Tag Archive | "Slavery"

The Slave Trade – James Walvin


The Slave Trade - Walvin

The Slave Trade – Walvin

When I was asked to review “The Slave Trade” By James Walvin, It was with some trepidation because I had read many books on the Slave Trade during my time as a student and expected some weighty and wordy tome that would have to be waded through and then deciphered before I could even begin to think of writing a review.

When the book arrived through my door I was pleasantly surprised though.  Instead of the weighty authoritative tome I was expecting the book was relatively thin, just 150 pages,  and had an engaging and interesting cover.

Upon opening the book I was pleased to find that as well as having short concise paragraphs explaining the history of  the (Transatlantic) slave trade briefly, the book was packed with beautiful and interesting illustrations and prints. To my further delight, and this part had me sold on the book without reading any further than the cover, were the  additional facimile documents which were included in a pocket of the back cover.  The documents are authentic reproductions of letters from slavers and abolitionists, Wanted/runnaway posters, the Emancipation Proclamation and Slave ship stowage records amongst others.  This additional feature along whetted my appetite.  Naturally all these documents can be obtained with research, but to have them all together in one book  adds a special touch for the reader.

Additional Documents

Additional Documents about slavery.

This book is a consice history of slavery perfect for novices and experts alike.  For the novice, this is a perfect introduction, beautifully illustrated which cites many examples which allow the reader to then conduct further research.  For the seasoned historian this book is a beautiful illustrated companion and teaching aid.

I certainly don’t know everything about the Transatlantic Slave Trade, but this book helped me learn quickly and easily,  I fully recommend it. When you purchase this book you will not be disappointed, I’m sure it will become a jewel in your collection.

The “Slave Trade” is published by Thames and Hudson, London, as part of the “History Files Range.

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The Book of Negroes: 1783 & 2007


The Book Of Negroes

The Book Of Negroes

Aminata Diallo, an 11-year-old child, is taken from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle — a string of slaves. Eventually, she arrives in South Carolina where she begins a new life as a slave. Years later, she finds freedom, serving the British in the American Revolutionary War and having her name entered in the historic “Book of Negroes.”

This book, an actual historical document, is an archive of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the United States in order to resettle in Nova Scotia, only to discover that this new place becomes one that is also oppressive and unyielding. Aminata eventually returns to Sierra Leone — passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America – but eventually finds herself crossing the ocean one more time to England to present the account of her life so that it may abolish the slave trade.

This book is a hand-written list of Black passengers leaving New York on British ships in 1783. It gives a name, age, physical description, and status (slave or free) for each passenger, and often an owner’s name and place of residence. Three copies of the Book of Negroes exist: one in England, at the Public Records Office, Kew. one in the United States, at the National Archives, Washington; and one in Canada, at the Nova Scotia Archives, Halifax. Knowledge of the Black Loyalists begins with this list, made by British and American inspectors.

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Eric Eustace Williams


Eric Williams

Eric Williams

Eric Eustace Williams (25 September 1911 – 29 March 1981) was the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago He served from 1956 until his death in 1981. He was also a noted Caribbean historian.

Eric Williams was a descendant from the de Boissiere family which made its fortune trading African slaves illegally after slave trading had been abolished in 1807. Williams specialised in the study of the abolition of the slave trade

In 1944 his book Capitalism and Slavery argued that the British abolition of their Atlantic in 1807 was motivated primarily by economics—rather than by altruism or humanitarianism. By extension, so was the emancipation of the slaves and the fight against the trading in slaves by other nations. As industrial capitalism and wage labour began to expand, eliminating the competition from slavery became economically advantageous.

In Inward Hunger, his autobiography, he described his experience of racism in Britain, and the impact on him of his travels in Germany after the Nazi seizure of power.

Slavery helped finance the Industrial Revolution in England. Plantation owners, shipbuilders, and merchants connected with the slave trade accumulated vast fortunes that established banks and heavy industry in Europe and expanded the reach of capitalism worldwide.

Eric Williams advanced these powerful ideas in Capitalism and Slavery, published in 1944. Years ahead of its time, his profound critique became the foundation for studies of imperialism and economic development. Binding an economic view of history with strong moral argument, Williams’s study of the role of slavery in financing the Industrial Revolution refuted traditional ideas of economic and moral progress and firmly established the centrality of the African slave trade in European economic development. He also showed that mature industrial capitalism in turn helped destroy the slave system. Establishing the exploitation of commercial capitalism and its link to racial attitudes, Williams employed a historicist vision that set the tone for future studies. In a new introduction, Colin Palmer assesses the lasting impact of Williams’s groundbreaking work and analyzes the heated scholarly debates it generated when it first appeared.

