SOURCES ON DEATH TOLL FROM SLAVERY
Everyone with a PhD and not, has had a crack at the numbers lost to the Atlantic Slave system. In American Holocaust (1992), David Stannard estimates that some 30 to 60 million Africans died being enslaved. He claims a 50% mortality rate among new slaves while being gathered and held in Africa, a 10% mortality among the survivors while crossing the ocean, and another 50% mortality rate in the first “seasoning” phase of slave labor. Overall, he estimates a 75-80% mortality rate in transit.
In “The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Holocaust” (Is the Holocaust Unique, A. Greebaum, ed., 1996), Seymour Drescher estimates that 21M were enslaved, 1700-1850, of which 7M remained in slavery inside Africa. 4M died “as a direct result of enslavement”. Of the 12M shipped to America, 15%, or 2M more, died in the Middle Passage and seasoning year.
Jan Rogozinski, A Brief History of the Caribbean (1994): “[A]s many as eight million Africans may have died in order to bring four million slaves to the Caribbean islands.”
In The Slave Trade, Hugh Thomas estimates that 13M left African ports, and 11,328,000 arrived. Here are a few other numbers from Thomas:
Rummel estimates a total death toll of 17,267,000 African slaves (1451-1870)
- Orient: 2,400,000 dead
- Captives staying in Africa: 1,200,000 dead
- Enslaved going to New World: 13,667,000 dead
Fredric Wertham claims that 150,000,000 Africans died of the slave trade. Looking at all the speculations on demographic impact on Africa we can estimate that at bear minimum 35% of those enslaved in Africa died before reaching the slave ships. Between these extreme possibilities the most likely mortality rate is 62%.
In terms of absolute numbers, the lowest possible is 6 million. If we assume the absolute worst, a death toll as high as 60 million is at the very edge of possibility (including indirect death, epidemiological exposure, etc.; however, the likeliest number of deaths would fall somewhere from 15 to 20 million.[ref]
If 5 million slaves were shipped in the 18th Century (the busiest century, see Hugh Thomas, above), then the 18th Century death toll could be around 8.1 million. (=5/11*17.8)
And what is often neglected, deliberately so, that these numbers are only the dead among the first generation of enslaved Africans brought from Africa. Subsequent generations would contribute additional unnatural deaths..[ref]
REVOLT AND REBELLION
See African Revolt
Muhammad Shareef: The image is always given that the Africans themselves acquiesce to the process of slavery. But you’ll find that in West Africa there was a polity or a political entity that existed that guaranteed security right across West Africa and that was the Songhai Empire. We saw Malik Sy in the 16th Century as well, and men like Abdul Qadeer and Cherno Sulayman Kaba, these men who waged resistance in what is known as Futa Toro and Futa Jalon. Also the campaigns of Nasr al-Din’s [Nasser Uddin] (Tubenan movement) anti-slavery and Western imposition galvanized Africans in the region in the late 17th century.
There was Nzinga and the Southern areas of Africa as well that was fighting its resistance against European invasion. All the way up until the 17th Century men like Umar Tall, Sheikh Uthman Dan Fodiod and Umar Futi as well as Ahmed Lobo. And then we had the courageous wars, which took place in 1884 under the armies of Muhammad Ahmed, Ibn Abdullahi of the Sudan as well as Muhammad Abdullahi al Hassan of Somalia. And then we had in 1903 finally, the wars that took place between the Sokoto Empire.
Probably about one in ten slaving voyages experienced major rebellions, of which the attempts to control increased the costs of a slave voyage to the point where far fewer slaves entered the traffic than would have been the case without resistance. In addition, vessels from some regions on the coast appear to have been more prone to experience slave uprisings than those from other regions. So the Africans did not acquiesce colonialism, nor did they acquiesce towards slavery, they fought at every point. The image of Europeans as the liberators of African (as if Africans just waited by the river watching the clouds go by) is part of the take-away from Africans as agents. And in fact when the slaves were landing in the Western hemisphere in Bahia Brazil you saw the emergence of jihad movements.
