Was Slavery Black People’s Fault?

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Well I am sure this is just the first in a series of posts that I will be doing on my new fan who going by the name Zewb on Live Journal who has created a site titled The White Sentinel. This person was so enthralled with my writing that they decided they had to do a version for the white man. I would say that I am flattered but since this is one of my many racist visitors coming from a racist site called Encyclopedia Dramatica who talked about me in a post of theirs about Resident Evil 5, I actually could care less.

Yet since they have offered to have a lot of their so called friends visit my site for such a lively debate then let’s look at the first post that The White Sentinel has up is titled Slavery is black peoples fault. Unfortunately it was extremely poorly written and with such little if anything to back up the lame content whatsoever. I did expect more since if I were coming out with a counter to someone else’s site, I would make damn sure that the content in those posts would be overwhelming.

First of all White Sentinel believes that my site is a hate site aimed at hating whites. That is a problem with some white mindset people they always feel that anything that sheds light on how things “really” are, they get angry and chalk it up to hate. I don’t hate anyone and I don’t write my Blog to bash white people. I write my Blog to get black people to actually think about the position we are in, why we are in it and how we should be working to get out of it. Now how is that hateful? Now is it my fault that the source of the problems can be traced back to a white mindset? So his/her plan is to counter my pointing out racism with blatant hate speech.

They then go on to write extremely fallible information to try and show how slavery was black peoples fault. He/she starts off with: Everyone seems to believe that the evil white people sailed across the sea to Africa, abducted a bunch of black people, and put them to work in the cotton fields, but that’s simply not what happened. What really happened was the Africans sold their own people into slavery. African kings would wage wars against neighboring states and sell captives to Europeans, who would in turn, sell them to the Americas. Now this is just ridiculous, how did the Europeans get the slaves, by mail order? Of course they had help from some of the African’s to get the slaves, which have never been in question. Yet, the Jews helped the Nazi’s do their thing and no one says that Jews are responsible for the Holocaust. American’s helped train Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda members yet no one blames America for the crimes of 9/11.

So where exactly is he/she going with this? If the Europeans didn’t get the slaves through mail order then they surely must have gotten them from a passing African ship that just happened to be a delivery service for slaves are us. We all know how the slaves came to be in Europeans possession so let’s just move on. Next they go to “The African kings made so much money doing this that they began waging wars for the sole purpose of capturing and selling their own African brethren.” Right because the African Kings didn’t already have whatever they needed at their disposal; it took a bunch of Europeans to give them riches. We don’t really even need to go any further into that one as it is ridiculous. I am sure that the trade was welcome and Africans and Europeans had two different ideas of what enslavement was.

Moving right along they go on to say “White people didn’t enslave anyone. They simply bought slaves that the Africans had captured in war. See now isn’t that just a feel good statement. My ancestors never enslaved anyone; they got them like that already. Yeah, OK let’s go with that then. Since they got them as slaves did that mean they had to continue with it? If they were such a holy and righteous folk, wouldn’t that be against their religion and let them free? I guess not, I guess they just had to take them since the African kings forced those slaves on them.

Those poor Europeans must have said “what, we didn’t come here for slaves; we just came for the beach.” When the Africans got their spears and forced the slaves on them and they went along with it out of sheer terror. How terrible for those Europeans who have been so maligned by this whole slavery fiasco. This whole thing has been just a big misunderstanding and I think the blacks owe them an apology.

Oh, but it gets even better next is “If anything, those captured slaves were lucky; if I had the choice between working in a cotton field and having my limbs hacked off with a machete, I’d put on my overalls and get to work. Yes, those slave were lucky alright, to be saved from crazy machete wielding Africans that didn’t actually have access to any machetes yet. But, hey don’t let that stop them. Yet, we all know that white slave owners frequently used farm tools to hack off the limbs of African slaves who dared to want their freedom. Not to mention that it was considered a disease called “Drapetomania” by Samuel Cartwright (you can read more on Brotherpeacemaker’s “A lifetime of propaganda” when a slave had the nerve to want freedom.

Those great white slave owners treated those slaves like royalty. Why they raped and beat them. Slave owners forced them to never use their mother tongue, or religion lest they be punished severely. The slave master actually decided that they didn’t need clothes so rags would do, and shoes, they didn’t need no stinking shoes. How about food, “ah just give whatever we won’t or don’t eat” is what they were saying. Also, it didn’t matter if the food was rotten such as clabber milk (sour milk), a staple in most black homes or the shacks that they were allowed to cram themselves in.

But, we know that the slave master was so good to them slaves, so good that they refused to let them go because they loved them so much. I am sure that The White Sentinel would love to have put on their overalls and gone right to camp slavery since it was just a big picnic in the park. If I sound like I am being facetious, well you got me. I can’t help but to do so, as this is just plain stupid. So I just could barely answer this post without being so facetious. So take it with a grain of salt and know that this White Sentinel is just nonsense.

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92 Comments

Filed under African, African American, Black community, Black Culture, Black Family, Black People, Culture, Diversity, Integration, Minorities, Personal, Propaganda, Racism, Random, Rant, Slavery, Stupid Guy, Subjugation, Thoughts

92 responses to “Was Slavery Black People’s Fault?

  1. lifeisannoying

    too damn right! people read up on history, after the moorish explusion from spain spain in 1482 the portuguese built the notorious slave castle Elmina, the local king Kwame ansa refused the right of the portugese being on his land and his village was sacked and burned to the ground…. doesn’t sound like willing co operation to me. earlier in 1441 Antam Goncalves (portuguese) sailed to Rio de oro on the southern coast of morroco and kidnapped tweleve african fishermen from the beach and presnted them to the portuguese court for the disposal of Prince henry of Portugal. this was not a trade… it was a travesty.
    Where am i getting this source material …
    “when we ruled” by Robin walker
    published by Every Generation Media
    £30
    availible from: http://www.whenweruled.com
    Isbn: 0-9551068-0-x

    i could go on, but i feel that you al should buy this man’s book just for the knowledge it will impart to you.

  2. theblacksentinel

    Lifeisannoying,

    I agree that the book sounds like it should be a part of my families collection and will definitely be getting a copy.

    Also, what you were saying didn’t sound like cooperative trade to me either. But, hey I guess some people want to cling to propaganda to lessen the sting of their ancestors Machiavellian involvement in one of the greatest crimes against humanity.

    Thanks for the reply.

  3. jennifer

    Take a history lesson or 2 at university then come back and rewrite your blogs when you have your facts straight.
    People like you are the ones giving others bad names, but what do you care, as long as you make yourself and your race look better right?
    Boo Hoo, I think all you people need to get over it. Yall have no good reason, no straight FACTS, but keep on cryin’

  4. theblacksentinel

    Jennifer,

    “You People need to get over it.” Yep, now this is exactly what I am Blogging about, but I guess you would say that you don’t have a racist bone in your body.

    Thanks for the tip Jennifer, but I obviously have gone to a University, but it is also obvious that you have not. So if you want facts just look them up for yourself.

    What are you cryin’ about, does slavery make “you people” look bad. Aww sweetie does hearing the twoof make your wittle head hurt? I can’t give a bad name to people who gave themselves a bad name through their actions.

    I WILL get over it when “you people” get over it.

    Thanks for the ignorant comment, you prove the points I try to make with my Blog posts.

  5. Brandon

    I think we as Black People should wage war against white people. I think we should kill them for what are ancestors suffered. They owe us and i dont feel any remorse.

  6. theblacksentinel

    Brandon,

    I can’t share your sentiment since it will accomplish nothing. We could wage war but what would that get us? Nothing, of course. We would have more problems then we have now. Plus not ALL whites are THE problem and the ones that would be hurt in the fray would be the ones who aren’t the problem.

    I think that whites are complacent to their white privilege positions, yet that alone does not equal a death sentence. Not to mention the people who would need to be punished are long gone. We need to concentrate on either ending white dominance and by no means do I mean with violence. Or by separating into our own space where white dominance serves no purpose.

    Separation wouldn’t work well either since most blacks seem to be seriously engrossed in white dominated society as it stands. So whatever we do it would have to be as a unit and shouldn’t involve waging war.

    Thanks for the comment.

