Why is it that the story of Africa selling Africans into slavery cannot just be taken as the holy truth?
First of all, I would like to thank the numerous people who read and gave me feedback on different views when I first published this theoretical perspective and factual evaluation piece. I must say with sincerity that, I have learnt a lot from your comments, messages and contributions.
It is through the impulse of these contributions from you which has given me the need to update this article to respond to some of the important questions you raised, and also to cover some important considerations which were missing in the first piece.
As I said in the first publication, and still remains true here is that: ‘-when a lie is told repeatedly over a long period of time it turns to be the common truth.’
Indeed, the story of black Africans capturing and selling their fellow African brothers and sisters into inhuman slavery has been told to us (Black People) for generations, and it is still being told to everyone on the face of this planet earth. This means, if I am to tell you that Africa did not support or sell Africans into slavery, the Prefrontal Cortex part of your brain will automatically reject this assertion even before you finish assessing the validity or otherwise of the evidences I am presenting to support my claims. Yes, knowledge is always not the truth.
Again, it is important to recognize that, not only has this story been told repeatedly over a long period of time, the proponents of this story, have also found their ways in using different cunning methods to deepening its impacts on our society. Commonly, this unfounded story is infused into many basic educational curriculum to indoctrinate the children of Africa and those around the world of these lies before they are grown up. I am quite sure you were also a victim of this.
Notwithstanding the various attempts by those who want to keep the black race at the button of human development for their selfish gains, it is also truth that, no matter how repeatedly or the length of time in which a lie is told, it always gets exposed when it comes in contact with the truth. This is the reason why a lie always needs protection from any public debate or open evaluation.
This is so because; a lie cannot pass basic test of logic and historical-fact evaluation whenever it is subjected to. In this analytical piece, I have subjected this story of Africa selling Africans into slavery to a test of ‘logical reasoning’ and ‘historic-fact evaluations’ in order to understand whether there is enough grounds to accept that Africa indeed sold Africans into slavery as we have been made to believe for centuries.
Logically, it is necessarily that we ask questions whenever a story of our own history is told to us. Basically, we need to be aware of at least, who originally wrote that history; for what purpose was it written; and for whose interests was it written to serve?
In the case of the story of Africa selling Africans into slavery, it is obvious that this story was not originally written by any African. Neither did the writings include the objective nor independent views of the black Africans (both at home and in the diaspora) at the time.
Taken into consideration, for example, the system that governed colonization and slave ownership made the act of educating the Black African an illegal action; it was forbidden therefore for slave owners or slave parents to teach their slave dependents how to read or write, let alone, allowing them to document by first hand, what was going on in their lives.
In effect, if the Africans were tightly prevented from keeping records of what is happening in their own lives, while at the same time, their colonizers were busily documenting these happenings, then, it is possible that the content of those documents many be for several purposes, but what is logically certain is that, none of these purposes was for/in the positive interest of the Black African. This definitely calls for the re-examination of our belief in what we read from the handiwork of the same slave master.
Another interesting scenario that needs a logical assessment in this story of Africa selling Africans into slavery is how the majority of the slave taken from Africa consistently come from relatively strongest group or tribes as can be seen in the case of Ghana and Nigeria where the majority of the slaves taken away come from the Akan and the Igbo tribe groups respectively.
Not only were the slaves coming from the most dominant tribes, those taken away into slavery were also the most muscled, healthy, and intelligent folks in the African society.
-It is on records that majority of slaves taken from Ghana to all the known slavery destinations come from the Akan tribe which is the largest tribe group in Ghana. As a result, the slave masters had to put stringent measures to ensure that the slaves do not continue to speak their Twi language or perform their common Akan traditions and cultures since they considered these practices as instruments that facilitate rebellion and revolts among these slaves.
Be that as it was, it would be unnatural that in an event of slave capturing and trading, the smaller groups/tribes would be the ones to capture and sell the larger and the most dominants counterparts. It is also unlikely that in the same event of slave capturing, the strongest and the most intelligent in the society will be the ones to fall victims at the hands of the less strong members of their society.
What is more likely to be the true case in point is that, those people taken from the African continent were largely, those who resisted the colonizers’ determination and actions to take over the economic and political powers in the civilized African society at the time.
Certainly, these dominant tribes and the strongest men and women were those who are likely to oppose the colonizers’ actions because, they formed a classes of the society that control major portions of economic and political powers; hence, the need to resist to protect their privileged positions. Consequently, It comes as no surprising that colonization of the African continent became possible only after the colonizers have succeeded in taken away these strong ‘men’ from the African society.
Logically, when in need of wildlife, no sane man will walk into the forest and then sit to negotiate with the animals and makes payments in exchange for his wants. This is so, because, the sane man ordinarily does not consider this wildlife to have rights to negotiations or exchange. Also, the tender of exchange to be offered by this sane man is likely to have no value for the animals in the wild to entice them to agree to the offer from the sane man.