You saw the emergence of men like Muhammad Sambo who led a two-month jihad in the Louisiana territories in North America. Men like Nat Turner and other men who refused to submit to slavery. The Haitian Revolution as well. Men like Macantow. So The Africans never acquiesce to slavery in fact we can say this year that the whole concept of freedom that the American thirteen colonies had, they got that concept of freedom and liberty from the African resistance movement that took place in the Western Hemisphere.”
What did the Slave Master learn from Bahia et al? That it was critical to separate the African (the one who just arrived with a memory of home) from the conditioned slave (the one born into enslavement). Teaching the conditioned slave to hate anything African, anyone who remembers another home is dangerous to the designs of slavery.
If any one or more of them, at any time, are inclined to raise their heads to a level with their master or overseer, humanity and their own good requires that they should be punished until they fall into that submissive state which was intended for them to occupy. They have only to be kept in that state, and treated like children to prevent and cure them from running away– Samuel A. Cartwright
Drapetomania was a supposed mental illness described by American physician Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 that caused African slaves to flee captivity. So ingrained was the notion of Africans only purpose being in the capacity as slaves, it was seen as unnatural and a sickness that would cause them to want to escape slavery. And today we must ask what has really changed? Africans in America seeking to rename their children in the African traditions, or seek African ways of life, African religions, or African culture, are seen as “confused.”
WHO SOLD US OUT
The fact of the dual involvement of Europeans and Africans in the slave trade did not imply equal partnership, but rather parallel lines of activity originating from different cultural and political space–Anne C. Bailey
In popular circles there is a “Who sold us into slavery?” debate that has been raging for years. It however has done little to advance a pure understanding of the African reality. It has always been used to divide African loyalty, and foster further distrust in Pan-African communities: by targeting certain countries, ethnic groups or religious groups. If African people are to heal and come to terms, and hence grow and reach a higher potential, it is impossible to avoid this issue for it will stymie Pan-African development. Understanding this notion of “Selling out” is critical aspect of the African Holocaust.
Now who did the “selling out” is not a binary Diaspora vs Continental issue. The “selling out” personality was on the boats that carried Africans to the New World, it was on the plantations, it followed its way into current leadership in Africa and the America’s: It lives in the heart of all those who try to fragment Africans by location, tribe and religion. It creates distrust and suspicion around great works, and leads Africans into nothingness rather than glory. It tries to suggest patterns of “selling out” to create distrust to further the political agenda of certain groups: “Oh it was the Christians that sold us out.” But the historical record clears both Islam and Christianity as the primary agent involved in “selling out” Africans to the Atlantic or even Arab slave trade. So what we are left with is the 100% agency of African people: Africans as free people, uninfluenced doing Holocaust.
Ethnic groups who may have engaged in selling other groups, at later stages as the system got out of control, may have themselves been taken to the New World. So there is zero point in binary Diaspora vs Continent blame games. It is impossible to point to West Africa and say “they sold us out”. It was a human personality that betrayed truth and justice when under duress, there is a more worrying and insidious human personality of greed and myopic ambition that has found its way through history into the current African leadership, that sells it resources and condemns its people to poverty to service Western designs, which reward this betrayal with trinkets.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
Who sold Africa out is the personality of greed and selfishness, and moreover disunity. The failure of African people to purge the “devil” within. It is not the people of Ghana, or the people of Nigeria, The Muslims, or the Christian converts, that was the sole culprit, because this generalization does not account for the traitors on the plantations of Louisiana. It does not account for the overseers who made deals to usurp African rebellion. And it goes soft in dealing with the flaws inside of ATR that were the biggest justification for enslavement. It also generalizes targeted African groups who remained in Africa but were equal victims of enslavement.