  7. Jay

    After the whites then arabs will be the next to go, then black brown unity will dissapear and black america and africa will take over south america. Alright, I’m going to ask HOW white’s could enslave blacks without black involvement in Africa. Whites are SEVERELY outnumbered on someone elses turf. Whites weren’t immune from African disease like Africans so they’d die from disease, and how the hell is some nobleman who’s never cut his own damn steak in his life going to catch someone who runs every day over long distances to kill a lion to wear it’s skin or to kill stuff for food? As bad as slaves in the day had it it’s still better then how arabs treated there slaves, they would CASTERATE there slaves and the middle east TO THIS DAY has institutionalized slavery. Fuck bin laden even used the term “Abid”, just for this every black person needs to print out a picture of bin laden and burn it. Besides why do white people who happen to be racist tend to be outcast within there own communities? And why would white congresspeople take the time to LISTEN to Dr. King and institute affirmative action laws and pass hate crime bills? In other countries if slaves weren’t needed anymore they’d round them up and kill them, not in America though. In China they killed there African slaves after a certain time. We are all Americans and as Obama said ” There should be a UNITED America!” People are going to see a weak and seperated America instead of looking at the past at slavery look to the future and notice a black man running for president and a black man a top general in the military, not to mention that some states have black mayors, governors and congresspeople.

  8. Jay,

    Are you saying that we SHOULD be thankful that we are descended from “American” slaver vs some other country’s slavery? Give me a break, OK. Slavery was ridiculous in America and everywhere else.

    And you can cry about African’s having a hand in slavery all you like. I will agree with you. But does that excuse it? Does that make it somehow OK? NOPE! One analogy I love to use is Jews helped the Nazi’s does that now make the holocaust less than because hey they didn’t have to suffer like the Africans from the diaspora.

    Please. It doesn’t matter. You are simplifying everything. Government did not listen to MLK because they loved blacks or had open minds.

    If government and people like yourself love blacks so much and racists are on the outs then why do blacks wages are only 78% of white people’s wages? Could it be all those racists on the outskirts of white society doing this to us?

    Racism is institutionalized in this country. It is practiced in ALL facets of our lives. Open your eyes.

    Thanks for the reply.

  9. Every white person that thinks slavery is black peoples fault is a bigot. And all of your college education comes from other ignorant white people, well heres one for you. Some people knew that white people would pull this and recorded the true history from surviving slaves some who were kidnapped by arab and white people. These books are known as The Slave Narratives. That along with any books by Joel August Rogers will get you the truth.

    Any person that thinks the subversion of a people is their fault own fault, lacks understanding and cannot right divide the truth.

  10. brittnay

    this is my comment towards “the white sentinel”

    ok just to start out… in the title it says E.D. Nixon and in the last paragraph it says that as well… but through the rest of this post it say E.G. so im just curious which is right. im a white female and i read the black sentinel. im much more a fan of it than of your “white sentinel”. the black sentinel is not aimed at whites and is not a racist blog. if anything, youre the racist. i do not agree with slavery at all, but it wasn’t the blacks faults. they really had no choice. they were sold and then boarded upon ships because that would make OUR, the whites, work easier.
    Men would rather be starving and free than fed in bonds. —Pearl S. Buck
    and abraham lincoln said “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong
    impulse to see it tried on him personally. “
    i agree with that statement to the fullest. i believe that you never really know what its like unless you have walked a thousand miles in someone else’s shoes, and even then you only have a fraction of their view, pain, and understanding.
    if you were put into bondage and became a slave to a black person, you would think twice about everything you say, do, and feel. our country of white americans were the racist ones, not the blacks. and i believe that even now they have all the reason to hold that grudge. while our country is still unbelievable racist i believe that we are working towards it, and when racism is gone it will be a better tomorrow. by that i mean when people who view things the way you do get a taste of life without all of the wonderful things you have on a daily basis, our world will be on a better road to success.
    thats my story and im sticking to it like a wet noodle to a wall. get a life and stop harassing people with your racist blog.
    -brittnay

  11. John

    First off blacks were a part of the slave trade. Slavery was and still is a large factor in parts of Africa, not all but in some parts slavery still goes on today. The fact of the matter is that most white americans are from immigrants that came over the Irish had nothing to do with slavery the Polish and such. The saying every white person had to do with slavery is a line that people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton use to get money. The problem with the topic is if you say anything true about slavery you are called a racist by people white and black that have no idea about what really went on. No one is educated in the US when people care more about what some celebrity is doing that what is going on in the world. Slavery was everywhere in every part of the world. In Europe with the fedual system, Asia World War II Japan forced Koreans to work in factories to build for the army and navy of Japan. During WWII people from Japan that lived in America were put in camps, but I never hear them say anything about it. No Irish need apply that was a big part of America for almost 100 years the hatred for the Irish. Still do you hear any other group bring up what happend to them in the past, no you do not

  12. John,

    Give me a break please. We ALL know that Africans were involved in the slave trade. Your arguments are as old as time. That is no surprise, its as if you people take these statements from some handbook you pass amongst each other. Anyway, what they have and had in Africa before Europeans was indentured servitude. This was practiced all over the world.

    You claim that blacks are the only one that complain about the past. Well do you go and tell the Jews that other Jews were involved in the Holocaust and I know that I hear about the Holocaust constantly. Where are you and your buddies to tell them that “hey, Jews were involved with that so shut up”?

    You do hear the Japanese complaining even though they were given REPARATIONS for what happened to them. Also, Irish are white and once they started losing their accents they were accepted as any other white. Were blacks accepted after slavery, how about after Jim Crow, how about after blatant racism and discrimination. Or is discrimination still affected people today?

    Do the Irish get turned away for being Irish NOW? And as far as slavery goes again. There has never been any type of slavery system that we had in America. At least the people in Africa and elsewhere were able to be freed in their lifetime. Did you have that in America for the majority? Or were they enslaving whole families for decades?

    So you claim that no one else is bringing up what happened to them but then you bring up the Irish, Japanese, Koreans and whoever else. So I guess you just proved that yes those incidents are STILL brought up. Not to mention do you go and bother the Japanese when they have remembrances for their struggle in the internment camps? Oh yeah, they don’t bring it up anymore I forgot.

    What has been done to make up for slavery? Jews, Chinese, Japanese and many others who were maligned were made whole through reparations, so what was done for the African Americans? Where is or was the apology? What happen to those slaves 40 acres and a mule? Nope nothing but a kick in the but and another 166 years of Jim Crow laws.

    Thanks, but no thanks for the reply

  13. Ariel

    I just found this website and reading through this I have been very surprised. I am assuming that all of you are adults, and the fact that you are arguing/debating whose fault the slavery of the America’s pitiful. In all truth it doesn’t matter who is the fault or blame, the fact that people (blacks and native’s) were hurt is the problem. That people were dehumanized and brutalized, and still to this day are dealing with mental trauma of it is the issue. For my black people we need to face the fact that we were used, that no one gives a shit about us, and we are never going to be reimbursed for the debt that is owed to our families our ancestors, we have to move on not forget but acknowledge it and persevere. And all I have to say about this White Sentinel article and the above John comments is that it is very obvious that you all are not as deep as you think. Since when did Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton become the sole voice for the black community? Maybe if you relax a little and didn’t feel so threatened by some of the things you read on this blog, maybe you could have a calm relaxed conversation with a conscious person of color who is aware of their history you wouldn’t feel so attacked and you might learn something. You should realize how aggravating it is to always be on the outside, to always have your guard up it can make people angry and frustrated recognize that, would you talk to an Irish person about the British rule of their country or their history of mistreatment, would you be so careless with their feelings concerning their want to be independent , I have Irish friends and they respect my culture and I respect theirs. Why is it so difficult to be truthful with one another ?

  14. Ariel,

    It is too difficult to be truthful with one another is because they feel a sense of shame about the history facts. Yet feel no shame about what happened to the Irish through British rule. It is harder to trace their roots to Britain but only a few generations back their families probably owned slaves or at least profited because there were slaves in America.

    And to answer your question as to why this conversation is being had is because history is being rewritten as we speak. It is no longer true history to say that whites were involved in the slave trade. Now the facts are being skewed to say that the Spaniards and Africans themselves were the only slave traders. Whites are just innocent bystanders who just happened to be offered slaves and they had no choice but take them.

    Remember that history is written by the victor. We know that we were not the victor in this situation but we do have voices to keep our history as well as our connected history from being misconstrued.

