Wednesday, September 6, 2017

"Debunking Myths About African Involvement in the Slave Trade"

The first phase of the slave trade began not with a trade, but with a series of raids. -
Dwayne Wong (Omowale)

(Huffington Post) There are many misconceptions about African history and nowhere is this more true than the topic of the slave trade. Very often I see comments by people who argue that Africans sold each other into slavery. There is some element of truth to this, but to speak of the slave trade solely as Africans selling each other t is a gross oversimplification of what was a complex historical event. This also seems to be an attempt to shift the burden of the slave trade on the victims of that very trade. 

In How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Walter Rodney mentions how the white author of a book on the slave trade admitted that he was encouraged by other scholars to blame the slave trade solely on the Africans. This narrative helps to lessen European guilt by making Africans seem just as or even more guilty of being involved in the slave trade. This piece is not an attempt to ignore the African role in the slave trade or to absolve those that were involved, but to to provide a more complete picture of the African involvement in slave trade.

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