A lot of research has revealed that Africans as a group were suitable for enslavement due to physical endurance; resistance to disease, the advantages of procuring large numbers from slave pools. But there was something more profound than that, that made Africans ripe for enslavement. A failure of people of Africa to form defenses around spheres of interest. And that started, for what ever reason, because of a failure to understand continental interest above national interest. And this is tied hard and fast to notions of identity. Through no fault of African people in antiquity, since they had no reason then to have a Pan-African identity. However it is certainly an ongoing issue in Africa today, where blame can be laid squarely with contemporary Africans and no one else.
What Africans are still not getting, is, never let “internal” squabbles or confusions around difference (religious, ethnic, political, etc), allow a foreign aggression or agendas in Africa: Some term this divide and conquer, but steps to counter it are fleeting, especially when those that advocate unity are also busy causing disunity. So still the lessons of history have not be learned The failure to have a clear hierarchy of agendas allowed the African Holocaust. The African Holocaust affected all Africans, and required all Africans to close ranks around this issue. However. the issue of a pan-African concern was secondary, or non-existent to a “tribal” concern. The myopic acceptance of partnerships with Europe to rid one of a local enemy still work then and now in African politics. And even with hindsight this pattern of divide and rule is stated, but not fully understood. Africans will always have to deal with each other and conflict is inevitable, but in the hierarchy of interest, defense of the Motherland today must reign supreme.
AFRICAN IDENTITY IN ATLANTIC AFRICA
The viewpoint that “Africans” enslaved “Africans” is obfuscating if not troubling. The deployment of “African” in African history tends to coalesce into obscurantist constructions of identities that allow scholars, for instance, to subtly call into question the humanity of “all” Africans. Whenever Asante rulers sold non-Asantes into slavery, they did not construct it in terms of Africans selling fellow Africans. They saw the victims for what they were, for instance, as Akuapems, without categorizing them as fellow Africans. Equally, when Christian Scandinavians and Russians sold war captives to the Islamic people of the Abbasid Empire, they didn’t think that they were placing fellow Europeans into slavery. This lazy categorizing homogenizes Africans and has become a part of the methodology of African history; not surprisingly, the Western media’s cottage industry on Africa has tapped into it to frame Africans in inchoate generalities allowing the media to describe local crisis in one African state as “African” problem – Dr. Akurang-Parry, Ending the Slavery Blame, Ghana Web
When we study the dilemma which created a supply of slaves for the Western markets we see that the primary process was warring Africans. While some historians consider these merely “Slave Raids” it can be shown that casualties would have been experienced on both sides and thus making such activities more akin to warfare. Even if that warfare was against a “weaker” nation who served as a target group for procuring captives. The long standing temptation is to paint all these groups as African fighting Africans. However, in this historical period there was no African identity. People in 15th century Africa never heard of “Black people” as an identity.
While they had knowledge of self from an internal perspective, that knowledge of self lacked a relationship to other African groups in the broader sense, especially when confronted with the arrival of Europeans. And that is key because being proud to be Zulu, for example, but seeing a Xhosa as different is a narrow understanding of ‘self.’ And this failure made it easy for identities, whether ethnic or national, to be used as a opportunity for exploitation. And this is not unique to Africa, the same thing happened everywhere the European went in his expansion where he met different ethnic groups.
Perhaps this is also the largest factor which added the European interest in Africa, lack of a singular identity. The Aro Confederacy and the Imbangala cult, all had strict conceptions of what made an individual eligible for enslavement. Among such criteria were constructions of gender, definitions of criminal behavior (which expanded and corrupted as demand increased), and conventions for dealing with prisoners of war. The Serer for example had a policy of not keeping their enemies as slaves, so they killed them. (Martin Klein) While in other communities various regulations govern their POW. All of this was never static as duress increased from the consequences of the Atlantic slave machine.
How did you become enslaved? Especially in the beginning people would have been debt slaves, or religious violators, people who were political rivals, or general undesirables (Nehusi). But as the trade progressed that internal supply pool from within ones nation was limited. The best source of new captives were prisoners of war; bought, traded or procured directly by violent warfare.
The ethnic groups that were most frequently transported across the Atlantic came from a relatively small ethnic pool. 