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KS3 Britain's Black History – Black Britons


Tony Warner

Tony Warner

Black History for Schools

Teachers looking for black history for schools? There has been a Black Presence in the British Isles since Roman time. In more recent Centuries the black presence is well documented should you care to look for it.
Teachers TV offers this Introductory video, which you can download from their site to start you in your investigations.

Historian Tony Warner explains how the first black people to arrive in Britain were not slaves or servants, in this easy-to-understand classroom resource for Year 7 to Year 9. Looking back through the centuries, there is evidence of influential Caribbean and African descent.

One of the earliest records of black people living in Britain is from 1511, when a North African trumpeter was depicted on the Westminster Tournament Roll. He was probably employed by both Henry VII and Henry VIII. Black men and women made appearances in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and in 18th century portraits

Tony explains how by the late 16th century, trade had opened up between West Africa and Britain and Africans began to settle here, especially in seafaring places like Bristol, London, Liverpool and Glasgow.

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Granville Sharpe


 

Granville Sharpe

Granville Sharpe

Sharpe was Possibly the Most Prominent of the Abolitionists and today, is certainly the most celebrated.? Sharp wrote numerous articles about slavery, religious history and now and then turned his hand to Social theory.

He was born in Durham on 10 November 1735 and was one of eight children. He was sent to London to become an apprentice to a linen draper, he missed out on the Formal education that his older brothers had received. Gretchen Gerzina suggests that ‘One might expect Sharp to have Chaffed at such Menial work, especially when his brothers were all in Processional Careers’. But she goes on to point out that Sharp seemed to be working in manual professions for a reason. He was learning the views and arguments of his many Employers. Because they were all from different backgrounds, he saw the value of their differing perspectives on life.? He Said ‘This extraordinary experience has taught me to make a proper distinction between the OPINIONS of men and their PERSONS’.

This was a man who seemed to never tire. He worked full time but really became involved with the abolitionists proper when a Black man called Jonathan Strong came to his brothers surgery badly beaten (Pistol whipped by his master.)

Sharp went on to fight the cases of a great many slaves. He was the chairman of the ‘Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade’ informed of the kidnaping of Henry Demane thanks (indirectly) to Ottobah Cugganno. Demane was saved from transportation to the Plantations.

In 1769 he Published “A Representation of the Injustice and Dangerous Tendency of Tolerating Slavery Or of admitting the least claim of private property in the persons of men, in England”

This Challenged the country’s legal establishment declaring that legally ” As soon as a Negro comes into England he becomes Free”

Eventually though would come his most famous case where he represented James Somerset. In What for ever more would become known as the “Somerset ruling” Sharp fought and won a battle which allowed Somerset to stay in England. Even though his master, A Virginia planter wanted to take him back to the plantations in the west Indies.

Sharp argued that everyone coming into this country was subject to its laws and protection. Somerset had run away and then been recaptured by his master, that was kidnapping, according to James Mansfield, part of Sharps legal team, Not Lord Mansfield the case Judge)
Somerset had every right to abscond because he was only property in the West Indies not here in England.

After much deliberation Lord Mansfield found in favour of Somerset and Sharp won the case, However many people misunderstood the ruling believing that the ruling meant that all the Slaves in Britain were automatically Free.

What it in fact meant was that the masters could not legally force a slave to leave the country against his own will.

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Black British Timeline


Black British Timeline

Black Sailor at Waterloo

Black Sailor at Waterloo

First era of large scale settlement of blacks in Britain. Spans period of Britain’s involvement in the tri-continental slave trade. Black slaves were in attendance as sea captains sauntered through the streets. In Tottenham, All Hallows Church baptismal register records “John Cyras, Captain Madden’s black” in March 1718, and at St Mary’s Church, Hornsey “John Moore, a black from Captain Boulton’s” 8th October 1725 and “Captain Lissle’s black from Highgate” in 1733.

1760s
Black Londoners number 10,000-15,000 of the nation’s 20,000 black people. Evidence appears in registered burials. The status of Black people in society becomes part of public debate. Widespread view that blacks were less than human expressed in slave sales and advertisements.

1756

Mounting black response to slavery through covert means, resistance and flight. Notable Black activists are: Oluadah Equiano; Ignatius Sancho; and Ottobah Cugoano. Movements among Britons to demand black freedom from slavery. Supporters include workers and urban poor who themselves suffered under the ruling classes of the day.

