Tuesday, 1 November 2011


 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)
    • Gabon
    • Angola The british navy chased slavers across the oceans trying to bring a stop to slavery
3. The Angolan coast supplied nearly half the slaves sent to the Americas. Unlike European religions, most African religions were not based on sacred texts or scriptures, but rather on continuous revelation.
2. Most areas did not create a religious orthodoxy or have an entrenched priesthood.
3. Most African religions recognized a variety of supernatural beings.
4. Religious practice focused on contact between this world and the other world, typically through augury, divination, prophecy, and spirit mediumship. Slavery had been important in the medieval empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, and slave exports had supplemented the export of gold.
4. Although African slavery was not a benign institution, slaves in Africa were used in a wider variety of ways than in the New World: they were employed as agricultural workers, soldiers, servants, and officials.
5. The great majority of slaves sold to Europeans were not slaves in Africa; they were usually recent war captives or victims of banditry and judicial proceedings.
6. Even under harsh chattel slavery, manumission was possible for a significant number of slaves and slaves usually had a right to keep any monetary earnings and buy their freedom.
7. Multi-generational slavery was uncommon; in part this reflected the fact that most African slaves were women.
8. During the early years of enslavement, African slaves usually worked under supervision. Then many became "allotment slaves," who worked five or six days until about 2 p.m. on the master's lands, and in the evenings and on their days off, worked their own plots. In the third stage settled slaves spent most of their time working their land in exchange for a fixed obligation, usually what it took to feed an adult male for a year.Myth: Slavery is a product of capitalism.
Fact: Slavery is older than the first human records.
Myth: Slavery is a product of Western Civilization.
Fact: Slavery is virtually a universal institution.

Myth: Slavery in the non-western world was a mild, benign, and non-economic institution.
Fact: Slaves were always subject to torture, sexual exploitation, and arbitrary death.

Myth: Slavery was an economically backward and inefficient institution.
Fact: Many of the most progressive societies in the world had slaves.

Myth: Slavery was always based on race.
Fact: Not until the 15th century was slavery associated primarily with people of African descent.

Myth: Europeans physically enslaved Africans or hired mercenaries who captured people for export or that African rulers were "Holocaust abettors" who were themselves to blame for the slave trade.
Fact: Europeans did engage in some slave raiding; the majority of people who were transported to the Americas were enslaved by Africans in Africa.Myth: Most slaves were imported into what is now the United States
Fact: Well over 90 percent of slaves from Africa were imported into the Caribbean and South America
Myth: Slavery played a marginal role in the history of the Americas
Fact: African slaves were the only remedy for the labor shortages that plagued Europe's New World dominions.
Fact: Slave labor made it profitable to mine for precious metal and to harvest sugar, indigo, and tobacco; slaves taught whites how to raise such crops as rice and indigo.
Myth: Europeans arrived in the New World in far larger numbers than did Africans.
Fact: Before 1820, the number of Africans outstripped the combined total of European immigrants by a ratio of 3, 4, or 5 to 1.
Myth: The first slaves arrived in what is now the U.S. in 1619
Fact: Slaves arrived in Spanish Florida at least a century before 1619 and a recently uncovered census shows that blacks were present in Virginia before 1619.

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