- BaKongo of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola
- Mandé of Upper Guinea
- Gbe speakers of Togo, Ghana and Benin (Adja, Mina, Ewe, Fon)
- Akan of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire
- Wolof of Senegal and The Gambia
- Igbo of southeastern Nigeria
- Mbundu of Angola (includes Ovimbundu)
- Yoruba of southwestern Nigeria
- Chamba of Cameroon
- Makua of Mozambique
Groups most active in procuring captives where:
- Oyo, Benin
- The Aro Confederacy of Angola (includes Ovimbundu)
PROFITS FROM SLAVERY
Modern Slavery is fundamentally an economic phenomenon. Throughout history, slavery has existed where it has been economically worthwhile to those in power. The principal example in modern times is the U.S. South. It is preposterous and a historical denial to say that slavery did not significantly build the West. Obviously the likes of John Thornton are self-serving and protecting the wealth of the West by denying and spinning the contributions gained from slavery. There was not only direct monetary reward from holding slaves to do work on a plantation. Enslaved people also allowed their captors “free hands” to pursue activities which further enriched the West.
Nearly 4 million enslaved Africans with a market value of close to $4 billion lived in the U.S. just before the Civil War. Masters enjoyed rates of return on slaves comparable to those on other assets; cotton consumers, insurance companies, and industrial enterprises benefited from slavery as well. Such valuable property required rules to protect it,
and the institutional practices surrounding slavery display a sophistication that rivals modern-day law and business. (100 trillion dollars, based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, with a compounded interest of 6% (and that is only for the USA),
The currency used in the African economic system of was the Okpoho (anillas are penannular armlets, mostly in bronze or copper). The word comes from the Igbo language known to in Spanish as Manillas.
Masters profited from reproduction as well as production. Southern planters encouraged slaves to have large families because U.S. slaves lived long enough — unlike those elsewhere in the New World — to generate more revenue than cost over their lifetimes. But researchers have found little evidence of slave breeding; instead, masters encouraged slaves to live in nuclear or extended families for stability. Lest one think sentimentality triumphed on the Southern plantation, one need only recall the willingness of most masters to sell if the bottom line was attractive enough.
See Also: Ideology versus the tyranny of paradigm : historians and the impact of the Atlantic slave trade on African societies. (J E Inikori)
COMPANIES WHO PROFITED FROM SLAVERY
Investment banks Brown Bros. Harriman and Lehman Bros. Railroads Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National. Textile maker WestPoint Stevens. Newspaper publishers Knight Ridder, Tribune, Media General, Advance Publications, E.W. Scripps and Gannett, parent and publisher of USA TODAY. 850 The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, part of CSX today, paid slave owners $30 to $150 apiece to rent slaves for a year. Price in 1850: $150 In today’s dollars: $3,379 1856 The Mobile & Girard, now part of Norfolk Southern, offered slaveholders $180 apiece for slaves they would rent to the railroad for one year. 1856: $180 Today: $3,737 1859 The Central of Georgia, a Norfolk Southern line today, valued its slaves at $31,303. 1859: $31,303 Today: $663,033 1865 The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, today part of CSX, placed a value of $128,773 on the slaves it lost as a result of emancipation at the conclusion of the Civil War. 1865: $128,773 Today: $1.4 million 1865 The Mobile & Ohio, now part of Canadian National, valued slaves lost to the war and emancipation at $199,691. 1865: $199,691 Today: $2.2 million. Sources: Economic History Services, USA TODAY research The list of corporations tied to slavery is likely to grow. Eventually, it could include energy companies that once used slaves to lay oil lines beneath Southern cities, mining companies whose slaves dug for coal and salt, tobacco marketers that relied on slaves to cultivate and cure tobacco.
Slavery’s long shadow also could fall over some of Europe’s oldest financial houses, which were leading financiers of the antebellum cotton trade. Lloyd’s of London, the giant insurance marketplace, could become a target because member brokerages are believed to have insured ships that brought slaves from Africa to the USA and cotton from the South to mills in New England and Britain.