If the above logic positions are true, then it is more likely that the colonizers’ story which tries to rope-in Africa into their barbaric and inhuman act against the children of Africa is untrue. Why am I saying so? First of all, these colonizers did not consider the African as a human. In fact, their historical descriptions of the African, as well as their legal documentations clearly indicate so. For example, when the Africans who were fiercely sent to America made an attempt to force the system to recognize them as humans, a legal framework which is known as “the 1787’s Three-Fifths Compromise Act” was passed and presented to clearly show the Negros, the category in which the colonizers place them. As the name suggest, the law state that the Negro is only considered as human, only to a point of 3/5 and not as a full human. There is no way the same person who does not consider us as humans will come and negotiates with us, and makes payments to us for what they wanted.
Additionally, in an event of trading and exchanging, the African societies which were self-sufficient and have no need for western lifestyle or an American dollar, were unlikely to sell their sons and daughters to some hungry people who were roaming around the world in search of food and of survival.
Empirically, one would be able to identify whether the story of Africa selling Africans into slavery is true or false when the following questions are fully and sincerely answered:
Did Africa take part in building any of the slave dungeons?
Did Africa take part in signing the Papal Bull in 1452 which prescribes that the none-believers must be enslaved because they have no souls?
Did Africa take part in building or buying the ships that transported the slaves?
Did Africa take part in changing the names of the slaves, baptizing and forcing them into alien religions and cultures?
Did Africa take part in throwing slaves in the ocean for insurance money?
Did Africa take part in labeling the slaves 3/5 of human beings?
Did Africa take part in raping and impregnating the women among the slaves to continue breeding for their plantations?
Did Africa take part either in forcing the slaves not to read or write, or not to own wealth?
Did Africa take part in partitioning the African continent among colonizers at the Berlin Conference in 1884?
If indeed, Africa sold Africans, what did the colonizers gave to Africa in an exchange for the millions of kings and queens they took away as slaves, and where are the evidences of the values they offered as exchange in the African society today?
In spite of the above analysis which exonerates Africa in the colonizers’ barbaric act against Africans, I acknowledge the fact that; there were some Africans or some ‘black-hands’ that aided the colonizers in capturing, torturing, and abusing our kings and queens into inhuman slavery. However, these black-hands were nothing but those people that the colonizers have already overpowered and enslaved. They were therefore acting under the colonizers’ forceful control and threats.
The role of these black aided-hands in enslaving other Africans can be compared to those Black Africans who were forced into working in the colonizers’ plantations when sent over the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, they aided the oppressor in his plantation but that is not a genuine aid but a force labour. Similarly, those who were working under the colonizers’ forceful control at home cannot said to have freely aid the colonizers to accomplish their interests. It is therefore wrong to base on this to rope-in Africa as an accomplice in slave capturing and forceful slave transportation.
Also, some concerned individuals have questioned recent reports from Libya which indicate that black people are being sold into slaves as not being an example of Africa selling Africans into Slavery? First, one needs to be aware of the fact that Libya is a land of Africa by history and by geography, however, no one need a special tutorial to know that the Libyans of today are invaders and colonizers. The same people who captured and enslaved Africans during the Arabs enslavement. It is therefore, not justifiable to burden Africa with their bad deeds.
Additionally, the recent Libya Enslavement is far different from the past colonization and enslavement of Africa by organized colonizers. Whereas the recent Libyan Enslavement is a criminal act, which occurred as a result the breakdown of law and order in Sovereign Libya, the past enslavement of Africans was a ‘legitimate’ act supported by institutionalized state laws and regulations. It is therefore wrong for anyone to try to even compare the two.
In all these, if Africa was innocent, then it is unlikely that the negative stories told about Africa’s role in slavery are true.
Unfortunately, the stories of slavery and slave trade have solely been told by the wicked slave master. As a result, he has painted every African on the Africa continent whom he did not take away from the African soil as a slave seller.
But the reality is that, both the African in the diaspora and those at home were all slaves to the same slave master during that period of his total dominance; except that he made selections based on his interests and needs and sent out the most fitting ones while keeping the rest on the African soil with the same faith!
It is time for us to come to recognize that this story is being told to make the oppressor looks less evil in the eyes of the oppressed and also, to create an unending animosity between the black population at home and those who were taken across the Atlantic Ocean.
By doing so, the colonizers have in their hands, a tool to prevent a possible reunification between the two groups.
Let us not allow the wicked man to still stand on our way for a reunification that will generate the needed force for a genuine emancipation of our black race.
The slave trade story is a scam which all black people have to know its intentions.
The people’s News