african slave trading

African Union criticizes US for ‘taking many of our people as slaves’ and not taking refugees

[IMAGE: African Heads of State pose for a group photo ahead of the start of the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa on 30 January, 2017.]

The head of the African Union has criticized Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from some Muslim-majority countries, saying it presents “one of the greatest challenges” for the continent.

As representatives of the AU’s 53 member states met in Addis Ababa for a two-day summit, the chief of its commission said the bloc was entering “very turbulent times” after the US President’s election.

“The very country to which many of our people were taken as slaves during the transatlantic slave trade has now decided to ban refugees from some of our countries,” said Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

“What do we do about this? Indeed, this is one of the greatest challenges to our unity and solidarity.”

Mr Trump’s executive order prevented people with passports from three African nations – Libya, Somalia and Sudan – from travelling to the US. It also blocked visas for citizens from four Middle Eastern countries – Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran.

The President has also suspended all US refugee programmes for 120 days, and ended the flow of Syrian refugees to America indefinitely.

Also speaking in Ethiopia, the UN Secretary General commended African countries for opening their borders to refugees and people fleeing violence while other parts of the world, including the developed West, close boundaries and build walls.

Antonio Guterres, attending his first AU summit as the UN chief, said: “African nations are among the world’s largest and most generous hosts of refugees.

“African borders remain open for those in need of protection when so many borders are being closed, even in the most developed countries in the world.”

Mr Guterres didn’t make a direct reference to the recent executive orders signed by Mr Trump, which also included a commitment to build a wall along the Mexican border, but his comment drew enthusiastic applause from hundreds of African leaders, officials and dignitaries who attended the opening of the summit, the Associated Press reported.

How the Atlantic Slave Trade affected Igbo Societies

A lot of the abhorrent practices like human sacrifice in Igbo religious institutions can be traced to, or were heightened by the Atlantic slave trade. It’s at this time that the practice of condemning people as osu or ritual slaves became intensified. The slave trade created an environment in which African religious practices became very violent which may have consequently led to the rapid spread of Christianity in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The pursuit of conspicuous consumption promoted greed, impoverished people and rendered them vulnerable to enslavement by their creditors. A growing culture of conspicuous consumption ensured the extremely high cost of funerals, marriages, and other ceremonies. “Gun salutes,” or multiple firing of canon, as well as human sacrifices — practices that developed during the overseas slave trade era — became regular features of the funerals of the rich. Slave-ship captains ordered gun salutes when coastal kings boarded newly arrived ships to collect customs, and human sacrifice developed as the overseas trade cheapened human life.46 Even though the sale of human beings generated revenues, diminished value for human life was an inevitable consequence of a culture of violence and death that resulted from slave capture, warfare, raiding, and resistance. Although slave traders calculated the value of their captives in terms of profits, nothing would stop them sacrificing the captives if they calculated that such sacrifice would replenish their cost in manifold proportions. The primary focus of their interest was not human life but profit, which they could apparently achieve through either destruction or preservation, as they might calculate in any given circumstance. Economic and spiritual considerations were linked. These extremely expensive, decadent and sometimes gruesome undertakings deepened stratification. Human sacrifice also fed on and promoted the domestic slave trade, as perpetrators had first to acquire the individuals needed for the purpose. Even head hunting is associated with the late-nineteenth-century history of Arondizuogu.47 These untoward practices represented cultural changes that were the consequences of either the overseas slave trade or of its suppression. 

46 The practice of “gun salutes” had developed by the end of seventeenth century when European slave traders used it to entertain and honor both themselves and prominent Africans they dealt with. For example, on or about May r, 1699, the slaver Albion-Frigate fired seven-gun salute for King William of New Calabar when he went aboard to collect duties. In late June of the same yea; King William and master of another English ship at the port were also each recipients of a seven-gun salute; late; Captain Edwards of the Albion-Frigate received another seven rounds, when “he returned ashore” (James Barbot).

G. Ugo Nwokeji (2010). The Slave Trade and Culture in the Bight of Biafra: An African Society in the Atlantic World. Cambridge University Press. p. 201.


Sharing my reading tonight.
Middle Passage Monday…sigh.

This is by far one of the heaviest nights of the week for me. Doing research on the specifics of the slave trade and the gruesome middle passage our ancestors endured before even making it to the “New World”

So many emotions. This is going to be difficult. Share this information far and wide.