The United States owes African-Americans over $100 trillion in reparations, based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, with a compounded interest of 6%. Africans in America today have been enduring struggles of discrimination, lynchings, indentured servitude, high imprisonment rates from disproportionate bias sentencing, sold to the highest sugar cane and sharecropper plantation owners and the historical impact that slavery had on African American even today, that lost of wealth in inheritance, land, pay, history, culture, family names.
When it comes to the Jews the flexibility of justice twist and turns to explain why Jews deserve compensation but Africans do not. Laws are used to obfuscate and blur issues. Broken analogues are made “If we paid everyone for every wrong in history where would it end?” There is however no statute of limitations on an ongoing Holocaust which impacts Africans the world over. It is not a historical event like when Rome sacked Greece; confined to ancient history. After the WW2, until now, Germany is sentenced to pay reparations even to grandchildren of the victims of the Jewish Holocaust.
As Boyce Watkins in response to Henry Louis Gates controversial remarks: “If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can’t simply say, “Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game…I am not sure why Gates has gone out of his way to assuage white guilt in America. I hope that’s not the price a Black man must pay in order to write an op-ed in the New York Times.”
There is no escaping African culpability in the Atlantic slave trade. However, the principle benefactor was clearly European nations. Also African participation in the 300 year old system was for but a blink of an eye. How could it be possible to hold both equally guilty? The person that sells the gun is guilty for that moment, but the person that uses it to kill for years is clearly at a different level of criminality.
Also, most enslaved people in the West were in that state for all of their lives by European process, not African. Those who were captured in Africa were touched by the African component briefly– and never again in the history of their enslavement. African involvement, while shameful, was was hardly a partnership in Holocaust, beyond the initial capture and sale.
And while the institutions of Arabia and Zanzibar that have profited from slavery have long vanished from our era, those in Europe still remain. They therefore have inherited both the profit and the lost of their trade in human flesh. And the victims of this horror are exclusively African. Therefore those victims have the right to forgive those whom they chose and bring charges against those they deem key persecutors of crimes against humanity.
It is not appropriate for the principle culprit to point fingers and say “I didn’t act alone.” Each will be judged according to the level of crime and the profits they derived from the crime. It is actually even part of European law; no court gives a lesser sentence to each individual because they happen to act in a group. Africans can therefore (without suggestion or help from Whites) deal with those African nations and kings who profited from slavery as they see fit.
REPARATIONS MEANS REPAIR
Reparations means repair. And that repair has to last every subsequent generation to come. When you go and buy a BMW with the “reparations check” what will that repair? Apart from BMW USA sales? So repair means things like University education — for free, for those willing (a critical component in repair to engage a persons own healing processes).
After all this time the general public still frames the debate in terms of a personal cash windfall, a check in the post. We (Africans) do it because we sometimes do not realize repair, the Holocaust and lack of full conscious means a corruption of the holistic understanding of repair and healing. The institutions destroyed by slavery must be rebuilt so that the people, for every generation to come, can rebuild themselves and their self worth.
Personal Message: Now the crime against our ancestors is an open wound. And we cannot rest until there is justice. But there is a justice we can do for self. Do not be dis-empowered, do not be uneducated and do not be economically weak, do not destroy family and do not disunite. Let those who died for Africa know that we escaped the shackles of slavery. But every time we drop out of school, do crime, disrespect our history and our culture we are doing an injustice to their memory. We are confirming the legacy of slavery.
SLAVERY AS A PENAL SYSTEM
Today there is an overemphasis on the word ‘slavery’ where slavery means the involuntary removal of an individual’s freedom. But the restriction of degrees of freedom is an ongoing aspect of human societies; where if members of a given society commit undesirable acts (not paying tax, adultery, treason, terrorism, etc) then systems were designed to curb the freedom of these individuals. So today America calls it the Criminal Justice System, history calls it Slavery. And in America’s system Africans are again targeted and taken out of the voting process and the competitive job process. So while this is not chattel slavery it is akin to the broader social slavery seen in history.