Mid-18th century
London Blacks vociferously contested slavery and the slave sales widespread in Britain. The legal status of these practices were never clearly defined. Slavery of whites was forbidden Free blacks could not be enslaved. Blacks who were brought as slaves to Britain were considered bound to their owners.

1772
Lord Mansfield court ruling that a slave who has deserted his master could not be taken by force to be sold abroad. Verdict triggers black flight from their owners, the decline of slavery in England, and calls by Equiano and others for the abolition of the slave trade. Clandestine Black quarters develop.

1775-83
In the wake of the American revolution hundreds of “Black loyalists” , the African-American slave-soldiers who fought on the side of the British, arrived in London.? Deprived of pensions many of them became indigent and begged in the streets of London.
1786
London’s Blacks and Asians (Lascars) lived among whites in such areas as Mile End, Stepney, Paddington, and the St. Giles areas. The majority were living, not as slaves and Servants in wealthy homes, but as free men, householders or tenants.? Many became the Black Poor: ex-low-wage soldiers, seafarers, and plantation workers, but with few desirable skills in an evolving urban capitalist economy.

1789
Blacks and south-east Asian Lascars did not fit easily into the Poor Law welfare strategies of the period. A special ‘Committee for the Relief of the Black Poor’ laid plans for the Settlement of Blacks in Sierra Leone, West Africa.? Publication of the memoirs of Equiano, the chief Black spokesman of Britain’s Black community, “The Interesting Narratives of the Life of Olaudah Equiano”.

1792-1815
Further groups of black soldiers and seamen settle in London after services in the Napoleonic wars.

Late 18th century
The slave trade declines greatly in economic importance to Britain with the evolution of industrial capitalism. Resurgence of intolerance buttressed by “scientific racism”. This effectively ends the first period of large-scale black immigration to London and Britain. Decline in immigration and gradual absorption of blacks and their descendants into the white population occurs.

1807
The British slave trade is abolished

1834
Parliament abolishes slavery throughout the British Empire. Steady decline in numbers and visibility of London’s black population as fewer blacks were brought by West Indian planters and restrictions on immigrants from Africa.

1880s
New build up of small black dockside Communities in London’s Canning Town, and in Liverpool and Cardiff.

20th century
London-born Black people begin to make a mark in London life. Continuous influx of African students, sportsmen, students, and businessmen. Caribbean professionals gain positions as doctors, politicians and activists.

World War I
Black communities grow with arrival of black merchant seamen and soldiers. They survive as the oldest black communities. Continuous presence of small groups of students from Africa and the Caribbean.

World War II
Caribbean and West Africans arrive in small numbers as wartime workers, merchant seamen and servicemen in the army, navy and air forces. Perhaps 20,000 blacks in Britain concentrated in dockside areas of London, Liverpool and Cardiff. Learie Constantine, welfare officer in the RAF, refused service in a London Hotel and later wins damages.

Post-war period

1948
Britain’s first group of post-war Caribbean immigrants come to London on the SS Empire Windrush. Many of the 492 passengers settle in Brixton now a prominent black district.

1950s to 1960s

Mass migration of workers from all over the English-speaking Caribbean, particularly Jamaica They are “invited” to fill labour requirements in hospitals, transport and railways and contribute to rebuilding the post-war urban economy.

1962
Commonwealth Immigrants Act and a succession of laws in 1968, 1971, and 1981 severely restrict Black entry to Britain, and brings this period to an end. Emergent Black and Asian struggle against race prejudice and intolerance.

1975
David Pitt brings a new popular voice to the House of Lords as one of the first black Peers.

1987
Black population, workers, and community activists aid election of four Black Members of Parliament.

1991-98
Black Londoners numbered half a million people in the 1991 census, of which an increasing proportion were London- or British-born. Despite modest socio-economic gains, discrimination remained a problem, even where skill deficiencies were being overcome. Black Parliamentarians increase to six in 1992 and nine in 1997 elections.

Further reading: Sources

Banton, Michael (1955), The Coloured Quarter. Jonathan Cape. London.

Collicott, Sylvia L. (1986), Connections. Haringey. Local-National-World
Links. Haringey Community Information Service, London.

File, Nigel and Chris Power (1981), Black Settlers in Britain 1555-1958.
Heinnemann Educational.

Gundara, Jagdish S. and Ian Duffield, eds. (1992), Essays on the History
of Blacks in Britain. Avebury, Aldershot.