    Thanks for the reply

  15. yazmin

    Yea SOME of you guys are right………..and yea SOME Africans did contribute to slavery, does is make it right? HELL NO!!! what whites did was a totally different type of slavery they degraded us so bad that three hundred and something years later blacks are still scared…..so don’t come saying all that bull shit “its black peoples fault” because its not………but in not gonna be like some people and say “kill all white people” because that is totally wrong i still have respect for whites like i do all people of any racist or religion but for all racist people you guys can KISS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Erin

    I like what you have to say, blacksentinel. I will not say that I identify with your plight EXACTLY, because I can’t. Only perhaps to some degree, because my ancestors were native american, my great-grandmother was the last “pure” Cherokee descendant in my family. (There are supposed to be others, but without existing records, searching has become VERY frustrating… ugg!) Slavery was attempted with the natives, but was far too difficult to maintain partly because the natives were on their own turf, and the colonists were strangers. That was only one in a hundred reasons why they chose Africans instead, because of the unfamiliar lands they’d be forced to labor… I’m sure you knew this already. ^_^

    I think what I’m trying to say is that I can understand the bitterness, even with different pasts. Your ancestors were enslaved and dehumanized, and mine were nearly wiped out. Both deplorable actions against humanity. And I’m also very appreciative that you have brought this intelligent commentary instead of the many angry and bigoted rants I have seen in the past (this goes for ANY race/color.) Many thanks.

  17. cyrus

    hey you lot just to clarify i my self am physicaly black, not all my ancestors are on my mums side theres a spanish guy, on my dads side theres a scottish guy so therefore on a technicality if the slave trade hadnt happened i wouldnt exist and also i get that you feel black people are being prosecuted for the slave trade and whites are just taking credit for stuff they never did (as useual 😦 ) but in my opinion the main people to blame are the british they killed off people in new zealand, irland,australia ,india, n obviously africa in my opinion every one should just blame them and get on with it. if your american its most likely your desendant of some polish guy who at the time of slavery was either poor or tryin to leave their country. but any way i my self am part scottish and am fond of white people.

    i must be honest though i do know one racist guy that goes to ym school but its towards me n its kinda like he doesnt realise hes doin it but as i said erlyer dudes english

  18. eb

    Jennifer go to the nearest building and jump off k

  19. what the fuk is there fuking prob man i mean that how there so cruel to blacks look at how they sacrificed jesus on the cross and they call there selves christians when there killikng there own brother or sister

  20. Mrs.Africa

    It’s very sad that we as a people had to go through all the things that we were put through.But what’s even worse is that we are still dealing with the after affects today.I believe that because black people were enslaved and not allowed to educate themselves in any kind of way (except to learn how to take care of our slave masters) that that’s way many black people are so far behind in life today as far as education,finances, family, and so many other areas in life goes.It’s a proven fact that a child’s success depends on their parents success.Therefore, because slave masters did hold our ancestors back for so many generations we as black people are so far behind.And i really wish that we could wake up and smell the coffee, when a white and black person are working towards the same goal the black person has to work ten times harder than the white person and sometimes their still discriminated against. I don’t like when blacks use that as an excuse for not being successful in life because if you work hard enough nothing is impossible,but on that same note it is true black people are held back a lot we just have to work around that and it’s o.k because we’re used to it. I just hope that we as a people can remember our past so that we can certainly not repeat it, but better our future.

  21. Mrs.Africa

    And as far as slavery being black people’s fault, the statement is so stupid that it doesn’t even deserve a response.

  22. because slave masters did hold our ancestors back for so many generations we as black people are so far behind

    This was beautifully said, Mrs. Africa! Too many people forget to draw the connections between the experience of slavery (and everything which followed) and the present day.

    as far as slavery being black people’s fault, the statement is so stupid that it doesn’t even deserve a response

    With all due respect, I think that statement does deserve a response.

    It’s true that Africans were integrally involved in the slave trade. No Europeans (or Americans) are known to have captured slaves in Africa; they traded on the coasts with African kings and their representatives, who arranged to capture fellow Africans or to purchase enslaved persons from deeper inside the continent.

    So there’s plenty of blame to go around.

    If we fail to acknowledge this historical reality, out of a mistaken belief that this somehow gets whites “off the hook” for racism today, we’re just handing the issue over to the bigots. They can then dismiss slavery and racism by saying that slavery was somehow “black people’s fault” because Africans were involved, and those who don’t know any better will believe this nonsense.

  23. I should mention that I’ve been to several of the slave forts along the coast of Africa, and I’ve spoken with local community leaders in those areas. They are quick to acknowledge the responsibility of their ancestors for selling the slaves to European and American traders for profit, and they freely admit that this is what made the slave trade possible at all.

    If only more whites in this country could so freely acknowledge the historical responsibility of their ancestors, and our entire society, for slavery and the slave trade, we might be able to start addressing the legacy of that past today.

  24. James,

    While I agree that Africans should take responsibility for their part in the slave trade. I don’t think that their part made it possible. You can’t have a trade of any sort until their is a demand for a product.

    I don’t think that the Europeans landed on the African shore and a bunch of Africans ran up and started offering other Africans up in chains. The Europeans took the indentured servitude in that country to another level.

    But you are so right that ALL races involved need to take their part in the responsibility. We would be able to address the legacy as you said. Well said and thank you for the reply.

  25. I don’t think that their part made it possible. You can’t have a trade of any sort until their is a demand for a product.

    Perhaps this is a language issue. You can’t have a trade without both supply and demand. So, naturally, there would have been no transatlantic slave trade without a demand for slaves … nor would there have been such a trade without a supply of slaves from the African side.

    So I think it’s fair to say that both sides made the trade possible.

    I don’t think that the Europeans landed on the African shore and a bunch of Africans ran up and started offering other Africans up in chains.

    Not quite, sure.

    But Africa had been engaging in slavery for thousands of years, and the trans-saharan slave trade from Africa to the Middle East had already transported millions and millions of slaves, before Europeans became involved in transporting any slaves in the other direction.

    So it’s not as if the Europeans introduced Africans to the concept of buying and selling slaves, nor as if Africans knew only indentured servitude before the Europeans came along.

    Thanks so much for your patience with this difficult topic, Black Sentinal, as always!

  26. James ,

    You’re the ish to the 10th power!!

  27. James,

    It is a fallacy that Africans were practicing “slavery” for thousands years. They were practicing indentured servitude and assimilation as were the Europeans and everyone else, for years.

    The slavery that we know today is not only quite a bit different than what Africans were practicing, it is one of a kind. American “slaves” were being held for generations and their children were not only born into slavery they were sold or traded like stock.

    African servitude was just the same as all other servitudes. The persons service had a beginning and an end. Their children were NOT indentured servants as birth, they were born free. And once the person married into the new tribe, showed assimilation to the new tribe or their debt was paid they were free to go or join the community.

    So this does not entail “slavery” as propaganda WANTS us to believe that Africans engaged in, when it was nothing more than the same servitude as everyone else. This is just another way to make it seem “not so bad since they were doing it to those people as well.” We constantly want to paint this picture of the African as a blood thirsty savage who taught the Europeans a dastardly form of slavery that they had no idea existed until they hit the mother lands shores. This is the problem with history, it is rewritten by those who committed the atrocities that they now want to sugar coat.

    Thanks for the reply.

  28. James,

    Also, unless you want to call the indentured servants that were sent to America by the thousands from Europe during the time America was still a colony as slaves. Then we need to remember that EVERY country in the world has practiced some form of servitude. Only the United States of America took servitude to the next level and it became something beyond just slavery or servitude. They entered into the game violence seen in NO other country and it became a holocaust.

    I just wanted to throw that in. I am not saying that Africans or Europeans introduced either to the concept of buying or selling humans. I am saying that the concept of slavery as known in America is the ONLY form of slavery that has been done on generations of people.

    Thanks

  29. It is a fallacy that Africans were practicing “slavery” for thousands years.

    We don’t need to get into a debate about this, Black Sentinel, if you don’t want to. But that’s simply not true. Some societies in Africa practiced indentured servitude at various times, for instance, while other practiced full-blown slavery (and some, of course, still do).

    It is true, of course, that the slavery practiced in the American colonies (and, later, the United States) had unique characteristics. But I think you’re confusing several different concepts: the difference between indentured servitude and slavery, for instance, with the difference between slavery and chattel slavery; or the specific issue of whether the children of slaves are themselves slaves. Chattel slavery, as well as intergenerational slavery, were widely practiced throughout the Americas, as well as in parts of Africa. And, of course, African societies sold millions and millions of fellow Africans into intergenerational slavery in the Arab world.

    This is just another way to make it seem “not so bad since they were doing it to those people as well.”

    I completely agree with you that many people raise this issue for precisely this reason, and that’s entirely wrong.

    However, it’s also true that some people have made false historical arguments about Africa, for precisely the same reason: to try to alter how people make judge moral judgments different groups.

    This is why it’s essential to stick to the findings of genuine historical scholarship, and to resist the temptation to alter the facts or to allow anyone to make these kinds of judgments based on how others may have behaved.

