Omowale Jabali : A Study of the Traditional Systems of African Servitude

Discussion in 'Omowale Jabali' started by Omowale Jabali, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585
    The argument that slavery was a system endemic in Africa, to which the Atlantic Slave Trade was simply incidental, was one that was used by anti- abolitionists, slave traders and later Eurocentric historians in an attempt to justify chattel slavery in the Americas and downplay the damage done to the African continent and its indigenous societies by European capitalist intervention. Similar sentiments expressed by these interest groups also stated that not only was slavery widespread and an entrenched element of African societies before and during European intervention, but that the European trade simply shifted the location and not the character of slavery, giving the impression that slaves were abundant and simply awaiting purchase by Europeans from their African masters. It was even stated that greater good was done by exporting Africans to the Americas where they would be under the " civilizing" influence of Europeans (Inikori, 156) . As we examine the question of the existence of slavery in African society before the 1400's and attempt to determine the nature and extent of such a system, the supporting views stated above must be taken as extensions of the 'conventional view' of African slavery in order for us to put it in its proper context. The creators of this view, in dictating that their slave trade was legitimate because it already existed among the people they intended to enslave, assumed a uniform definition of slavery and attempted to equate a uniquely European term and system with a very different system in Africa.

    http://www.rootswomen.com/ayanna/articles/02112003.html
     
  2. Corvo

    Corvo navigator of live MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    1,769
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Furniture maker, a sculptor, and fight instructor
    Location:
    LaLa land
    Ratings:
    +1,771
    "Portuguese chroniclers were some of the earliest Europeans to explore the African coast and were notably scrupulous record-takers with respect to matters of trade. Yet in detailing all the products and commodities traded up and down the Guinea Coast, no mention is made of large numbers of slaves involved in this commerce. While Rodney asserts that non-mention in such circumstances us presumptive of non existence," others like William Phillips counter this view by stating that Muslim traders for whom these systems of slavery were a normal part of life did not record them because the slavery systems were so commonplace (Williams 114) The truth is probably somewhere between these two extremes. What these differing views do indicate however is that while small groups of domestics did exist in various complex systems of 'unfreedom', they certainly did not exist in large quantities and certainly did not form an instrumental, widespread part of African commerce with Europeans before the 15th century. While the broad continuum between slavery and freedom had probably existed in Africa from earliest times, the widespread exploitative trade in black bodies was of 'recent' invention and directly tied to external economic forces.

    The role of Islamic traders on the African continent is one that is crucial in bridging the gap between indigenous servitude systems and the genocidal European-generate slave trade. According to Kwaku Parson Lynn, when Arabs arrived in Africa in earnest in the name of spreading Islam, this brought a whole new dimension to the African systems of servitude. To understand the profound effect Islam had on the nature of slavery in Africa, one must understand the Islamic ideology of slavery. All who were non-Muslim were seen as kufr, or infidels. While a Muslim could not enslave a fellow Muslim, all others were acceptable. While in traditional African servitude systems the dependents retained certain rights and privileges and were not seen as outsiders in the clan, in the Islamic world-view all slaves by virtue of their non-belief were outside of the strict lines of lineage and genealogy and were "without honour and praise and identity – moved by savage and irrational instincts; swayed by animal propensities; indeed... outside civilized life if not outside humanity itself" (Willis 4) Probably one of the best indicators of the conditions of slaves under this Islamic code was that of the Zanj. Runoko Rashidi tells of Zanj slave revolts in Baghdad:"


    The above states alot of the information that I have read about the history of the Portuguese encounters with south-central Africans (Congo and Angola).
     
  3. awo dino

    awo dino Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,796
    Likes Received:
    1,255
    Occupation:
    carpenter, anthropologist, teacher. Right now I te
    Location:
    in florida for now
    Ratings:
    +1,258
    This is the point I spent 50 pages of back and forth on that infamous thread regarding christianity and slavery trying to make. And I wasn't alone. But those who understand this point are already on board, and those that deny it, will never be convinced otherwise no matter how much evidence is presented, because of political and/or religious considerations. Regardless, bro omowalejabali, keep bringin it, as I for one, appreciate your efforts.

    alaafia
     
  4. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585
    I know my brother, i know. this is why reading with overstanding is fundamental. i had to include this piece for the obvious. the not so obvious is the connection with my brother from NOMMO (at ucla), Kwaku Person-Lynn. always respected the science he drops from way back.

    for those interested these are the cited works from the article. hope folks took some time to read part 2. the author makes some clear distinction which hit home when she talked about the differeces between "arranged marriage" and the european of chattel slavery. this made some thing clearer for myself in more ways than one.

    Works Cited:

    Achebe, Chinua, Things Fall Apart, London, Heinemann Educational, 1971.

    Akomolafe, Femi, On Slavery, 1994

    Inikori, J. E, Forced Migration: the Impact of the Export Slave Trade on African Societies (ed) Hutchinson University Library for Africa 1982

    Gueye, Mbaye, "The Slave Trade Within the African Continent", The African Slave Trade from the 15th to the 19th Century, Reports and Papers of the meeting of experts organized by Unesco at Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 31 January to 4 February, 1978

    Miers, Suzanna, Kopytoff, Igor, Slavery in Africa: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives - University of Wisconsin Press; July 1977

    Parson-Lynn, Kwaku, Christianity, Islam and Slavery, Published: June 7, 1999

    Parson-Lynn, Kwaku, Afrikan Involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade

    Rashidi, Runoko, The Zanj Revolt, The Largest African Slave Rebellions

    Willis, John Ralph, "The ideology of Enslavement in Islam" Slaves and Slavery in Muslim Africa, Volume I Islam and the Ideology of Slavery, ed John Ralph Willis, Frank Cass & Co. Ltd 1985

    i'm really focused more on east african slave trade and system these days, not to slight any other rgion. i just am looking at what i consider a very neglected development among african scholarship and its giving me a better idea of how much of the old systems are playing out today in "the zanj".
     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585
    my post above this was intended for you brother awo dino. sorry i quoted myself. lol!
     
  6. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585
  7. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Messages:
    21,179
    Likes Received:
    9,463
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Creative Industrialist
    Location:
    Temple of Kali, Yubaland
    Ratings:
    +9,585
Loading...