Merriman, Nick ed. (1993), The Peopling of London: Fifteen Thousand
Years of Settlement from Overseas. Museum of London, London.

Scobie, Edward (1972) Black Brittania: A History of Blacks in Britain.
Johnson Publishing. Chicago.

Shyllon, F.Q. (1977), Black People in Britain 1555-1833. Oxford University
Press.

Shyllon, Folarin, “The Black Presence and Experience in Britain: An
Analytical Overview,” in Gundara and Duffield eds. (1992), Essays on the
History of Blacks in Britain. Avebury, Aldershot.

Walvin, James (1971), The Black Presence: A Documentary History of the
Negro in England, 1555-1860. Orbach and Chambers.

Walvin, James (1973), Black and White: The Negro and English Society
1555-1945. Penguin, London.
1807
The British slave trade is abolished1834
Parliament abolishes slavery throughout the British Empire. Steady decline in numbers and visibility of London’s black population as fewer blacks were brought by West Indian planters and restrictions on immigrants from Africa.

1880s
New build up of small black dockside Communities in London’s Canning Town, and in Liverpool and Cardiff.
20th century

London-born Black people begin to make a mark in London life. Continuous influx of African students, sportsmen, students, and businessmen. Caribbean professionals gain positions as doctors,politicans and activists. World War IBlack communities grow with arrival of black merchant seamen and soldiers. They survive as the oldest black communities. Continuous presence of small groups of students from Africa and the Caribbean.

World War IICaribbean and West Africans arrive in small numbers as wartime workers, merchant seamen and servicemen in the army, navy and air forces. Perhaps 20,000 blacks in Britain concentrated in dockside areas of London, Liverpool and Cardiff. Learie Constantine, welfare officer in the RAF, refused service in a London Hotel and later wins damages. Post-war period 1948 Britain’s first group of post-war Caribbean immigrants come to London on the SS Empire Windrush. Many of the 492 passengers settle in Brixton now a prominent black district. 1950s to 1960s

Mass migration of workers from all over the English-speaking Caribbean, particularly Jamiaca They are “invited” to fill labour requirements in hospitals, transport and railways and contribute to rebuilding the post-war urban economy.

1962
Commonwealth Immigrants Act and a succession of laws in 1968, 1971, and 1981 severely restrict Black entry to Britain, and brings this period to an end. Emergent Black and Asian struggle against race prejudice and intolerance.

1975

David Pitt brings a new popular voice to the House of Lords as one of the first black Peers.

1987

Black population, workers, and community activists aid election of four Black Members of Parliament.

1991-98
Black Londoners numbered half a million people in the 1991 census, of which an increasing roportion were London- or British-born. Despite modest socio-economic gains, discrimination remained a problem, even where skill deficiencies were being overcome. Black Parliamentarians increase to six in 1992 and nine in 1997 elections.

The nine Black MPs clockwise from top left – Dianne Abbott, Paul Boateng, Bernie Grant, Piara Khabra, Keith Vaz, Marsha Singh, Mohammed Sarwar, Ashok Kumar, and Oona King . http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Crete/9145/www.thechronicle.demon.co.uk/

Further reading: Sources

Banton, Michael (1955), The Coloured Quarter. Jonathan Cape. London.

Collicott, Sylvia L. (1986), Connections. Haringey. Local-National-World
Links. Haringey Community Information Service, London.

File, Nigel and Chris Power (1981), Black Settlers in Britain 1555-1958.
Heinnemann Educational.

Gundara, Jagdish S. and Ian Duffield, eds. (1992), Essays on the History
of Blacks in Britain. Avebury, Aldershot.

Merriman, Nick ed. (1993), The Peopling of London: Fifteen Thousand
Years of Settlement from Overseas. Museum of London, London.

Scobie, Edward (1972) Black Brittania: A History of Blacks in Britain.
Johnson Publishing. Chicago.

Shyllon, F.Q. (1977), Black People in Britain 1555-1833. Oxford University
Press.

Shyllon, Folarin, “The Black Presence and Experience in Britain: An
Analytical Overview,” in Gundara and Duffield eds. (1992), Essays on the
History of Blacks in Britain. Avebury, Aldershot.

Walvin, James (1971), The Black Presence: A Documentary History of the
Negro in England, 1555-1860. Orbach and Chambers.

Walvin, James (1973), Black and White: The Negro and English Society
1555-1945. Penguin, London.