    Just to be perfectly clear that I’m not using this as a smoke-screen for trying to get white people “off the hook,” I’m involved in a documentary airing nationally on PBS next month, focused entirely on telling the history of slavery and the slave trade in the U.S., and raising consciousness about the responsibility of whites for this history.

    Far from “sugar coating” anything, we use the history of my family to explicitly uncover the sugar-coated myths, especially in the northern states, which have hidden much of the true horror of slavery and the responsibility of the entire nation. The film doesn’t, in any way, lay blame on Africans for complicity in the trade, although we do interview an African historian who is quick to acknowlege that Africans did play an essential role in the slave trade.

    We constantly want to paint this picture of the African as a blood thirsty savage who taught the Europeans a dastardly form of slavery that they had no idea existed until they hit the mother lands shores.

    That’s a fair point! Let me just acknowledge that while I’ve said that Africans had been practicing slavery, they in no way taught Europeans anything new about slavery. The Europeans didn’t need to learn any of that, and in fact, it’s true that Europeans often practiced a particularly vile form of slavery, exceeding that practiced by many African societies.

    Only the United States of America took servitude to the next level and it became something beyond just slavery or servitude.

    Actually, I think if you’ll take a look at slavery as practiced through the New World, in what is now the Caribbean and Latin America, you’ll see that slavery in those regions was equally horrible. It’s true that U.S. slavery had some nasty features not usually present elsewhere in the Americas, but those regions also had terrible aspects to slavery that weren’t present in the U.S.

    They entered into the game violence seen in NO other country and it became a holocaust.

    I don’t want to excuse the U.S. for anything, since its form of slavery was equally horrible, just, as I’ve said, in its own ways. But the U.S. was one of the few societies involved in the transatlantic slave trade where the population of slaves actually increased over time. In most slave-owning societies in the Americas, the mortality rate of slaves was much higher, and the birth rate much lower, such that there really was a holocaust among the enslaved populations (beyond the mortality on the Middle Passage, of course) and many slaves needed to be imported from Africa just to keep up the slave populations at all.

    I am not saying that Africans or Europeans introduced either to the concept of buying or selling humans.

    I appreciate that, and I’m sure we’re not as far apart here as it may sound. I did want to emphasize, though, that slavery in the U.S. is not the only form of slavery that has been inter-generational. This was the case, for instance, throughout the Americas, and in many other societies across the world and throughout history (including societies within Africa).

  30. James,

    I appreciate that you are not trying to let America off the “hook” so to speak. I would however love to know where the information is inependent of American historians who speak of these millions of people who were sold in the same never ending multi generational slavery in Arab countries. I do agree that Arab countries engaged in slavery and still do today. Yet, I am sure that there are some that mimic the slavery we have known in the U.S. But, I don’t believe it is as widespread as most people say.

    I am excited to see your PBS historical account of slavery as I do like to see these types of programming. However I have yet to see a historical documentation of slavery that was produced and chronicled ALL African Americans. And this is sad that we can’t even get our stories told from our perspective. That in no way is a reflection on what you are about to put out there. It still needs to be told and seen.

    I agree that the U.S. was great at growing their slave population. Yet, I don’t believe it was because of their great treatment. It was more in the way of having better breeding methods. Which is exactly what our country did best. The slave master breeding himself with the slaves as well.

    Also, I am sure that other countries had slavery that was equally horrible since slavery is horrible. Yet, slavery in the U.S. lingered far beyond that in Caribbean and elsewhere. Also, I would love to know what horrible practices they had that were not being practiced here. I believe that they were on equal footing yet like I said ours lingered well past everyone else’s. Of course not withstanding your assertion of Arab/African slave trade.

    Also, I still need to know where the information is that is NOT produced by the U.S. to show the inter-generational slavery that has gone one for four, five maybe six generations or more. Even in the Arab slave trade the children born to slaves are NOT slaves themselves.

    I got this from Wikipedia trying to locate a book for you. “Owen ‘Alik Shahadah author of African Holocaust… argues that the trade only boomed in the 18th century, prior to this the trade was “a trickle trade” and that exaggerated numbers have been claimed in order to de-emphasize the Transatlantic trade.”

    I do think that we both agree that no matter where or who had slaves the practice is a sickening one. We are in denial as to the horrible lingering problems that this act has had on ALL black people the world over. Whoever is to blame may not solve the fact that blacks have been damaged and nothing has been done to restore them to their original luster. No, this is not a call for a handout. But it IS a call to say that damaged people rear damaged people and on and on it goes. We have to stop the cycle.

    Thanks.

  31. Since this is a lengthy reply, let me start by saying that I think this is a fascinating exchange, Black Sentinel. And I think your final paragraph is beautifully written.

    I would however love to know where the information is inependent of American historians who speak of these millions of people who were sold in the same never ending multi generational slavery in Arab countries.

    I haven’t seen any differences between U.S. and non-U.S. scholars on this, but if you prefer non-U.S. sources, you could see Albert Hourani, A History of the Arab Peoples (Belknap Press, 1991), pp. 116-17, or The Slave Trade: The Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870 (Simon & Schuster, 1997).

    You keep referring to multi-generational slavery as “U.S. slavery.” I want to make sure that I’ve been clear: this was the pattern of slavery throughout the Americas, of which U.S. slavery only made up less than 10%, and throughout much of the world. (Often, multi-generational slavery was not chattel slavery, which was a more distinctively European invention, and a terrible one.)

    I have yet to see a historical documentation of slavery that was produced and chronicled ALL African Americans.

    And, alas, our documentary takes a different approach, one which I think is also badly needed, but which will not focus on the experiences of African-Americans directly.

    Since I’m in daily contact with PBS staff about these issues, however, please tell me more about what you’d like to see in terms of chronicling “ALL African Americans.” Are you thinking of particular groups who are often left out of historical accounts? (I’m thinking, for instance, of Don Cheadle, who was startled in a recent PBS documentary to learn that his black ancestors were held as slaves in this country … but were not owned by whites.) Or are you thinking more generally about broad, comprehensive histories that cover all the different experiences more thoroughly?

    It was more in the way of having better breeding methods.

    That’s a fair guess, I’d say. I don’t want to pretend that it was done out of loving kindness, Christian charity, or even mere sympathy or a sense of humanity.

    But African American scholars have argued that, unlike most slavery in this hemisphere, U.S. slavery was particularly brutal about separating families and destroying religious, cultural, and linguistic ties to Africa … but was less physically harsh. For instance, slaves weren’t often worked to death or under-nourished, which were problems that kept cropping up elsewhere. (I’m thinking, for example, of Cuba, where I’ve visited the ruins of slave plantations and talked with local historians. Spanish slavery could be especially violent and lethal.)

    Yet, slavery in the U.S. lingered far beyond that in Caribbean and elsewhere.

    Actually, the U.S. outlawed the slave trade before most nations, and abolished slavery long before most regions in this hemisphere. Cuba and Brazil, for instance, continued these practices long after the U.S. did, and they were typical.

    I would love to know what horrible practices they had that were not being practiced here.

    I guess I addressed that briefly above, but it wasn’t unusual to find slaves dying after relatively short periods of “service,” due to overwork and under-feeding. Slave owners in Latin America and the Caribbean would, in fact, often deliberately work their slaves to death to maximize short-term profits, or because new slaves were cheaper than properly treating slaves over the long term, or because social norms encouraged brutality. There’s simply no way to explain the much higher rates of survival, reproduction, and population growth in the U.S. without accepting that such behavior was much less common here (even as other kinds of treatment, which didn’t affect life, birth, and death, could be much harsher in the U.S.).

    Even in the Arab slave trade the children born to slaves are NOT slaves themselves.

    That depended on where the slaves ended up, as not all Arab (or other Muslim) societies treated slaves identically. But in most Arab or Muslim countries during that trade, the children born to slaves were themselves slaves. See Hourani, whom I cited above, pp. 116-17. He does note that slaves who converted to Islam were supposed to be freed, which explains why slaves were sometimes freed, in individual cases, in some Islamic societies … and why slaves often weren’t allowed to convert to Islam at all.

  32. James,

    Thank you!! Finally someone who did not take my asking for books or references to their statements as a lead off to name calling. I will definitely check these books out as I am always looking to further my knowledge on the things I try and write about. And this might be able to help me to advance my purpose.

    As for the PBS thing it sounds great. I actually watched a reading of the slave narrative and that was the most interesting thing I have seen so far. Also, I would like to see what happened in Africa and what helped facilitate slavery on their end. Because there were Africans in Europe etc. before the slave trade. So how did things come to be the way they were.

