Black People : History of Slavery in Africa

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by uplift19, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. uplift19

    uplift19 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It was suggested in another thread about Black folks embracing their African heritage that there was no slavery in Africa before white people conquered with their brutal, commercialize, capitalist, chattel slavery system.

    While I do not think this is something to focus on for the purpose of incriminating ourselves, we also cannot lie and say this did not exist. In fact, if it were not disputed I would spend no time on it at all, but truth is truth regardless of how one feels. Many historians have noted the vast differences between the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the forms of slavery practiced prior to that time. If there was no previous record of slavery, then there would be no way to compare and contrast the two.

    A more basic way of understanding this is that if something does not exist in a culture, there probably would not be a word for it. For example, there are many words from other languages that cannot be easily translated into English because of the limitations of the languages. Concepts common to non-Indo-Europeans never crossed the minds of white folks so their language does not allow for it.

    Language, they say, defines those that use it. The fact that slavery in Africa does not have all the negative connotations and brutalities associated with the chattel slavery, could be seen from the Yorubas who have the same word 'ERU' for both slaves and prisoners of war. To them both are unfortunate victims of wars. They are kept to serve terms and there are strict rules on how they should be treated. They are never engaged in plantations (there were none) with their mouths padlocked, they are not chained like cattle in pens.

    Slavery in Africa was punishment; as even a barbarian like Conneau recognized, ". . .it was meted out to violators of serious tabus, to criminals, and especially to enemies captured in war. Muslims in particular used slavery in lieu of death sentence. Bondage instead of death was the punishment for truly heinous offenses, as well as a solution to the problem of getting rid of one's captured enemies. . ." Conneau, op. cit. p.viii.

    This is an entirely different matter that has nothing to do with the complicity or lack thereof of African kings in the slave trade, or the accusations that they "sold us out" to the Europeans into slavery. This is about the pre-European African culture that seems to have a lawful, humane way of handling wars and the losers of that conflict. After all, long before white folks were on the planet there were Black people.

    In modern times and from our Western homes, we do not face the notion of local wars, even though most consider some inner city neighorhoods worse than war zones. We are in a more or less "established" country with clearly defined borders.

    References:

    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/30/013.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery
     
  2. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  3. uplift19

    uplift19 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thanks for this info. After reading through, it did occur to me that the hesitance to bring up the permissable forms of servitude in traditonal African societies is a touchy subject because the assumption is that is what DID lead to the role of Africans in the slave trade. (i.e. if tribes did not have slaves in the first place, they wouldn't have "sold" any of our people into slavery) Thanks for helping me make this connection. I still do believe, however, we can think about the two things separately to address how Africans handled warfare and confict amongst ourselves. There has to be a 'lawful' (for lack of a better term) way to deal with these issues amongst a civilized people.

    peace
     
  4. Therious

    Therious Banned MEMBER

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    before europeans Arabs were the brutal slave traders. til this day black muslims still trade their own people. The afrikan form of bondage wa more of law and order you say? i can see that. however the problem is evil and greed no different then the greed and dog eat dog mentality that occurs on the continent today. ubtil we stop cutting each others throat, we will stay where we are.

    again europeans learned their brutal ways from the psychopathic arabs who some say were worse (and still are) than the whites.
     
  5. uplift19

    uplift19 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    First, as a muslim who happens to be Black (don't much like the term black muslims), I do not trade anyone. :) http://www.finalcall.com/perspectives/sudan05-07-2001.htm

    Is it possible for us to think without considering white folks or Arabs? Yes, other people imposed slavery on Africans, but I am trying to look before all of that to see how African civilizations dealt with prisoners of war and similar issues.

    If we agree that Africans were civilized while white folks were still crawling in the caves and hillsides of Europe, then we must be able to envision how conflict was handled in these situations.
     
  6. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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  7. uplift19

    uplift19 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    See the below (keeping in mind that when white folks say Middle East they are assuming Egypt and the rest of the north is not in Africa)


    Slavery has been rife throughout all of ancient history. Most, if not all, ancient civilizations practiced this institution and it is described (and defended) in early writings of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Egyptians. It was also practiced by early societies in central America and Africa. See Bernard Lewis's work Race and Slavery in the Middle East for a detailed chapter of the origins and practices of slavery. http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/med/lewis1.html

    In the ancient Middle East, as elsewhere, slavery is attested from the very earliest written records, among the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Egyptians, and other ancient peoples. The earliest slaves, it would seem, were captives taken in warfare. Their numbers were augmented from other sources of supply. In pre-classical antiquity, most slaves appear to have been the property of kings, priests, and temples, and only a relatively small proportion were in private possession. They were employed to till the fields and tend the flocks of their royal and priestly masters but otherwise seem to have played little role in economic production, which was mostly left to small farmers, tenants, and sharccroppers and to artisans and journeymen. The slave population was also recruited by the sale, abandonment, or kidnapping of small children. Free persons could sell themselves or, more frequently, their offspring into slavery. They could be enslaved for insolvency, as could be the persons offered by them as pledges. In some systems, notably that of Rome, free persons could also be enslaved for a variety of offenses against the law.

    http://africanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa040201a.htm
     
  8. MississippiRed

    MississippiRed Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    "Holocaust: The Numbers
    Due to the enormous length of the Arab Slave Trade, from 700 to 1911AD, it is impossible to be certain of the numbers of Africans sold in this system. Estimates place the numbers somewhere around 14 million: at least 9.6 million African women and 4.4 African men.


    It has been estimated that in all, at least 14 to 20 MILLION African men, women and children died throughout this trade. (Photos and Information courtesy of The Black Holocaust for Beginners by SE Anderson, A Pictorial History of the Slave Trade, Slave Trade of Eastern Africa by Beachy, Slavery in the Arab World by Gordon Murray and Africa in History by Basil Davidson)"




    From what I've read slaves in different parts of Africa were treated differently dependant upon who held them some good some bad......white folk from what I've read learned the slave trade from the masters of the slave trade ..the arab.......

    If yall get the chance read the book Slave.....it's eye opening


    MississippiRed
     
  9. uplift19

    uplift19 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I read this info from the link you sent, but you are still not contibuting to the discussion of how WE (black folks, africans, non-white people, whatever you wanna call it) handle servitude, not what was done TO us.

    Is it possible for us to think on self for a second?

    Let's say all white folks were dead right now, and we had mischief makers in our own community (as we have verbally in some of these forums), what would we do? Attribute all of their actions to their remaining white minds? OK, but then what? Do we imprison murderers and theifs (isn't prison a form of slavery)? What is the lawful way WE as black folks would/should handle these issues in our own community.

    What if there was a war right now between black people in NY and black people in NJ (I mean an actual war between soveirgn groups, not the drug/violence war going on now in our communities)? What if (God forbid :)) NY lost? What would NJ do with their wounded soldiers and children?

    I'm just trying to get us to think outside the box. Yes, the HIStory of slavery is horrific, but if we are to be good students then we must go back further than Arabs or Europeans. This is what we fault white folks for in history classes accusing them of starting at slavery in the Americas and Dr. King instead of when WE were Kings and Queens. Let's go back a little further, shall we?
     
  10. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    so i ask you once again, uplift19, what is your purpose or goal in bringing this subject up and steadfastly maintaining it in the eyes of the forum?
    what are you trying to prove and why?

    from my point of view you seem to be on a dedicated mission to equalize white and black slavery and in so doing uplift and excuse whites.
    are you white? if not, what do you get out of uplifting white peoples?
    please explain.
     
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