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Slavery – A Brief Overview



W
hat is unique about slavery in the Atlantic world is both its magnitude
(a very large number of slaves) and its modernity (slavery occurred in the very recent past).? When studying slavery in the Atlantic, then, we must account for why slavery should be so intimately connected with modernity and with the rise of the modern economies and societies of Europe, the Africa’s and the Americas. This is an important point. Many people tend to think of slavery as some archaic feature of a long dead past, a bygone practice with little relevance to our lives today.

Of course we are one century and several generations away from the age of slavery and Africans are even closer to it (slavery was ended in Africa only during the early twentieth century). The truth is that in terms of social time, slavery is right in our back yard and often pushed into insignificance. The modern Atlantic world–including the countries, cultures and practices we know today in Africa, Europe and America–was significantly shaped by the institution of slavery.

Female SlavesWe continue to live the legacy of slavery (for example, we can hardly imagine what an Atlantic world without slavery would look like today).

We should not, indeed we cannot, ever forget slavery. If we do, we lose our humanity by refusing to reflect on one of the fundamental institutions of the past which “got us where we are.”

Understanding slavery in modern life means looking at four continents: Africa, Europe, South America, North America, and of course? the Caribbean.

Slaves were an important minority of the population in both the Africa’s and the Americas (and in certain places on both continents slaves constituted the majority of the population). At least as many slaves were made and kept in the Africa’s as were forcibly transported as human cargo westward across the Atlantic. People on the western side of the Atlantic are usually ignorant of this fact because they know so little about Africans and their history.

There were far fewer slaves in Europe than in the Africa’s or the Americas, but Europeans and their economies were central to creating the demand which sparked enslavement’s within Africa, financing the Atlantic slave trade, transporting slaves, and benefiting economically from slave labour both in the Americas and in the Africa’s. Africans, of course, were the people enslaved in this modern system of Atlantic slavery. It is especially important to study Africa and Africans in the Atlantic, then, because unlike Europeans or Americans of any origin, Africans were both slaves and slave owners in the Atlantic.Enslavement refers to the process of making slaves.

This may sound funny, but most slaves who were captured and transported across the Atlantic had to be enslaved (they had to be created as slaves); few were born in bondage. What this means is that the vast majority of those slaves transported? were not simply enslaved persons living in African societies whose masters decided to get rid of them, they were free people who were captured by a variety of means and sold away to a different land.

The existence of a transatlantic trade in slaves then, meant that many new persons would be enslaved within Africa to supply the demand for slaves in the Americas.? In Africa, slaves were created through a variety of means with differing implications. The first point to consider is that most African slaves were captured by other Africans and not Europeans. People generally have in their minds the image of Europeans landing on the African coast and conducting raids on African villages, kidnapping persons and taking them back on board their ships. This image was powerfully reinforced by the popular television series entitled Roots by Alex Hailey.

There were indeed some European raids on African villages to create slaves, especially during the first several decades of the transatlantic slave trade, but very few slaves indeed were captured this way. This is not to suggest that Europeans were not responsible for slavery. The Planters demand for slaves is what drove the Atlantic slave trade. The stories slaves and later free African Americans told about the enslavement of their ancestors expressed a harsh judgement of both Europeans and those Africans who enslaved other Africans.

Slave WomanEuropeans probably would have enslaved Africans themselves in large numbers had they been able to. The fact is that Europeans were unable to colonise Africa until the late nineteenth century because, unlike in the Americas and in parts of Asia, they could not win military victories in Africa. Although they generally navigated their coasts in canoes of varying sizes, Africans were skilful in protecting their coastlines. Europeans could not simply march in and do what they wanted. African chiefs and wealthy persons, who were the most implicated in making slaves of other Africans, prevented Europeans (with armies) from simply marching into the African interior and doing what they wanted. African rulers effectively ruled their own territories and allowed Europeans in only as traders, diplomats, and guests, like they do today.

Because Africans maintained political control over themselves throughout the entire period of the slave trade (ca. 1450 to 1850) they themselves conducted the business of enslavement, selling the slaves to Europeans at the coastline where they were loaded on to European ships.

This has led to a wide misinterpretation of African slavery, which is by no means comparable to the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Slave ChildAfricans were captured as slaves by other Africans in the following ways: prisoners of war, slave raids, condemned criminals, condemned debtors, persons accused of witchcraft, kidnapped. In any one region and time slaves were created by a mixture of these methods, but one or two tended to predominate at any time and place. In the Senegambia, Guinea Coast, and Slave Coasts of West Africa, war tended to predominate as the most important source of slaves. In places like Angola? enslavement by kidnapping and condemnation for debts was quite important. Slaves were almost always captured in situations of conflict. Sometimes, if a family? learned of the capture of one of its members, it could bargain with the person who had enslaved him or her to redeem (purchase) the slave back Sometimes families traded a slave they themselves owned for a member of their family. This practice, which occurred in many places in Africa, was symbolic of the great tragedy of the slave trade. In order to save members of their own families, many persons engaged in capturing others.