    Agreed with the slave treatment as there would have to be a plethora of treatments and actions for slaves and their owners no matter the area. And also agreed upon that slave birth was definitely dependent upon the area. I am just saying that here it didn’t matter if you were a slave in Mississippi or Georgia the game was pretty much the same. Yet you do make some interesting points.

    Thank you, indeed this is a great exchange about a very important topic.

  33. Anonymous

    Good awakening post. Excellent analysis. Keep it up.

  34. Anonymous,

    Thanks for the support. I will definitely keep it up.

  35. i think it is very unfair 2 blame slvery on coloured people . its unfair.

  36. The thing is am black yh and i think its unfair to like put black people on slavery, we are all humans aint we? and why wack us with stick that has metal blades at the end of it? WHY!!!

    the main thing is it isnt basicly our fault that savery happened it was YOUR FAULT (whites)

    B’cos we shared out food propertys and gold to you and becuase of th gold you turned on us we did good for you and all you can do is hit us till our skins are bleeding and crying out help from good

    isit worth it?
    i’ve got alot of corrage to back this up from my history class so you betta not start declining my message

    THX HISTORY TEACHER 😛 (mrs grant) ^^ she ish dah b3st mann!!!

  37. Th3 K!nG

    hello just to start of i am a black and proud.(song of james brown R.I.P) see the thing is that blacks where striped and beated and denied any pride or dinity that they once held, and for that little white senerioal page or what ever that just shows how un educated you really are yes its true blacks sold out blacks . but if the whites thought that it was really that wrong they would have never excepted their offer and on the the other side we would have ever been able to sell out slaves if yall didn’t bring that over to africa. Now i hope that im not coming off racial because im far from it see not all white encourged slavery(for those who did F*** you) yes we have all the right in the world to be mad but we should at least be happy that some gave a damn about us and tried to make a diffrence 🙂 now with that said i think the reason that blacks are so mad about slavery is that first of all yall gave us a name that no matter what we do we can’t get ride of it (NIGGER) second of all even when the blacks were free we wern’t let go till 2 years later . now if you are white and are reading this then i wont say anything like go to hell or i hope you die because clearly you didn’t put us or me through slavery now if you are a racist white male/female that open your eyes and change you ways.AND FOR MY FINAL WORDS for all of you who think that blacks should just man up and get over it shut the fuck up because after you are striped from you pride you can’t help but hold a grude and a word for my black brotheren we can stay mad at the whites and everybody else who put our ancisters through slavery or we can be happy that people such as Martin Luther King JR. Obahma, Rosa Parks and many many others have tooken a stand and showed that we are not just ignorent motherf***s and the truth of the matter is that we need to forgive but never for get what happened and thats that. ps i am 14

  38. Mrz.Thomas

    Hello To Everyone.
    I have sat here and read all of this and i am proud of all the people that took up for blacks and our history!!
    Im glad people in this world dont take mess from such people who have left stupid and ignorant comments!
    The last message from “The King” i liked alot..

    THANKX!!!!!!!!!

    My President is Black!!
    The Best Day OF My LiFe.
    A Very Interested 9th Grader in BLACK History!
    🙂

  39. April

    alright my brother, you know your stuff. And jennifer you need to close that gap, because you don’t have an idea what it is like to be an African-American and barely know who you are because of slavery. I for one can’t go back further then my great-grandmother and that is a blow for me to not know where I come from, and that I have family somewhere that I don’t know and possibly will never know. If we African-Americans would have enslaved the Europeans, they would be pissed at us too, so whatever!!!!

  40. I think that was beautifully said, April.

    I’m not descended from American slaves, so I don’t have the problem of not being able to trace back along my family tree, or to locate distant relatives today.

    It bothers me greatly, though, that this is true for so many American families. And it’s a major reason why I chose to participate in a documentary revealing that my family tree includes the nation’s most notorious slave traders. Those of us who can trace our roots back to the days of slavery shouldn’t hide what we find. My family’s history, and those which can’t be traced back, are just two sides of the same coin, and the whole story deserves to be told.

    Besides, it’s my hope that by telling these stories and sharing the historical records, we can help others to be able to trace back their family’s history as well.

    In fact, this work inspired my aunt to finally research who her enslaved ancestors were, and where they lived. We’ve estimated that there may be half a million people alive today whose ancestors were brought over from Africa by my ancestors, and I hope that some of them can learn their family history through our work.

  41. Anna

    We are all humans…maby some of us are a little darker or lighter but who cares! i wish we could have figured that out befor all the slave tradeing took place, and i hope we can continue to see that we are the same and continue to break the bounderies between races!!!

  42. i wish we could have figured that out befor all the slave tradeing took place

    The interesting thing, Anna, is that we did have that figured out before all the slave trading took place.

    When Africans began selling slaves to European traders along the coast, neither Africans nor Europeans had any notion that those of other races were inferior. In fact, even our modern idea of “race” was very hazy in those days, and they saw each other primarily as being of different societies, religions, etc.

    Only after slavery was far advanced in the New World, did slave owners and their allies begin coming up with the idea that blacks were a separate and inferior race, thus justifying slavery and making it much easier to protect the institution of slavery from forces that threatened to destroy it.

    This is why, for instance, other countries in the Americas now view race very differently than Americans do. Different ideas about race were needed to meet different conditions of slavery in various places.

    In other words, as usual, it was material interests (money) that shaped our ideas and prejudices, and not the other way around. Those ideas have then, in turn, been responsible for so much of the enduring evil that we know as racism, and are the reason why we can’t simply say, today, “we’re really all the same,” and forget about the living consequences of the past.

  43. Hotdoglover

    I believe slavery is whites fault, as well as africans fault, seeing as africans sold other blacks to the whites as slaves. Racism remains greatly still today. For example, I see whites picking on blacks and vice versa all the time. Their is a hate hate relation ship. I will admit i am partialy racist, because when i was a kid whenever i went out to ride my bike around the park, a group of black kids would come up and try to surround me, and take my bike after beating the living hell outta me. I do have black friends, so I know they aren’t all bad. I also know that there are alot of white bullys as well, yet they don’t bother me. We can’t change what our ancestors did, so why get all pissy at the people who believe it’s wrong!??!

    -Hotdoglover

  44. Hotdoglover,

    If there was a group of them and they beat the hell out of you, then how did you stop them from taking your bike? Just wondering. Anyhow, I was beat up by a group of white kids as a child and had a white teen beat up my brothers best friend in our front yard who happened to be about 12 at the time. I don’t hate white people nor did it make me partially racist. That was a choice you made. We all have bad dealings with other races as children.

    Anywho, I don’t know who I am getting all pissy at. I don’t think you read the post quite right. The person I speaking about said that slavery was totally and completely black people’s fault. I was merely replying. So don’t come here and get all pissy at someone who believes it is wrong. Also, I understand that we can’t change what our ancestors did, but we damn sure can look it in the face and own up to the dirty deed instead of the old “what’s that over there!”

    Thanks

  45. Hotdoglover

    I said “try to,” not “did.” Anyhow I wasn’t even directing my post at you. It was aimed at the people who believe all white people should pay them reformation money because they had a great great grandfather that was a slave. The U.S. has been paying reformation money to black people for the past 130 years. Is it really even fair to demand people who had nothing to do with it pay them?

    I know we can’t ignore it because we still have many people who believe blacks are demons, and people who believe whites are all part of the KKK, yet we still can’t change our actions of the past.

    Thus I stick with my belief slavery was equally laid out between whites and blacks fault.

    -Hotdoglover

  46. Hotdoglover,

    It doesn’t matter if you said try or did, I can answer to that by letting you know I DON’T. Anyhow, why don’t you let all us black people in on all that reformation money that was paid out. I don’t know who they were giving it to because the slaves were kicked off the plantations where they worked penniless, homeless with barely clothes on their backs. So exactly when was this money paid out?

    Slavery is NOT equally laid out between races. That is like saying that a scantily clad lady is equally part of her rape as the rapist. Sorry indentured servitude has been around for centuries. Africans had INDENTURED SERVITUDE not chattel slavery which was practiced in America. Those Africans who were offering up the others for INDENTURED SERVITUDE were not aware of the conditions in America. So it would be helpful to understand exactly what was happening in Africa before forming these statements purely out of propaganda.

    NOT one penny of money has been given to blacks for the terrorizing they had to endure during slavery. If they had been paid back when the slaves were first freed they would have been able to build some sort of wealth to hand down to their descendants. Instead we are now looking at a seriously skewed wealth accumulation between races. And it is just shameful for people to try and justify that highway robbery of lack of help for ex-slaves.

    Thanks

  47. Is it really even fair to demand people who had nothing to do with it pay them?

    Hotdoglover, you’re right that no white person alive today had anything to do with slavery.