A judicial process was in place throughout most of Africa to preserve the law of the land; resources were such that large expensive industrial complexes were not viable. The Transatlantic Slave system distinguished itself because there was no crime on the part of the victims, simply being of African ethnic origin was the “crime.” Moreover the inhumanity and absolute debasement of the human being and then the subsequent legacy of this system which still exist and still creates privilege and opportunity for the majority of European descendants.
SLAVERY AND RELIGION
Religion is not the opium of the masses but religion must be used as an arm by the revolutionary forces–Kwame Ture
There is not one major indigenous African faith (that engaged in slavery) that had an issue with slavery, not one African native religion had principles that denounced slavery. Between the most aggressive slavers in West Africa such as Oyo, Benin, Igala, Kaabu, Asanteman, Dahomey, the Aro Confederacy – none of them Christian or Muslim.
None of them had principle objections to slavery. Therefore, the challenge which is posed to Islam and Christianity for having a tolerance for slavery is also true for the religions native to Africa. The only true difference between Islam and Christianity and indigenous faith is power. They had more power to destroy and had the added side-effect of carrying the culture of the conquering party: may that party be Arab, European, or another African group (see Songhai and Mali).
And today the old urban legend of religion and oppression is invalid. The new tools of oppression hide themselves in western democracy. And in the Trojan horse of democracy are the soldiers of the free market, globalization and debt. False focus on religion is a death sentence, like worrying about a spider when a lion is about to pounce.
The African Holocaust is also sadly not confined to history or to external influences. Darfur, the Congo, Sierra Leon and Rwanda are testimony to some of the horrors today. And although the legacy of Colonialism is clearly at the root of these problems it would be immoral not to see that Africans, like everyone else, are capable of unspeakable brutality. Just as in the European-European Holocaust during WW2.
Modern slavery in Africa can be seen as a continuation or outgrowth of slave-trading practices in the past. Africans have stepped into the boots and habits of the retreating colonizers. Forced labor was used to an overwhelming extent in King Leopold’s Congo Free State and on Portuguese plantations of Cape Verde and San Tome. But the majority factor is abject poverty, if the poverty is fixed it will automatically fix the slavery.
In Sudan and Mauritania and parts of Mali and Chad the slavery vacated by the abolition of what is called Arab slavery still continue in pockets of the country (explained in the video by Ali Mazrui). It is often cited that the Arab slave trade is still an ongoing activity, especially in places such as Sudan and Mauritania. And this is true, despite it being legally outlawed. But what is not mentioned is slavery goes on all over the world. 27 million people are trapped in some form of modern slavery may it be white sex slaves in Israel and Eastern Europe, Child slavery in Ghana, ritual slavery in South Africa.
PROBLEM IDENTIFYING SLAVERY
Another issue with 21st century slavery is it is easy to lose the word “slavery” in the linguistic technicality of what is and what is not not slavery. The lines are blurred and in some cases it is hard to determine if it is a human rights issue or a labor rights issue: A case of bad labor rights regarding how people are treated by their employers. Does it stop being slavery if someone is paid $1 a week? And what is the definition of paid, as payment can be in exchange for food and board. Then the only consideration is “freedom,” but freedom in itself is problematic. Are you free to leave your masters home when you have no family, shelter or security outside of their walls? Clearly people can leave but by doing so they put themselves in greater harm. So again “freedom” is a matter of perspective.
MODERN SLAVERY TODAY
Today in the Congo the indigenous people are usually victims of their Bantu neighbors, who have replaced the positions once held by Europeans. Ethnic hatred against vulnerable groups such as the so-called Pygmies (Bayaka) is neglected because it is not as sensational as Darfur or Rwanda. But these people are dehumanized and treated as 2nd class citizens by the Bantu Settlers. The uncomfortable reality is an aspect of the African Holocaust has to be ‘self-inflicted’ horrors which cannot be escaped via the smooth language of evasion.
