THE REAL HORROWS OF SLAVERY

 

IT IS ADMITTEDLY AS PAINFUL FOR ANY THINKING AFRICAN AMERICAN NATIONAL TO WRITE ABOUT THE HORRORS OF THE SLAVE TRADE THAT OCCURRED OVER 300 YEARS AS IT IS FOR A EUROPEAN JEW TO WRITE ABOUT THE EUROPEAN HOLOCAUST. 

AN INCREASING NUMBER OF AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE DRAWN TO GHANA AND SENEGAL IN WEST AFRICA TO SEE THE REMAINS OF THE CASTLE DUNGEONS WHERE THE SLAVES WERE PACKED LIKE SARDINES AWAITING THEIR UNKNOWN FATE SCHEDULED TO UNFOLD AS SOON AS THE NEXT SLAVE SHIP ARRIVED.

THE ACCOUNTS OF INHUMANITY OF THE SLAVE TRADE WERE DEMONSTRATED THERE VIVIDLY AND HAS STRUCK THE HEARTS OF MANY. 

 

THE FACTS:

 

THE SCALE OF THE OVERSEAS SLAVE TRADE SO MUCH SURPASSED ANYTHING OF IT’S KIND BEFORE OR SINCE AS TO BE UNIQUELY DISTINCT IN IT’S IMPACT. AFRICA, AS HAD EUROPE AND ASIA,

HAD PRIOR EXPERIENCES WITH SLAVERY; BOTH FROM OVERLAND SLAVING – LONG PRACTICED BY BOTH AFRICANS AND ARABS, AND FROM THE DOMESTIC SLAVERY OF AFRICAN IRON AGE FEUDALISM. 

HOWEVER, THE OVERSEAS SLAVING WAS MUCH MORE THAN THE MERE PERIPHERAL BLEEDING OF VITALITY THAT WAS REPRESENTED BY OVERLAND SLAVING. IT WAS ALSO DRAMATICALLY DIFFERENT IN IT’S CATASTROPHIC EFFECTS, FROM THE SUBJECTION OF WEAK PEOPLES TO STRONGER PEOPLES THAT OCCURRED THROUGHOUT AFRICA’S INTRA-WARFARE AND CONQUESTS. IT WAS ESTIMATED THAT THE LOSS TO AFRICA AT ON-THIRD OF IT’S MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN. NEVERTHELESS, THE SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES WERE INFINITELY MORE DELETERIOUS. 

 

NOR ONE CAN COMPARE THE 300 YEAR SLAVE TRADE WITH THE BLACK PLAGUE OF EUROPE. AT BEST, THE BLACK PLAGUE WAS OVER IN A HANDFUL OF YEARS. THE OVERSEAS SLAVE TRADE ENDURED FOR FULY FOUR CENTURIES (OVER FORTY GENERATIONS) AND IN THE PROCESS NOT ONLY DESTROYED THE INFORMAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE NETWORK THAT HAD CONTRIBUTED TO AFRICA’S PROCESS OF CIVILIZATION,, BUT ALSO IT DEGRADED SYSTEMATIC THOUGHT AND ACTION, AS THE WESTERN CONTEMPT FOR BLACK LIFE WAS RECYCLED WITH INCREASED INTENSITY. IN A SHORT TIME, LEADERSHIP, TRADE AND SOCIAL EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE WAS DECIMATED TO BE REPLACED BY AN INABILITY TO BELIEVE IN ONE’S DESTINY. AFRICA QUICKLY DOUBTED THAT IT HAD BEEN AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE WORLD CIVILIZATION AND BECAME THE TARGETS OF WESTERN DIVIDE AND CONQUER TRIBALISM. FOR THE AFRICANS TO BE BELGIAN, GERMAN, BRITISH, AMERICAN, FRENCH AND ITALIAN SON BECAME MORE IMPORTANT THAT BEING BIOLOGICAL DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM, MOSES, MUHAMMAD, TIMBUKTO OR MOORISH SPAIN.

EUROPEAN DEMAND FOR FOR AFRICAN SLAVES HAD BEEN FIRST SATISFIED AS EARLY AS 1444, WHEN A CONSIGNMENT TAKEN NORTH TO SENEGAL ESTUARY WAS PUT ASHORE AT LISBON; AND IT WAS CONTINUOUSLY SATISFIED FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS AFTER THAT, AS THE PROTUGUESE AND THEIR RIVALS PUSHED FURTHER DOWN THE COAST AND ESTABLISHED THEMSELVES THERE. BY THE EARLY 16TH CENTURY, THERE WERE PARTS OF PORTUGAL WHERE THE NUMBER OF AFRICANS SLAVES WERE SAID TO BE LARGER THAN THE NUMBER OF NATIVE PROTUGUESE. 

 

HOWEVER, THE DEMAND FOR CHEEP LABOR WITH KNOWLEDGEABLE MINING AND /OR AGRICULTURAL SKILLS BECAME INFINITELY GREATER IN BRAZIL AND THE CARIBBEAN. WHEN THE NEEDS OF THE 13 AMERICAN COLONIES BECAME FACTORED IN, THE DEMAND BECAME INSATIABLE. FAMED SCHOLAR W.E.B. DuBOISE ESTIMATED THAT AT LEAST 100 MILLION AFRICANS WERE TAKEN FROM THE CONTINENT AS SLAVES TO TRY TO SATISFY THE LUST FOR CHEAP LABOR IN THE WESTERN WORLD. RECORDS  PUT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF SLAVES IMPORTED INTO BRAZIL – MAINLY FROM ANGOLA AND MOZAMBIQUE – BETWEEN 1580 AND 1680, AT LEAST ONE MILLION. THE FIGURES LATER BECAME MUCH GREATER. 

