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Slavery in the American West
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Who really started slavery?
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Who really started slavery?
My name's Brock Barbeau, I'm a Freshman at Randolph Macon College. Feel free to post your comments and articles relating to the topic! Anything is great but articles on the Invasion theory would be especially helpful!
So, as I've been doing some research there seems to be a debate as to the true cause of slavery (predominately around the Atlantic Slave trade). After doing some research, it appears that the major split comes between Europeans and those with Europen heritage versus certain people in Africa and others speckled across the world.
In this article, Funke Egbemode argues that the "ones with white skin" were responsible for all aspects of slavery. He states that they, "skinned us alive, tortured u
s to death and ferried the remnants to lands then unknown and plantations where our forefathers worked with padlocked lips." This is meant to portray how the whites were responsible for all the damages to the African culture. He only briefly mentions the opposing argument that it was the black man who was responsible for 90% of the capture and selling of all slaves that were purchased by the Europeans. Egbemonde also insinuates that perhaps slavery is still exsistence today, "We all have conveniently convinced ourselves that those days are gone, that we should move on because time heals all wounds."
Egbemonde goes on to state that while he was on a tour his guide said that as slave trade flourished (Egbemonde puts the word trade is quotation marks ('trade')) raiding got worse by tribe leaders and that people should trace the roots of their leaders because these facts make him angry. The rest of the argument contemplates the idea that slavery is still predominant today through human trafficking and such. Egbemonde presents a powerful argument against the common history of the Slave trade.
(This article is in French)
Another example, although not as forceful comes from an article by "Le nouvelliste" a Senegalese newspaper. This article discusses a celebration in Haiti where they celebrated their freedom from slavery. The celebration is suppose to be symbolic of the deportation by being sold as objects through America by the Portuguese, English and French, "Cet endroit symbolique d'o� ils sont d�port�s pour �tre vendus, comme � des choses, des biens �, partout en Am�rique. Par les Portugais, les Anglais et les Fran�ais." It is interesting how even today the people are rebelling against the nations that took this prisoner so many years ago.
African Selling Theory
However, if you turn to the modern day white society, it is extremely evident that, for the most part, people believe that a majority of the Africans aquired by the Europeans were from African traders. (
) Wiki, although not a usually accepted source, is for a fact a resource that many people use. It states that Europeans
African Slaves. When is does mention raiding wiki states that:
"These expeditions were typically carried out by African kingdoms against weaker African tribes and peoples. These mass slavers included the
Kingdom of Benin
Kingdom of Fouta Djallon
Kingdom of Fouta Tooro
Kingdom of Koya
Kingdom of Khasso
Kingdom of Kaabu
, and the kingdom of
. Europeans rarely entered the interior of Africa, due to fear of
and moreover fierce African resistance.
It clearly states African tribes and people carried out the capturing of slaves, nowhere does it mention the so called "invasion theory" that some people are trying to push for. Probably the most important line in this whole passage is the last one, Europeans did not but on rare occasion enter the inner African regions because they feared disease! How could they capture all these slaves if they were afraid to go inland? Henry Louis Gates provides further evidence to this statement in his article
Ending the Slavery Blame-Game.
"How did slaves make it to these coastal forts? The historians John Thornton and Linda Heywood of Boston University estimate that 90 percent of those shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders. The sad truth is that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred."
This statement speaks for itself. Without the help of the African people, who were eager to achieve greater degrees of power, the slave trade would have never happened to the extent that it did!
This is a very interesting argument presented by two sides with extremely varying opinions on the matter. Whatever side you pick the fact is slavery is an extremely sensitive topic and no matter what your opinion is there will be people who will disagree with you. Stick to what you believe and don't let anyone change your mind!
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