    However, white people in this country, collectively, still possess the full benefits of enslaving other people, with interest. It shows up not just in the tremendous wealth accumulated by Wall Street financial institutions and massive corporations, but also in the American way of life.

    The standard of living in this country (as measured by average income, wealth, etc.) is many, many times higher than that of most nations in the world. This is largely due to the effects of slavery, which gave our economy a powerful early boost, and then enabled us, as a small settler society on the fringes of the developed world, to industrialize and become the leading world economic power. It’s the rare American who is so far below the average that they might as well be living in the developing world.

    Thus we have a situation where all Americans enjoy, to different degrees, the benefits of slavery. While at the same time, millions of black citizens have inherited the disadvantages–tangible and intangible–of that vile institution. The only question is whether there is any reasonably fair way to address that situation.

    Thus I stick with my belief slavery was equally laid out between whites and blacks fault.

    My reading of African history doesn’t allow me to quite agree with Black Sentinel here on the details of the moral responsibility of African slave-trading societies. Africa is, and was, a vast continent, with a diverse collection of societies which practiced a variety of forms of slavery, and not only indentured servitude. African societies along the coast, meanwhile, did not handle their slaves, or turn them over to whites at the trading posts, under conditions resembling indentured servitude. So I don’t think they could have been under any illusions that slavery in the Americas would be much better, even if they probably didn’t imagine how bad it was, either.

    However, I think she and I agree on the important issue, which is that it makes no sense to try to equate moral responsibility for the slave trade between Europeans and Americans, on the one hand, and Africans on the other.

    Hotdoglover, what worries me, frankly, about your statement here is that you seem to be attributing the moral responsibility of people centuries ago to all modern people of the corresponding “race.”

    If I read you correctly, you’re saying that today, the descendants of slaves should have no claim for compensation because people who were not their ancestors were also involved in the slave trade.

    The descendants of American slaves today are the descendants of the victims of these crimes. They are no more the descendants of the perpetrators, the Africans who did the enslaving, than you are.

    This is worse than claiming that you, Hotdoglover, are responsible for the actions of white American slave traders because you’re white. At least your ancestors weren’t, in fact, the victims of those white slave traders–and, if your family was in the country back then, you may well be descended from some of the traders.

  48. Hotdoglover

    Theblacksentinel, and James,

    If a woman was raped, would you pay her money every year for over a 100 years? Because like slaves, they WERE deprived of their dignity, and hope of living a normal life again, yet they usually aren’t payed for it.

    I know the economic chain has given white people more money, but if the money is paied to blacks to even out the finances, why do they need more?

    -The Fat Guy Behind You

  49. Hotdoglover,

    Slavery is more than losing one’s dignity. If it was only about losing one’s dignity I would have called for a one time payment such as a lawsuit would give. Anyhow, I don’t know why slaves would need to be payed for 100 years. I think that the slaves should have been paid for back wages just like anyone who was stiffed on pay by an employer. If they had been paid for their services and had not been discriminated against with Jim Crow laws and continually harassed by the KKK and others, they would have had the ability to accumulate the same type of wealth that white Americans did. Therefore equaling the playing field in today’s times.

    Also, where do you get the “more” from when asking about money being paid to blacks to even the economic state of races? I don’t understand why you believe that money HAS been paid at all. Not one red cent has been given to any black people or persons regarding slavery or Jim Crow or any other type of systemic racism that has kept the races unequal for all this time. With no immediate end in sight.

    James, I agree with you that Africa is a big place and had a lot of different types of servitude/slavery. I am just saying that chattel slavery which existed in the America’s was not practiced in that form throughout Africa. Most slaves in Africa did not endure slavery throughout more than one generation. The majority of slaves’ children were not born into slavery. Which also was the case in early American slavery. That is when they created the whole blacks are not full humans in order to justify the enslavement of the offspring since they were relegated to animal stock like a cow. They didn’t set a cows calf free, it was just another bit of animal property.

    I don’t know why, but I keep looking over my shoulder. Someone told me there is a fat guy behind me!

    Thanks guys

  50. Hotdoglover

    James,

    One of your earlier comments, something about being given the discriminating nickname “nigger.” Now I’m not counting, but at the school i went to no white kid said nigger, while the black kids used it in every other sentence. Also they were “kind” enough to start calling white people “crackers.” I don’t hear any white people say either of these things anymore, yet the blacks use them all the time.

    Theblacksentinel,

    Blacks have been paid reformation money for a long time. Also I DO AGREE that they have less opportunities than whites due to the level of racism, yet they have chances to get out and work also.

    (Sidenote: Lots of black people don’t work. They live off government funds. So I guess the roles are reversed. Whites do the work and the blacks get paid…)

    -The Fat Guy In Your Closet

  51. Hotdoglover,

    Please tell me what reformation payments you are talking about. I don’t know of anybody getting paid for a long time. Explain what you are saying or show examples. And yes there are a lot of black people unemployed. And yes there are a lot of black people who are employed so no the roles are not even close to being reversed. The white people in slavery were getting rich or at least making a very comfortable and I mean seriously comfortable living. I hope you aren’t telling me that those unemployed black people are somehow getting money exclusively from white people and are living handsomely off of it. I mean unemployment nor welfare which has many more white people collecting than black, don’t get enough to live in comfort let alone anywhere near the poverty level.

    I swear those fat guys are everywhere these days.

    Thanks.

  52. Well said, Black Sentinel. I would just make one comment on your point about generational slavery: racism against blacks did not emerge in early America in order to justify enslaving the children of slaves. Enslaving children took place first, and the idea that blacks were a distinctive and inferior race emerged a little later, as a means for slave owners to keep the institution of slavery from falling apart.

    It’s a relatively subtle point, I guess, but I think the issue is of some historical importance. It shows that people are able to justify the worst mistreatment of their fellow human beings without having a crutch like racism. An idea like racism, in turn, will then arise when it’s convenient for those in power.

    The fact that we, as a society, continue to believe in the power of race, long after the institution for which it was created has died out, is one of the most distressing aspects of racism to me. I don’t mean, of course, that race isn’t still important in our society, owing to the legacy of slavery and lingering racist attitudes. We need to keep race firmly in mind for that reason. I just mean that otherwise, even most well-intentioned people, black and white, remain convinced of the fundamental importance of the same racial categorization which was devised to defend the institution of slavery.

  53. Hotdoglover, I believe you’re thinking of another James. No one has ever called me by that “nickname.”

    I do think you need to answer Black Sentinel’s question, because I have no idea how you could think that blacks have “been paid reformation money for a long time.”

    Also, the idea that whites are working while blacks are living off government funds makes no sense. It’s true that, as a result of the legacy of slavery and discrimination, there are proportionately more blacks in poverty or otherwise in need of public assistance than whites. However, as Black Sentinel suggested, it’s also true that there are more white people who aren’t working, and more whites who require assistance, than blacks.

    Now I’m starting to look around for hidden fat guys …. 😉

  54. Hotdoglover

    Did you know that during the civil war over 100,000 white men lost their lives fighting over slavery in ONE DAY?

    The unemployed number of people has gone up since I last checked… hmmm better check my sources for more recent #’s before I post that again… (God I feel like an idiot for that one… >.>)

    -The Fat Guy Under Your Bed

  55. Hotdoglover,

    The propaganda we were taught in school was that the people in the northern states were fighting for slavery to be abolished out of some benevolence for black people. Actually, the issue wasn’t slavery but the rights of states versus the rights of the federal government. The southern states felt that the federal government did not have the authority to dictate any conditions regarding the slavery issue. Add the fact that the president at the time had no desire to abolish slavery and white people’s wages were being driven down because if was far cheaper to buy a slave and avoid paying jack and it should be pretty clear that few people were fighting out of some morale outrage.

    However, if you insist on holding on to the idea that hundreds of thousands of white men lost their lives fighting to free the slaves, it should be noted that those white men fighting to free slaves were killed at the hands of other white men who were fighting hard and losing their lives to keep black people as slaves.

    Peace

  56. James,

    I agree wholeheartedly with your correction. Thanks.

  57. Hotdoglover

    >.>
    <.<
    -.-
    I’m aware that they were fighting other whites, and there was morale outrage, but we still fought over them. Of course my information seems a tad bit out of date so i think i should stop embarrassing myself and not post on this site anymore… Not to say im going to stop reading these cause I think I could learn a thing er two here. 😉

    -The Fat Guy Over There

  58. Hotdoglover, your information >i>is a tad out of date, but that’s probably not your fault, and I think it’s great that you’re being open-minded about it.

