Thursday, August 01, 2019

A sad anniversary

On Aug. 1, 1619, the first recorded shipment of Africans as slaves arrived in Jamestown, VA. Today marks the 400th anniversary of the beginning of the Transatlantic slave trade. Some 10-12 millions Africans were shipped in the trade before its abolition.… 'Historians have debated the nature and extent of European and African agency in the actual capture of those who were enslaved. During the early years of the transatlantic slave trade, the Portuguese generally purchased Africans who had been taken as slaves during tribal wars. As the demand for slaves grew, the Portuguese began to enter the interior of Africa to forcibly take captives; as other Europeans became involved in the slave trade, generally they remained on the coast and purchased captives from Africans who had transported them from the interior. 
   The terrible Triangular Trade was a co-operation between Africans who supplied slaves and Europeans who transported and traded in them. It was not white on black but black and white on black. The British became the dominant traders, but we were the ones who stopped it, inside and outside Africa. Note also the much less reported Arab slaving from East Africa and the Barbary Corsairs raiding coastal Europe for white slaves after the Muslims were ejected from Spain.
   As to reparations - to whom? Des anyone want assisted repatriation to Africa? Memories of Sierra Leone and Liberia come to mind. There is today shame about what was done but the guilty parties are long dead. But victim culture is alive and shouting.

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