March 31st 1797: Olaudah Equiano dies

On this day in 1797, the abolitonist Olaudah Equiano died in London aged 51/52. Equiano wrote in his autobiography that he was born in Nigeria, and was kidnapped and sold into slavery when he was 11. He was shipped to Barbados then Virginia before being sold to a British officer in the Royal Navy. During this time, Equiano travelled widely with his new master, and experienced battle in the Seven Years’ War. He was taught to read and write by the sailors, and was baptised in 1759. He was later sold to a merchant in the West Indies, and worked as a deckhand, valet and barber. Equiano began to trade privately, independent of his master, and eventually earned enough money to buy his own freedom. After years of enslavement, Equiano was now a free man. He spent the following years traveling extensively, and in the 1780s returned to London. There, he became deeply involved in the anti-slavery movement, joining the ‘Sons of Africa’ group of black abolitionists and working with the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. The publication of his autobiography in 1789 highlighed the horrors of slavery, describing in graphic detail the horrendous conditions endured by African slaves. Equiano’s candid account was a bestseller and, coupled with his powerful speaking tours across Britain, it bolstered the abolitionist cause. Equiano’s involvement contibuted to Britain’s abolition of the slave trade in 1807, which was followed by the total abolition of slavery throughout the empire in 1833.  Equiano married in 1792, and became involved in the campaign for universal suffrage. He was tasked with settling former slaves in Sierra Leone, but died before he could emark on the expedition. Olaudah Equiano has been hailed as the father of African literature, and is remembered for his role in bringing an end to the slave trade.

“But is not the slave trade entirely a war with the heart of man? And surely that which is begun by breaking down the barriers of virtue involves in its continuance destruction to every principle, and buries all sentiments in ruin!”
- from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

Who: Christelle, Paris

Photography and interview by Samra Habib

People question how I can be queer and Muslim or why I don’t have a Muslim sounding name or don’t cover myself. I’ve even been asked how I can be black and Muslim because of how Arabs treated Africans during the Arab slave trade. People want you to think your whole identity is haram but hey, it’s just between me and Allah.

I grew up in a family that is half Evangelical and half Sunni Muslim. Some of my non-Muslim family is really Islamophobic. My Muslim family members had to practice Islam secretly because they didn’t want to be rejected by my non-Muslim family members. I recently saw some of my family members after 15 years because they didn’t want to have anything to do with us, the Muslim part of the family while I was growing up. My cousins weren’t allowed to stay at our home during the holidays because their parents were afraid that they would come back Muslim. A lot of the Islamophobic behaviour included physical abuse.

Both sides of my family are really religious but I’ve only felt ready to come out to the Muslim side of my family, not the Christian side. What made me feel ready was how the Muslims in my family express their tolerance towards queer and trans folks. I’m glad that I finally came out because they accepted me as a queer Muslim.

Growing up in Paris as a teen, I felt lonely for a very long time as a black, queer mentally-disabled woman. I feel part of the black community and the black womanhood community but I don’t feel part of the LGBT community in Paris because it’s really, really white, mainstream and dismissive of non-conforming genders and other sexualities from the BTQIA+ spectrum. I only know a handful of other queer Muslims in Paris and I met them recently.

I’m an art enthusiast and I love photography. I’m an activist and a social worker trainee. My main goal is to make people more aware about intersectionality, including ableism and mental disorders that are often considered very taboo to talk about  in black communities. I’d also like to  work towards helping provide housing to abuse victims and sex workers.

Follow Christelle on Twitter @_afrofly

There is always a certain glamour about the idea of a nation rising up to crush an evil simply because it is wrong. Unfortunately, this can seldom be realized in real life; for the very existence of the evil usually argues a moral weakness in the very place where extraordinary moral strength is called for.
—  W.E.B. Du Bois, from The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870

i understand if people are fuzzy on the African side of the slave trade. it’s contested how it functioned and not well taught in American schools. but like what are they teaching in schools if they don’t think America ever bought slaves?


