Dispelling The Myth That Africans Sold Slaves
We have all heard the following sentence whenever the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade comes up in conversation:”Well, Africans sold slaves too. If they had not done so we would not have been here. So it is not only the Europeans, it is also the Africans who willing sold you who are responsible.”
That is what we are all told in school. It is also what all the history books tell us. And it is orally passed down from generation to generation. It’s the story that is twinned with the telling of the dastardly acts of the European slave traders. One can quite easily understand why the historians would have told the story that way. Their obvious intention being, to soften the barbarism of the transatlantic slave trade. If the Africans sold slaves, they were also responsible for us being here. It then makes the acts of the traders seem quite normal. It becomes something that all humans would participate in, once the profit margin was big enough.
History Is Really His – Story
Those who use the pen have the power to write the narrative the way it best suits them. They tell the story the way they would like it to be told. No one intentionally pens a story so that it reflects badly on them. It is human nature to want others to think well of us. Well, not surprisingly, that is exactly what was done in the case of the slave trade.
Documents dating back to the eighteenth century have finally come to light which dispels, once and for all, several myths. They, once and for all, dispel the myth that the Africans were LAZY. Those documents also clearly reveal that they were anything but SAVAGE. No longer can it be claimed that they were UNEDUCATED. And finally, but most importantly, they put paid to the much repeated LIE that the Africans SOLD SLAVES WILLINGLY.
The Evidence Reveals The Darn Lie
These documents authored by whites reveal that they lived peaceably among themselves. They were also very industrious and ambitious. And they lived in well organized communities. But most importantly they did NOT willingly sell their brothers into slavery, for it was not their custom to so do. The following are short excerpts from those documents written by early Europeans:
…there is no reason to think otherwise but that they generally lived in peace among themselves. For I don’t find, in the numerous publications I have perused on this subject, relating to these early times, of there being wars on that coast. Nor of any sale of captives taken in battle, who would have been otherwise sacrificed by the victors…
..Some modern authors, in their publications, relating to the West Indies, desirous of throwing a veil over the iniquity of the slave trade, have been hardy enough, upon mere supposition or report, to assert the contrary…
…It was long after the Portuguese had made a practice of violently forcing the natives of Africa into slavery, that we read of the different Negro nations making war upon each other, and selling their captives.
“…each night towns burning…the town with Sestro burnt down to the ground…it contained 100’s of houses…”
It is quite evident from the above excerpts that they only did so because of self preservation. The Portuguese would assault and kill; pillage and burn their towns and villages to the ground. They would also capture some of them as slaves if they were not supplied with the human cargo. So to avoid the terror they, out of fear, resorted to attacking and capturing their neighbors. They were certainly not motivated by the filthy lucre as we have been made to believe.
The Extracts are from The Book: 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 (Classic Reprint)
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