 

THE BOOK “SLAVE TRADE” BY WILLIAM SPEARS, RECOUNTS HOW SLAVE SHIP CAPTAINS, UNABLE TO PERSUADE AFRICAN LEADERS TO SELL SLAVES, INITIATED WARS BY ARMING COMPETING TRIBES AND TAKING THE LOSERS AS SLAVES. AT OTHER TIMES, ALCOHOL WAS INTRODUCED TO FOSTER ELABORATE PARTIES ONLY TO END WITH DRUNKEN, SLEEPY AFRICANS IN CHAINS ON THE WAITING BOATS. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT ONLY ⅓ OF THE SLAVES REACHED AMERICA ALIVE. DISEASE, MURDER, SUICIDES AND POISON CLAIMED THE LIVES OF THE MAJORITY. 

 

THE NOTION THEN THAT THE WHOLE OF AFRICAN SOCIETY ENTERED AND ENDURED THE SLAVING CENTURIES WITH GREED, DOCILITY AND DUMB ACCEPTANCE, A NOTION SOMEWHAT FAVORED BY THOSE WHO HAVE ARGUED, OR STILL ARGUE THE (INHERENT INFERIORITY) OF BLACKS AND THE BACKWARDNESS OF AFRICAN SOCIETY, HAS NO FOUNDATION IN THE TRUE HISTORICAL RECORD.

 

THE MIDDLE PASSAGE CONDUIT THROUGH WHICH THE AFRICAN SLAVE WAS TO BECOME AN AMERICAN SLAVE WAS FILLED WITH HORROR AND DECADENCE. AFTER ARRIVING IN AMERICA, THE REAL HORROR WAS TO UNFOLD. THE CENTERFOLD OF THE PLANTATION WAS TO CONVERT THE SLAVE FROM AN AFRICAN TO A CULTURAL, OBEDIENT “N” WITH ALL DELIBERATE SPEED. THE SLAVE HAD BUT ONE PRIMARY MISSION IN AMERICA AND THAT WAS TO DO PHYSICAL LABOR. HE OR SHE, LIKE ANY ANIMAL, HAD ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHTS BEFORE THE LAW, THEREFORE, SHOULD THE SLAVE MASTER DECIDE TO HUNT, TORTURE, RAPE OR OTHERWISE ABUSE HIS SLAVES, HE WAS PERFECTLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW TO DO SO AND MANY DID JUST THAT. SLAVE BRUTALITY RECYCLED AROUND THE PLANTATIONS AND A PSYCHOLOGICAL HORROR CHAMBER EMERGED. FAMILIES WERE SEPARATED BY

FAMILY, TRIBES AND LANGUAGES SO NO FRATERNAL RELATIONSHIPS COULD PREVAIL ON THE SAME PLANTATION. ALL POWER OF DECISION-MAKING WAS FIRMLY ROOTED IN THE SLAVE MASTER’S HANDS. ROUTINELY, THINGS LIKE DIET, LENGTH OF THE WORKING DAY, CONDITIONS OF THE SLAVE QUARTERS, GLADIATOR TYPE WEEKEND FIGHTS, RECREATION, MUSICAL OUTLETS, BREAST FEEDING PATTERNS, NUMBER OF CHILDREN TO BE BRED, MATING PARTNERS AND PATTERNS, TREATMENT OF THE AGED, INFIRMED, HANDICAPPED, HEALTH CARE, ETC., WERE ABSOLUTELY CONTROLLED BY THE SLAVE MASTER.

 

IN THE PROCESS, FOR OVER 300 YEARS, THE AFRICAN SLAVE WAS VIRTUALLY UNABLE TO ADVANCE HIS THINKING ABILITIES. MANY STATES PASSED LAWS MAKING IT A FELONY PUNISHABLE BY DEATH FOR THE SLAVE TO READ, ATTEMPT TO READ OR IN AT LEAST ONE CASE, TO BE CAUGHT WITH A BOOK IN HIS HAND. IF SLAVES WERE GENETICALLY INFERIOR OR HAD NO DESIRE OR ABILITY TO READ, ONE NOT NEED TO PASS LEGISLATION TO PROHIBIT SUCH ACTIVITY.  

 

NOTIONS OF SOCIAL PERMANENCE SO CRUCIAL TO ONE’S PSYCHOLOGICAL BALANCE WERE ALWAYS AT RISK ON THE PLANTATION. AN UNEXPECTED SHIFT IN THE WHITE MAN’S MOODS COULD CAUSE A BABY, A WIFE, A BROTHER OR A FATHER TO BE SOLD INTO ANOTHER STATE, NEVER TO BE SEEN AGAIN. THE SLAVE WAS UNDER CONSTANT SURVEILLANCE AND QUASI-SURVEILLANCE AND IN CONSTANT DANGER OF HAVING HIS SOCIO/PSYCHOLOGICAL STABILITY SHATTERED. MANY LIVED ON THE THRESHOLD OF THEIR COLLECTIVE NERVES, ADOPTING PATTERNS OF BUFFOONERY, SYCOPHANCY, OBSEQUIOUS BEHAVIOR AS INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE DEFENSE MECHANISMS.

COURTESY OF : “BETRAYAL BY ANY OTHER NAME” – BY – DR. KHALID ABDULLAH TARIG AL-MANSOUR ( EXCELLENT READING)

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