.

Early in his career, he led an expedition in which he violently captured 300 Africans in Sierra Leone and transported them to Spanish plantations in the Americas. There he traded them for pearls, hides, and sugar. His missions were so lucrative that Queen Elizabeth I sponsored his subsequent journeys and provided ships, supplies and guns. She also gave him a unique coat of arms bearing a bound slave.

With three major slavery expeditions in the 1560s, Hawkins prepared the path for the slave triangle between England, Africa and the New World. English goods were traded in West Africa, slaves were captured and trafficked on the notorious middle passage across the Atlantic, and cargo produced in the New World was transported back to England.

His four voyages to Sierra Leone between 1564 and 1569 took a total of 1200 Africans across the Atlantic to sell to the Spanish settlers in the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.”

Source: Royal Museums Greenwich

I can use the National Archives, Royal Navy website, British Museum website or the Department of Education website to show how frequently it was slave raids that supplied the Royal African Company raided FREE Africans from sovereign country in unprovoked attacks.

What does the bible that the Church of England read say?

Deuteronomy 24:7 NIV

[7] If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.

The Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Amos, and Ezekiel all condemned the Phoenicians for their involvement in the slave trade. In Isaiah 23:1-18, the prophet Isaiah pronounces judgment against Tyre, a prominent Phoenician city, accusing it of engaging in the trafficking of people as merchandise. Isaiah describes Tyre as a bustling trading hub that profited from the exploitation of human lives, particularly those of Israelites and other nations. The prophet condemns Tyre's greed and predicts its downfall as divine punishment for its unjust practices, including the slave trade.

Similarly, in Amos 1:6-9, the prophet Amos condemns the city of Tyre for its involvement in the slave trade and other atrocities. Amos accuses Tyre of selling entire communities of people into captivity, violating their human rights for profit. The prophet warns of divine retribution against Tyre for its oppression and exploitation of the vulnerable. Additionally, Ezekiel 27:12-36 depicts a lamentation against Tyre, detailing its sins, including the trade of slaves and other commodities. The prophet Ezekiel highlights the moral corruption and cruelty of Tyre's commerce, portraying it as a city destined for destruction due to its unrepentant exploitation of human beings. These passages underscore the Old Testament prophets' condemnation of the Phoenicians' involvement in the slave trade and their call for justice and righteousness.

When the pope authorised Portugal and Spain to trade in slaves there was no biblical license for that behaviour, it was self-interest. Spain, Portugal, England and France ignored their own bible to invent justifications for slavery, pressing into “papal bulls” and pseudoscience.

Europeans sold themselves. That’s what the word slave comes from.

There is substantial historical evidence to support the claim that Europe enslaved 10 million or more of its own people. The transatlantic slave trade is well-known, but it is often overlooked that Europe also had a significant history of internal slavery. During the medieval period, the slave trade thrived in Europe, with cities like Venice, Genoa, and Barcelona serving as major slave markets. Additionally, the Ottoman Empire and its expansion into southeastern Europe led to the enslavement of millions of Europeans, particularly from the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Moreover, the colonization of the New World by European powers also resulted in the enslavement of indigenous peoples. These practices were often intertwined with the transatlantic slave trade, as European colonizers sought to exploit both African and indigenous populations for labor. Numerous sources support this view, including historical accounts, primary documents, and academic research. Some recommended sources for further reading on the topic include "White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America" by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh, "Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800" by Robert C. Davis, and "The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870" by Hugh Thomas.

(4). “Africans sold their brothers and sisters.” Based on what evidence? The concept of pan-Africanism is a late 19th century idea, it didn’t exist between 1500-1840. Claiming Africans sold their own people is inaccurate because it assumes Africa which is a continent was a country. Africa was and still is a continent. If we are going to start using that logic, Europe sold way more of its own people than Africa did, so that is irrelevant to leaving your own continent and travelling 6000 miles away to go and deliberately destabilise another part of the world. Up until world war 1 and world war 2 when Europeans caused the deaths of 100 million people, was that Europeans killing their brothers and sisters? Where does this language come from other than the blame game, and self-hate.

(5). “Slavery still happens in Africa and the Middle East.” Slavery is illegal in all African countries. The existence of illegal activities is not at all an indication that it is acceptable in Africa. Theft happens in the each Country on Earth. Doesn’t mean all Europeans or North Americans sanction theft. Be aware of the error over-simplifications and over-generalisations. Modern Slavery ALSO still HAPPENS in many European countries, Asia and North America. If not, why would Modern Day Slavery exist in those countries. 

The rebuttal proves that the statement "Africans sold their brothers and sisters" is an oversimplification that ignores historical nuances. It highlights the diversity of African societies, clarifies misunderstandings about slavery practices, and provides evidence of Europeans actively capturing free Africans through violent raids, contradicting the notion of passive African complicity.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...