November 29th 1781: Zong massacre

On this day in 1781, hundreds of captured Africans were killed aboard the British slave ship Zong. The ship had left the African coast on September 6th carrying 470 slaves, which was far more than the ship could accommodate, but Captain Luke Collingwood insisted on taking more people to maximise his profits from selling them as slaves. The horrific, cramped conditions aboard the ship led to rapidly spreading disease and malnutrition, which claimed the lives of fifty slaves and seventeen crew members. In order to prevent further deaths and to allow himself to collect insurance money on the lost slave property, Collingwood decided to throw 132 sick and dying captives overboard, beginning on November 29th. Ten of the kidnapped Africans threw themselves to their deaths in an act of defiance against Collingwood’s barbarity. Upon the Zong’s arrival in Jamaica, the ship’s owner filed an insurance claim of £4,000 for the loss of the human cargo, asserting that the ship lacked the water supplies to sustain the full crew and captives. This claim was refuted, however, as it was soon discovered that the ship had 420 gallons of water aboard. Despite the weakness of the ship owner’s claim, a Jamaican court in 1782 ruled in their favour, forcing the insurers to pay out. The insurers appealed the court’s decision, and the ensuing legal battle soon acquired a moral element, as it enflamed the growing abolitionist movement in Great Britain. The high publicity around the case, and the fact that abolitionists like Olaudah Equiano and Granville Sharp used it to further the anti-slavery cause, led to a second trial in Britain ruling in favour of the insurers. However, prevailing inhumane attitudes towards the plight of the kidnapped Africans prevented criminal charges from being brought against those responsible for the massacre. Britain’s Solicitor General flippantly rebuffed the case, claiming that as slaves are legal property, the incident is akin to as if wood had been thrown overboard. The tragic deaths of hundreds of captured Africans, and the injustice of their murderers’ reprieve, did, however, strengthen the abolitionist movement. The Zong massacre provides one the darkest symbols of the horrific Middle Passage, and paved the way for the eventual abolition of slavery across the British Empire in 1833.


The Coolie trade emerged out of two converging processes: the escalation of violent intervention by European imperialists in East Asia and the decline of the African slave trade, led by British emancipation. Describe the racial formations of coolies by accounting for A.) discourses that shaped perception of coolies and B.) the institutional, material, and physical conditions that gave those ideas force. How do you think coolies interacted with enslaved and emancipated Africans, be specific about geography and time period? What insights can be made by examining the connection between the racial formations of coolies and enslaved Africans?

anonymous asked:

I myself am half Irish and half Jamaican and have been taught from my family on both sides the horrific treatment of the Irish so do you believe they should also get acknowledgement and this is a big problem despite their current white privilege ?

It is a part of history, it should be acknowledged that Irish people endured harsh treatment and were indentured servants, yes. Is it necessary to bring that up in conversation when discussing the legacy of the African slave trade, like Neo-Nazis and racist trolls like to do? Hell no.

Feel free to check out these links here:

I also highly encourage you to read the book How the Irish Became White by Noel Ignatiev. I have a strong feeling it would do you wonders.  

Roots and Roots: I Am Kunta Kinte

Has anyone watched the remake of Roots: I Am Kunta Kinte who has also seen the original Roots? 

I’m on episode 3 right now of the remake and i’m really liking it. and by “liking” i mean i’m experiencing some strong emotions and thus far it has been quite historically accurate to various experiences from enslavement in the US and all that happened prior to that. 

Firstly, one of the differences i’ve seen in remake that was different from the original was the portrayal of Africa. the original shows somewhat of a generic view of Africa that isn’t specific to any people or region. the remake portrays Juffere, Guinea at the cusp of colonialism. It portrays Kunta’s family as Muslim and shows him throughout his life in the series as still identifying and practicing - on whatever small level - Islam. Second, the role of Africans in the slave trade is more prominent in the remake than in the original. while i appreciate the updated, more accurate portrayal of Africa, i’m curious to know why the change was made to showcase Africans more prominently as enslavers or aids of enslavers than in the original. 

and i wonder how many millenials are watching this film. it doesn’t seem to have the same impact that the original Roots did on Black folk back in the day. 

any thoughts? anyone seen the remake?

Roots: I Am Kunta Kinte is available of HuluPlus and on Youtube for a fee


A first look at the Smithsonian’s museum of African-American history

The Guardian was invited for an early viewing of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in late September. The 400,000 square foot exhibition space is still awaiting many of its exhibits, but with its larger artifacts already in place, it is a building already able to tell its story.