Sex slavery is a major problem in South Africa. Women seeking refugee status in South Africa from other African countries are trafficked by other refugees. An estimated 1000 Mozambican girls are trafficked to Johannesburg each year and sold as sex slaves or as wives to the Mozambican mine workers. When identified by police in South Africa victims of trafficking are deported as illegal immigrants with no treatment for being victims of sex slavery. Victims are afraid of law enforcement and do not trust the police to assist them. South Africa shares borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. It has 72 official ports of entry “and a number of unofficial ports of entry where people come in and out without being detected” along it’s 5 000km-long land borderline. The problem of porous borders is compounded by the lack of adequately trained employees, resulting in few police officials controlling large portions of the country’s coastline.
Religious Slavery ( Trokosi ) in modern Ghana is the continuing tradition of giving of virgin girls to the gods for religious atonement or payment for services. This was part of many ancient religions in this region with some connection to Vodun practices. In West Africa the practice has gone on for at least several hundred years. Similar practices using similar terminology were found in the royal court in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wives, slaves, and in fact all persons connected with the royal palace of Dahomey were called “ahosi”, from “aho” meaning “king”, and “si” meaning “dependent” or “subordinate.”
In Ethiopia, children are trafficked into prostitution, to provide cheap or unpaid labor, and to work as domestic servants or beggars.
The only permanent solution is to eliminate the conditions that perpetuate Modern slavery – poverty. People movements is largely driven by either conflict or poverty, both lead to conditions which foster modern slavery. Tackling just the visible head, as many NGOs are doing, leaves room for the roots to keep recreating the problem.
The term Maafa and African Holocaust express identical ideas. What is true for one is true for the other. They are interchangeable. But the purpose of these two terms is different, Maafa is the African term to self-describe the African Holocaust. The term African Holocaust is the English term to create an instant understanding of the gravity of what this term means to an English speaking audience who are familiar with the horrors the world “holocaust” invoke. Just like the Jews have Ha-Shoah and Jewish Holocaust. No one owns the word Holocaust, and if someone did, it is certainly not Jewish people. It is not a Hebrew or Yiddish word, and was not created to describe their historical experience. Like all words in English, meanings and applications change politically. If there is a copyright on words, well why stop with Holocaust?
1. Enslaved Africans came primarily from a region stretching from the Senegal River in northern Africa to Angola in the South.
2. Europeans divided this stretch of land into five coasts:
- Upper Guinea Coast: The area delineated by the Senegal and Gambia Rivers
- Ivory (or Kwa Kwa or Windward) Coast:Central Liberia
- Lower Guinea Coast: Divided into the Gold Coast on the west (Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana), the Slave Coast (Togo, Benin, and western Nigeria), and the Bight of Benin (Nigeria and Cameroon)
3. The Angolan coast supplied nearly half the slaves sent to the Americas.
1. The notion of ethnic groups, combing a common language and customs with a political structure is mistaken. Atlantic Africa was divided into states (political units) and nations (cultural units). Slavery was a royal enterprise; the European kings sponsored slavery and issued assientos, royal slaving permits. These were sold to the elite merchants of the day and become items of value like stocks and shares today. Ovando, the Spanish governor of Hispaniola complained not to export anymore Africans as they were aggressive and reinforcing the ranks of resistance among the Native-Americans. These early imported Muslim Africans were proving hard to handle but as labor shortage got critical due to the waning of the indigenous population, Ovando reassessed the situation and demanded that Africans be sent. Royal decree targeted the Guinea coast in a mandate, which was to avoid the Islamic African influence. However, over the duration of the trade approximately 30% of those sent to the New World were Muslims
2. While some states were quite large, others were quite modest in size and many were tiny, consisting of a capital town of a few thousand people and a dozen villages under its control.
3. In the 17th century, 70 percent of the people lived in states with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants.
4. Private wealth usually derived from control of dependents–clients, pawns, wives in polygynous households, and indentured servants.