    The Civil War wasn’t fought to end slavery. It just wasn’t. Union soldiers enlisted (or were drafted) to defend their nation and to preserve the Union. Ending slavery wasn’t even a Union war aim until after most soldiers joined the conflict, so they couldn’t have been fighting to end slavery.

    Besides, what would it mean if the Civil War had been fought over slavery? Ending an evil practice is all fine and good, but that’s not the same as making up for it.

    If a murderer promises to stop murdering people, no one says that she’s made up for the people she’s already killed.

  59. Hotdoglover

    Lol your right. Thanks for being so…. Well not rude about it.

    Hadn’t put it in that perspective.

    -The Fat Guy In The House Next Door
    In The Car Next To You
    At Mcdonalds

  60. Boy these fat guys get around. Or is it just one fat guy and that would mean he reaaaallllyyy gets around. Hmmm, let’s think about that.

  61. Hotdoglover

    Which is it? I, Hotdoglover (AKA The Fat Guy), know the truth! It is me everywhere! >:D

  62. Drew

    You know if u did research a lot of black people were being sold from African’s themselves, and about getting black people out of the situation they are in now, THEY THINK THEY RULE THE WORLD(atleast 90% of them that i have EVER talked to think they do) and think they can blame everything on “the white people” but u know what there was white slaves, black slaves, European slaves, EVERYONE WAS SLAVES DANG

  63. Drew

    *GASP* I never knew that Africans were involved in the slave trade! Are you serious? Well you must be since you bothered to post that dribble. Anyhow, no one is discounting African involvement. Yet, the reason I made this post was for ding bats like you who want to point the finger as if the Africans were forcing slaves upon those poor Spaniards who landed there. Give me a break.

    How can you be so dumb and presumptuous to act as if you know the mindset of “at least 90% of blacks”? You probably don’t know enough blacks to fill a bus, yet you can say that they think they rule the world. And yes there was slaves of all races. Were any of those slaves involved in chattel slavery? Oh that is right it was the African slaves brought to America. Not to mention how does all races being involved in slavery have anything to do with the original post?

    If you want to make a post about all the other races that were involved in some sort of slavery then by all means have at it. But, I chose to post about slavery here in America, slaves who were MY ancestors, slave owners who were white Americans. So if you don’t care to engage in a logical conversation about this particular type of slavery in this place then what good is your comment?

    Thanks but no thanks.

  64. Leticia

    THATZ SOOOOOOO SAD

  65. BahamaMama

    theblacksentinel,
    First of all thanks so much for this post. I just found this yesterday after speaking to a friend of mine about slavery and how little most “black” people actually know about it. For so long its extremities have been somehow softened that most blacks aren’t even aware of it. However what I am really interested in is… do you have any information on how I can trace my ancestors?

    keep up the good work; I really enjoyed this.

  66. BahamaMama,

    Thanks so much for the compliment. I really don’t know that much about the ancestry search as mine was cut short after not being able to get past the slave rolls. I do believe that the best way to find your actually tribe in Africa is to do the DNA search. At least for black people. Since there was so much selling, buying and name changing that it is just too hard sometimes to track down our particular ancestors back to Africa. Other than that I don’t know a different way that has net any really good results.

    I am sorry I can’t be of more help. Thanks

  67. Damien

    All,

    I have heard about these people on Sirius satellite radio. The Mark Thompson Show. They had Dick Gregory on last week I believe and they did a maternal DNA line. I haven’t done it yet. But, they talk about them all the time on his show. The only black guy with a serious show.
    http://www.africanancestry.com/

    Anyway they say they can go back to africa and compare your DNA to the DNA’s of African tribes. They say that they can trace you back to a general area in Africa. I have provided the link

    Hope this helps many of my brothers and sisters.

    Hey Blacksentinel!
    Keep up the good works my sister!!!

    Hotep

  68. Damien

    Not to be advertising hard for them but I wanted to add the link where she tells Dick Gregory where his DNA was traced back to as an example of what they do.
    http://www.sirius.com/politicaltalk

    I apologize to you Blacksentinel if I’m being disrespectful to you blog. I just thought this was something alot of us need and want.

  69. Damien,

    Not at all. Thanks a bunch for the link as I just did not know what it was. So feel free to throw in any extra info that you might have. I enjoy people to give input, that’s what the blog is for.

    Thanks asgain.

  70. Damien,

    Thanks a bunch and I will try hard to keep this up. Also, this is exactly what I was looking for.

    Thanks again.

  71. Tim

    How can it be even remotely the fault of blacks? They were captured and put on boats straight to hell! Even for many years after they were freed, they were still hugely deprived of rights. I’m not quite sure what the debate is here.

  72. Tim,

    I myself was very baffled by the debate which was the reason I felt the need to write this post. It has always amazed me that people can take such a heinous act and blame the victim. It is no different than those who blame the Jewish population for the holocaust.

    Thanks for the reply.

  73. Naomi

    This entire disscussion is stemmed from ignorance and stereotypes. It hurts one’s own cause to make assumptions based on race, so don’t do it.

    Please people if you are going to post something here, don’t pretend you know every single detail about the middle passage when you know nothing.

    Whites, you have no idea what it is like being descended from bondage and blacks, you have no idea how heavy the guilt is being descended from those men responsible, or the temptation to just forget or blame someone else.

    Therefore stop pointing fingers. It accomplishes nothing and sparks pointless debate.

  74. MAYA

    I’m a girl from Paris (white), half croatian. Slavery had existed in Europe for a long time, until it became fobidden in the Middle Ages, due to the influence of the christian spirit. I’m trying to understant how Europe got back to slavery in distant places most of all: Africa, Madeira, the Carribeans… It’s all a matter of economic opportunities and people who started slavery again. I would like to know how people were seeing it by then; how they were considering this change in their principles. I think the slave trade brought wealth and capital to many countries and that it started the capitalistic system. Excuse me if I don’t write english well, I hope you undertand me. I’m looking for proofs of that, facts, books. International competition for cheaper resources has spread slavery again in our times, there are more slaves now than ever.

  75. Maya,

    You are right. It is about economics only and has never really been about humanity. A book you might want to check out for the info you seem to desire is Economic growth and ending the transatlantic slave trade by David Ellis. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walt Rodney. They might shed a bit of light on the economics of slave trading and European mindset.

    One of the main problems is that people i.e. Europeans, Dutch, Spanish and of course Americans did NOT see the Africans as a human counterpart. They saw them as animals so that right there made it OK to place them as slaves. No Christian feels bad that horses or other work animals are used to do our labor. Because they are animals and don’t have the same rights to certain aspects of life as humans do. Thus making Africans animals eases any guilt one might feel about the bible vs. slavery.

    Thanks

  76. Muslim4ever,

    This is great and explains a lot about the bank that is profiting by following Islamic law. But exactly how does any of this information pertain to slavery and fault either way? I think you should re-post this reply to one of the many posts I have done on the economy or on the banking and or housing crisis.

    Thanks for the reply though.

  77. OpusJones

    I was wondering what the source is for that photo, and if you knew the story behind it.
    Btw, kudos on this article. I see all too often the products of ignorance and fear that attempt to distort reality with some sick sense of moral and intellectual supremacy…when in fact, there is none present at all. Only a drone rattling off what another drone has said, and never truly forming an accurate response to anything you say.
    It’s very difficult sometimes dealing with these sort of folks…but sometimes, when you pick a battle, it leaves it’s wounds on you, even if they are only wounds of pity and translucent frustration.
    Your retorts to the racist article fashioned after your site are concise, and thought provoking.
    Very good read, my friend.

  78. OpusJones,

    The photo is as far as I have read about it, depicting the brutality of slavery. It shows the many whip marks that have built up into keloid scars from this ex slaves many beatings.

    Thanks for the reply.

  79. I actually find this photo quite inspiring, as a reminder that people have never been defined solely by their experiences as slaves.

    This is a Union soldier, allowing his scars from his former life as a slave to be photographed as a permanent record of the horrors of the institution he was fighting against.

  80. James,

    I so agree with you. I felt it was very inspiring as well. It reminds me, pushes me and invigorates me to continue to do what I do in hope that those scars were not in vain.

    Thanks

  81. Dominique Bergeron

    Hi I am a high school student, and I was wondering if I could use this picture(https://theblacksentinel.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/slavery_maryland_0327.jpg?w=352&h=460) in my documentry on Inter-generational trauma.

  82. Dominique Bergeron,

    Have at that pic and good luck.