So-called “slave Tetris” sparks massive backlash

In Playing History 2 - Slave Trade by Danish developer Serious Games, players are asked to stack slaves in a ship in a Tetris-like mini-game in an apparent attempt to teach young people about the real-life horrors of slave shipping. Though the game is a few years old, it received a ton of recent criticism. Before removing the slave-stacking element, its creator tried to justify the segment.
This Haunting Animation Maps the Journeys of 15,790 Slave Ships in Two Minutes
Usually, when we say “American slavery” or the “American slave trade,” we mean the American colonies or, later, the United States. But as we discussed in Episode 2 of Slate’s History of American Slavery Academy, relative to the entire slave trade, North America was a bit player. From the trade’s beginning in the 16th century to its conclusion in the 19th, slave merchants brought the vast majority of enslaved Africans to two places: the Caribbean and Brazil. Of the more than 10 million enslaved Africans to eventually reach the Western Hemisphere, just 388,747—less than 4 percent of the total—came to North America. This was dwarfed by the 1.3 million brought to Spanish Central America, the 4 million brought to British, French, Dutch, and Danish holdings in the Caribbean, and the 4.8 million brought to Brazil.
Colorism in the Hispanic Community

Often times the untied states media groups together all types of latino’s and hispanics of different mixes of races and culture. One issue within the hispanic community is colorism. Hispanics come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Not all hispanics have a head full of dark, thick hair, light tan skin, and curvy figures. Some hispanics have dark skin due to their african ancestry and the slave trade. Some hispanics are extremely pale due to their Spanish ancestors. Others strongly resemble their native american ancestors. With all the mixing of races and cultures in latin america, there comes the issue of colorism. It’s similar to the united states and its quiet horrifying that often times we avoid addressing this issue. Perhaps because we wish to ignore it, or put a united front as hispanics.However, addressing this issue is extremely important. It’s vital for the darker skin hispanics who face criticism everyday for not resembling the stereotypical “Sex Bomb Hispanic” ideal of beauty. It is vital for the light skinned hispanics who have to prove their validity within their culture because others question weather or not they should be allowed to be referred to as “hispanic” because they’re so light. On the topic of hair alone we can speak for hours of how woman with coily or corse hair are subjected to discrimination. We should be able to identify as how we see fit, and embrace each others differences while still considering each other beautiful and united. 

The Central Slave and Ivory Trade Route

Until, not even 150 years ago, millions of Africans had to bear a cruel fate. They were captured by slave hunters, chained together and forced to walk some times hundred of kilometers to be sold for example to planters who used them as cheap labour in their fields. Central and East Africa was one of the main areas where the slave hunters and traders, most of them Arabs made their shade deals. They caught their victims e.g. in some areas which is today parts of Democratic Republic of Congo and in the Western and Central parts of what is today Tanzania. The Slaves were brought to the coast and from there to the spice island of Zanzibar and many were sold further to the Arab countries, Persia, and India, Mauritania and Reunion.

Officially, the slave trade was forbidden in 1873 under British pressure, but it went on secretly for several years. One of the routes that were used by the traders’ caravan started in Ujiji at the shore of Lake Tanganyika. It went over 1200 kilometers and ended in Bagamoyo just opposite of Zanzibar on main land Tanzania. Many experts view this as the main route of mainly three that were documented for East Africa. By now the list includes the Ujiji-Bagamoyo route as a whole. The idea is not only to protect the still visible reminds of the dark past like Arab Forts and other historic buildings or parts of the route that are existing, but also to intensify the research around the topic, to document the memories about the era and to preserve the culture and the traditions of the communities living along the route. In this regard, there are possibilities of Trans-national Nomination with neighbouring countries like Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya and Mozambique. This possibility will be investigated during the nomination process. Six centres have been identified along the central slave route to include Bagamoyo, Mamboya, Mpwapwa, Kilimatinde, Kwihara and Ujiji Bagamoyo Due to its location along the Indian Ocean and being a major harbor and town along the coast of Tanzania that played a key role in the East Africa Slave trade; Bagamoyo is a “place of memory” for human suffering and humiliation caused by Slavery and the Slave trade and the imposition of European colonialism.

The population of Bagamoyo groups is the result of the interaction and fusion of different ethnic groups from the interaction and fusion of different ethinic groups from the hinterland and immediate coastal built especially the Wazaramo, Wadoe, Wakwere and Wazigua and the interiors especially Wanyamwezi and Wamanyema. Bagamoyo serves as the terminal which starts from Ujiji. From Bagamoyo, slaves were shipped to Zanzibar where the slave market used to be Important slave trade evidence include slave and slave descendants, buildings such as Caravan Serai, Von Wissman block, Old market, Customs house and the Old fort. Also the freedom village at the R.C.

