"Responsiblity and the Slave Trade" Wed Mar-16-05 03:54 PM by Mica
So basically everyone knows that Africans sold other Africans into slavery, right? And everyone basically knows that some people try to use this to justify that slavery shouldn't be considered so bad because of this fact, right? Okay, this is not what this post is about.
So in my Precolonial Africa class, my professor said that he believed that if the Africans had not sold these slaves to Europeans that the slave trade wouldn't have been as effective as it was. Do you agree with this? He also said that had Africa been a more wealthy continent and more technoligically advanced, that then also the slave trade would not have been so effective.
Now, if you agree with the idea that had the Africans not been so willing to sell (by the by I should say that the reason they were so willing was because they didn't look at it as selling their fellow brother or sister, but as selling neighbors and people they didn't know) then would you agree with the idea that parts of Africa should be held responsible for the atrocity that is slavery in America? If so, how should they be held responsible?
A couple of things I found interesting from what my professor told us was that the Africans (hard to generalize, I know) basically thought as of the Europeans as weak because they were always getting Yellow Fever and Malaria, so therefore it's not that they were intimidated by the Europeans and felt forced to sell slaves to them, it was that they saw the great potential profit aspect of it. Apparently there were some places Europeans wouldn't venture into because they didn't know the land, and this is contrary to the idea that they just came in and started snatching people up.
I thought it was interesting that of the Africans that did the selling of slaves to Europeans, they not only did that but had slaves of their own and sold slaves to other Africans.
Oh I should mention as I did before that it is tough to generalize, as of course there were Europeans that *did* venture into unknown territory and there were Africans who of course were totally against slavery. I'm not trying to paint some picture of "Hey, the it's all the Africans fault, if they had been stronger people the Europeans wouldn't stand a chance" That's not what I'm trying to say at all...