In the first years of the slave trade slaves tended to come from the coastal areas of Africa. Over time, however, the source of slaves moved further into the African interior. Historians have often referred to this moving source of slaves as the “slaving frontier.” Slaves captured hundreds of miles in the interior of Africa were forced to walk all the way to the coast and many died and suffered severe deprivations on these “marches of death.” Americans tend to think of the mortality on board ship in the “middle passage,” but the mortality of slaves walking to the coast was probably as high as mortality in the oceanic passage.


In the middle of a blank page at the beginning of her celebrated work Beloved, A Novel, Toni Morrison writes:

Sixty Million and more.”

A dedication to numbers in the preface of a superb novel exploring the inner anguish of slavery raises important and appropriate issues about the study of the slave trade: how shall we remember and learn about it? Can numbers appropriately express the magnitude of the collective and individual experiences in slavery? How correct is Morrison’s number of 60 million? To whom exactly does it refer?

In short, Morrison’s 60 million is a reasonable figure for the number of people whose lives were directly transformed by the slave trade (as people enslaved, killed, displaced, or allowed to die) It is far greater than the number of Africans who were actually landed alive in the West Indies,America?and Europe or removed from the African continent as slaves during the nearly 400 years of the Atlantic slave trade.

Today, nearly everyone agrees that slavery is immoral and contrary to human rights. This was not generally true in the Atlantic world until the late nineteenth century. First of all, we must distinguish between the opinions of enslaved persons and the opinions of those who remained free. Evidence from both the Africa’s and the Americas demonstrates that slaves seldom if ever considered their enslavement to be legitimate and moral.

Everywhere slaves sought to increase their autonomy and to be treated with respect and dignity, like free persons. No one wanted to be treated like a slave. In the Americas this is particularly clear, for when slaves did not resist their condition directly and openly (because of repression), they sought autonomy and freedom in less dramatic ways. They told stories that encoded a distinct moral condemnation of slavery. Africans did the same. In Africa, slaves and persons who were at risk of enslavement often talked about slavery as eating, likening the wealth derived by African and European slavers to ill gotten gain. Persons who became rich in the business of enslavement, it was thought, derived their wealth from practising witchcraft.

Africans commonly claimed that Europeans transported Africans across the ocean in order to eat them on the other side or to use their blood to paint their ships red. In large areas of West Africa, cowry shells were the forms of money that slaves were bought and sold with. According to widely spread stories in that part of the African continent, the wealthy obtained their cowries by throwing slaves into the water where cowry shells grew on them. Once the shells covered the bodies of the dead, it was said, they were removed and the body discarded. Stories like these suggest that persons enslaved saw their bondage as immoral and illegitimate.

When we talk about slavery and morality, we must distinguish between how free persons and enslaved persons considered slavery. While slaves tended to reject the legitimacy of their bondage, free persons were generally less categorical in their condemnation of servitude. In fact, virtually all societies in the Americas and the Africa’s during the period of the slave trade held slaves. This does not mean, however, that free persons considered it legitimate for anyone to be captured as a slave. In the Americas and in Europe, for example, custom and the law prevented whites from being enslaved. In the Africa’s, there were usually certain rules that governed who could be captured as a slave and in what circumstances. Of course, these rules were often broken when free persons enslaved others.

Part of the reason slavery came to an end was the mounting sense that enslavement was immoral. But the more likely explanation for the death of slavery was an economic one.

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A case for an apology and reparations for Africans and people of the African Diaspora


Slave Ship

Slave Ship

Letter by Courtenay Francis Raymond Barnett
Arawak House,
Queen Street,
P.O. Box 45,
Grand Turk,
Turks and Caicos Islands

Prime Minister Anthony Blair
10 Downing Street
London SW 1
ENGLAND

Dear Prime Minister Blair,

Subject : A case for an apology and reparations for Africans and people of the African Diaspora

I was born on the 4th October, 1954, of humble humanity in a poor country and am, as you are, a lawyer by profession…. Read the full story

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PHN0cm9uZz53b29fdmlkZW9fY2F0ZWdvcnk8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBTZWxlY3QgYSBjYXRlZ29yeTo8L2xpPjwvdWw+