Descendants of slaves and slave traders are also part of the present community. Kilimatinde Located in Manyoni District, Singida Region. Kilimatinde is another important place on the route where caravan rested at a well. The village with Arabic house, market and late the seat for the German administrative is an important place for information along the route. There existing small Arabic houses that are abandoned. Kazeh (Tabora) Kazeh was established by traders involved in the East Africa slave and Ivory trade on the area given to the traders chief Fundikara of Unyanayembe in rapidly development into a key market centre located as it was at an interaction between the trading routes to the coast and those further inland to the Congo and north to what is today Burundi. By 1871, it was estimated to have.

Ujiji Ujiji was the last major trading center of the central of Caravan Trade Route located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. It was a trading centre for slave and ivory coming from different parts of Lake Tanganyika, including Eastern region of Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. By 1876, Stanley estimated that Ujiji had a population of 3,000 It is located within Kigoma Township, 5 km west of Kigoma Railway station. Important land marks are a site of formal port (no longer existing) coconuts and Mango Tree Avenue, Usagara grounds where slaves used to be held and auctioned and a site where the house of the former slave trade by the name of Tippu Tip used. A path running between Ujiji seminary and Kaluta Primary school through Kagera village to Luiche and beyond is clearly seen and improved by big historic Mango trees on both sides
Pay reparations to descendants of American slaves!

Why we should continue fighting for reparations?

We seek reparations, not only for slavery but also for the injustices inflicted on black people from segregation and lawlessness by white people with no protection of law by the government. Dead slaves have alive oppressed great great great daughters and sons! Reparations isn’t just about money it’s about making repairs also, institutional, social, cultural, mental, psychological etc, repairs of all kinds in order to improve our condition globally. Yes it is wealth transfer but it’s wealth returning to its rightful owners!

The following companies still in existence today that benefited and was involved in the African Slave Trade

Bank of America found that two of its predecessor banks (Boatman Savings Institution and Southern Bank of St. Louis) had ties to slavery and another predecessor (Bank of Metropolis) accepted slaves as collateral on loans.

Aetna, Inc., the United States’ largest health insurer, sold policies in the 1850s that reimbursed slave owners for financial losses when the enslaved Africans they owned died.

JPMorgan Chase recently admitted their company’s links to slavery. “Today, we are reporting that this research found that, between 1831 and 1865, two of our predecessor banks—Citizens Bank and Canal Bank in Louisiana—accepted approximately 13,000 enslaved individuals as collateral on loans and took ownership of approximately 1,250 of them when the plantation owners defaulted on the loans,” the company wrote in a statement.

CSX used slave labor to construct portions of some U.S. rail lines under the political and legal system that was in place more than a century ago. Two enslaved Africans who the company rented were identified as John Henry and Reuben. The record states, “they were to be returned clothed when they arrived to work for the company.”Individual enslaved Africans cost up to $200 –  the equivalent of $3,800 today -  to rent for a season and CSX took full advantage.

AIG completed the purchase of American General Financial Group, a Houston-based insurer that owns U.S. Life Insurance Company. A U.S. Life policy on an enslaved African living in Kentucky was reprinted in a 1935 article about slave insurance in The American Conservationist magazine. AIG says it has “found documentation indicating” U.S. Life insured enslaved Africans.

Wells Fargo – Georgia Railroad & Banking Company and the Bank of Charleston owned or accepted slaves as collateral. They later became part of Wells Fargo by way of Wachovia. (In the 2000s Wells Fargo targeted blacks for predatory lending.)

Where is the money going to? How will these companies do it? Simple, we want these companies to set up two massive banks, an economic development bank on the west coast and an economic development bank on the east coast, so descendants of African slaves can draw that money to get low interest loans or free money to build businesses and industries throughout the United States! Enough is enough. It is time for these companies to be held accountable for their active role in the African Slave Trade.

To Succeed we must be Unified an act Politically and Legally! This is an issue that all people should take a stand for regardless of Race Classification! This is about Justice, Admission of Wrong Doings and Atonement which will truly aid in Racial Reconciliation!