    Thanks

  83. Scott

    Hi Black Sentinel.. and James.. interesting thread! On a side note.. after reading your intelligent and respectful debate, I’m just curious about your opinion concerning a “racial” concern I face everyday. I’m a white teacher in a fairly diverse school. After 10 years it’s become pretty apparent that many of our black students, even at a young age, have a “white people suck” kind of attitude, I think in part to the increasing awareness of how bad slavery was through new media(the truth hurts). Because of their usually lower performance, they get extra attention academically, smaller groups, and we basically walk on egg shells around them for fear of being accused of being racist. Still they maintain an “I’m not going to listen to you and your rules” stance. It’s disheartening every year to watch my black students fall behind academically and demonstrate increasingly disrespectful behavior, just out of spite it seems. I think I get through to them more than most, simply because I’m a man and many of them miss that in their life, but many of the teachers are losing these kids right off the bat, and it’s definately not from lack of caring or effort.. any thoughts on what can be said to let these kids know we’re there to help them and not have them fall into victimhood so early on because of their bitterness(however justifiable)??

  84. Scott,

    First of all maybe the whole “they are lacking” attitude needs to be lost. It seems that throughout your comment you have this stereotypical view of these kids as if they are all ONE big person. They are individuals with individual needs. How am I supposed to know what you should or shouldn’t be saying to them when I don’t know them?

    One thing I do think you might need to do is to lose the poor them attitude as well. The reason that they probably don’t “take” or listen to you and others is not that they somehow are thinking back on slavery. They are more than likely thinking back to the bad treatment they received that morning, afternoon, night before, day before or some other incident that I’m sure can and does occur on a regular basis in black lives.

    It isn’t as if black people sit and constantly think about slavery or racism every minute of the day. Most of these students if I am an example have already had the stupid white teacher who said horrible things to them. I had teachers early as kindergarten who said things such as black kids can’t do well in school. Or that black kids are all bad. These things affect children and cause them to give up early.

    When you stop thinking about how to save them and just treat them like you would any of your white students maybe then you can reach them. Stop ASSuming that they are “falling into victimhood”. Or whatever it is you want to label it. When folks stop victimizing others then maybe they won’t fall into victimhood.

    One question for you. What in the world makes you think that they are missing a man in their lives? Do you know this for a fact or is this more stereotyping? Because it seems to me that I hear this bunk a lot. Just because they don’t have a “father” doesn’t mean that they don’t have a step-father, grandfather, uncle, older brother, big brother program person or someone else. So drop the stereotypes they are becoming tired.

    So as far as I can see, if you stop the stereotypes, prejudgments, treat them like the “white” students and stop thinking that you are their savior you just might be surprised as to how well you do. But when you come off as I’m here to save you from your horrible black surroundings then you are just more of the problem that they don’t want to see.

    I hope that you change your outlook about these kids and can be a positive factor in their school lives. Thanks for the reply.

  85. Dark Frosty

    I just got into an argument with a white prick on Youtube over our ancestor’s supposed role in slavery. He made the typical white arguments (i.e. illogical talking points) and then to add sour milk onto the shitpile, decided to mention that blacks should be grateful for the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln, and the hundreds of thousands of whites who died so that we could be “free.” (Failing to mention that many of us died in that war.) As if any of those white people cared about blacks (the horror free blacks faced in the post-war years are very indicative of white attitudes then) and were not engaging in essentially a mass-scale pissing contest amongst one another, with the abolishment of slavery as a consequence. This lack of accountability plus other factors are why race relations are so strained now.

  86. It always surprises me how many Americans think that the Civil War was launched in order to end slavery. The North was deeply divided over ending slavery, and the northern-dominated Congress was stalemated until 1865 over whether or not to try to end slavery after the war.

    It’s also interesting how many whites think that they can score points by noting that the slaves sent to this country were all sold to European and American traders by other Africans. As if the similarity in skin color or home continent somehow matters, or the fact that other people were involved lessens U.S. responsibility for what happened.

  87. Dark Frosty,

    I agree we (as a country) tend to try and waste time trying to look at the wrong points when thinking or talking about slavery. If the African’s came to the America’s or to Spain and sold slaves would be one thing. But they didn’t. They had NO intention of perpetrating any sort of chattel slavery. People wish to act as if that sort of slavery began in Africa when it did not.

    Anyhow, the shurking of responsibility and the constant blame game that is the basis of the majority of racial conversations in this country is indeed the reason race relations are so ridiculous. We need to just admit the facts and then rebuild the relationship. If a man cheated on his wife or vice versa, how could they repair their relationship and move on if the dirty party refused to acknowledge that they indeed were the problem.

    If he/she continues to accuse the spouse of introducing them to the person they had the affair making it the spouses fault we all know that there would be tensions which would keep that relationship from ever being fixed. We need to take a page from marriage counselors and just be honest.

    Thanks for the reply.

  88. James,

    I agree with you. It never ceases to amaze me at the prolific use of these very excuses as if that absolves this country of any wrong doing. The fact is this country did NOT have to participate in slavery. Or at least not the chattel brand that they did. If they participated in a form of indentured servitude like they did with the white’s who came from Europe via Scotland, Ireland etc. we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all. Our African ancestors would have been married or blended into the community after working off the reason for servitude which in most cases was the cost of getting to this country. Even though no African’s were itching to get here at that time.

    Thanks.

  89. Tyler

    I am sorry of this post seems random, but in the article you said that “…Africans and Europeans had two different ideas of what enslavement was.” That is 100% true. I am doing a project about slavery in colonial America for my history class and stumbled upon this site. For those that want to know, Africans had a slavery system akin to Europe’s feudalism. They worked for a predetermined amount of time and let them go, and their children were not born into slavery. Also it wasn’t as oppressive and brutal as European slavery was. If any of this info is wrong, please correct me.

  90. maggie

    to the author,

    I came across this article on a google search of “was slavery Europeans or Africans fault?” as research for an essay, and I found it very interesting. Your article was generally well written, but it seemed very biased. First of all, you belittled the other guys article, which wasn’t exactly necessary, and yes you had some factual insight, but you also had some biased non-factual arguments as well. Obviously, Europeans didn’t get their slaves from “mail order” as you so cleverly say, but they did, in fact get them from African countries who sold their own people into slavery, such as the cultures of Benin & Oyo, and they profited greatly from this. Also, slave trade had existed long before the Europeans came, so you can’t say this was a whole new concept (like you once again with a clever comment, compare the african slave trade to the jewish holocaust). And yes african kings did indeed very much benefit, as I previously pointed out. Admittedly, I do not agree with the author of that article at all, especially the last statement of how slaves were so lucky. The slave trade was entirely a tragedy, and it was the fault of both Europeans, as well as Africans, and anyone else who actively engaged in it. Well written interesting article, thank you for posting, and sharing your opinion

  91. Maggie,

    Yes, you are correct, I was being very belittling to this person and with good reason. I of course know that Africans sold Africans into slavery. But you must ask yourself these questions; Africans had no concept of money or monetary values, so did they OFFER slaves to the passing traders? And if they didn’t have this concept, did the traders themselves teach them this concept?

    And as a matter of fact they did. And this leads to your next flawed thinking. Yes, a form of slavery was in Africa before Europeans came. BUT! The slavery that was there was much like indentured servitude. Meaning the people were NOT enslaved for generations. That became a norm in the colonies and other places who took those African slaves. The slaves in an African village were able to work off their debt or marry into the tribe. And if none of those happened they were assimilated into the tribe by work.

    The slaves the African tribes had were nothing more than other tribes conquered during times of war. And it is obvious that the traders coming to Africa had to show them what value meant, since they were much like the Native American and had no concept of ownership in the European sense. And I find it funny that you say that African Kings benefited greatly. How do you know this? I am sure that they eventually did benefit greatly. The point IS, chattel slavery was strictly a European concept. And I am sure that the Africans who sold their enemies into slavery had NO idea of the sort of atrocities they would face.

    I beg to differ on the fault that lies to me squarely on the European. Like I said before, I am sure that the Africans didn’t force slaves on the Europeans. And in fact if the Europeans had seen the Africans as equals then they probably would never have sought out this type of trade. They had no business there doing this. I think the Africans were duped until it became a way of survival.

    Thanks for the reply.

  92. MobileSpace

    theblacksentinal,

    Firstly, I would like to say I found the satirical way of writing your article to be very effective, and well done.

    After reading your article I could not help but to read all the comments, which I found to be very interesting and informative.

    I was wondering if you could provide some insight on how much has changed since enslavement has been abolished in America.

    Thanks,

    To all those which shared there ignorant and well informed views, I enjoyed reading everything.

    To theblacksentinal, I’ll be keeping up with your blog.

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