Natural Hair and Other Kinky Stuff

Africans enslaved Africans


So my Facebook posts get all the way REAL. I go there.  I stir the pot a bit and embrace diversity of thought. This “hot “topic” explored slavery and fallacies that are often prevalent in the analysis of  the institution of slavery. The conversation started at the dinner table with four of my friends and spilled over to Facebook.  I appreciated my friends perspective but did not quite agree with their analysis. However, I did agree with my few of my FB friends. Read the commentary below.

CallmeKinky I had just had a heated debate with some of my peers about slavery. We were definitely on opposite sides of the spectrum. I find it ironic that we analyze history with “today’s” framework and context. To really understand something in the past you have to put the time period and context in perspective. Secondly, most black Americans always bring up the fact that slavery existed in some African countries before contact with other races. I need people to dig deeper. Do more research. Tell all the facts and then get back to me.

  • Du-ka , David  and  Charles Toney like this.
  •  Charles Toney  Amen. One really has to view slavery in a historical context and with regard to “non-slavery” history that coincided with it at the time. (Birth of this nation and such…)Rather than do this, It seems like people either bring up slavery as “footnote” or as a morality condemnation of the people of the time. But the former doesn’t give its complexity due and the latter is null because it was a morality issue in America when it was alive and well.The institution of slavery and its longevity, given the obvious divisive nature of it, are as complex as securities and mortgages today. None of which can be explained in a footnote or as a moral question. Our country was built on the property rights of people, and at the same time people were property. That’s some heavy shit.
  • CallmeKinky you explained that so well. I wish you were here for this debate.
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  • CallmeKinky I was in the minority, which is common because I push myself to go deeper.
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  •  Edward Charles I love the slavery debate with my confused/misinformed brothers and sisters. It’s always good when I ask people to explain the connections between securities and slaves. Don’t know how a person could explain it adequately without knowledge of it. History is longitudinal.
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  •  Edward Charles And I sure you held it down. You’re sharp
  •  David  What was their stance exactly?
  •  CallmeKinky Basically….they argued that 1. Africans enslaved Africans and 2. They had to have known something bad would have to the slaves they sold to others. While there is validity to the first statement, it generalizes and it’s an attempt to compare slavery elsewhere to the slavery that existed is SOME African countries. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. They argued that morally it is always wrong to capture and enslave someone else and that what happened in Africa is as bad as what happened elsewhere. I disagree…completely. They are using what they know today…the moral compass of the present and attempting to apply to an era they have limited knowledge of. Furthermore, capturing people in war was not unique to African countries.
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  •  CallmeKinky They also kept saying Africa, which is annoying bc Africa is a continent with distinct countries and most slaves transported to the U.S., South America and the Caribbean were from West Africa.
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  •  CallmeKinky To make a general statement and attempt to apply to an entire continent is already wrong.
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  •  Chuck Toney  What about all the European (white Irish and Scottish) slaves that existed in the UK and the Americas? Why isn’t that brought up? Slavery in Africa doesn’t absolve this country of the horrors of slavery or because it happened in England. It’s really a deep seeded racist thought when someone says that. Racism is insidious that way. Basically it’s saying that black people deserved to be enslaved and the ones that lived in America were better off because they weren’t in Africa because it was happening anyway. Therefore, the people who perpetrated in America were just “following the leader.”  (SN: Chuck’s point here is something I want you to digest. It is the core reason I had an issue with my friend’s commetary at the dinner table. Perhaps, they did not mean it that way but to bring up Africans enslaving Africans when discussing the America’s  institutionalized  slavery and to use it as a major point in an analysis without using the proper context leads me to believe that their thought process was based in what Chuck expounds upon here.)People’s “starting” off point when talking about history is screwed and skewed. It’s not a morality question because the lack of a still moral question is what’s used to quash positive policy to rectify still present issues.
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  •  CallmeKinky Exactly. Well-rounded arguments are critical.
    David  Not to mention the majority of “african” slavery was more akin to indentured servitude for debts or crimes, many african nations had no prisons or even a word for prison, so many came over here expecting to be freed when their debt was paid. All that still has no bearing on the treatment once here and ongoing since
    CallmeKinky @David  Thanks for introducing that point. I also told my peers that initially Africans had NO concept of Westernized slavery so they would not have known what would happen to those they sold once they arrived in the Americas. Furthermore, people were not enslaved solely because they were sold by other Africans. People were often terrorized, kidnapped and tricked. It is documented that some African tribes felt forced to sell their war captives in order to save the people in their own village and tribe. Us “educated” people have a bad habit of being so certain of our own analysis that we fail to view collective factors and root causes. I also like to know where people get their knowledge from as well because if a person just reads accounts written by those who captured and held slaves (or descendants of slave owners), there are likely getting a bias perspective. That is why it is important to read multiple books and viewpoints to draw more informed conclusions. So let me get this right….you learned about some African countries that were involved in the slave trade solely from the perspective of someone else other than an African? Makes NO sense.
  • Sarah  I’d like to insert a minor but significant point that is often overlooked: Africa as it is carved up today is a European invention. The idea of a “country” with clearly defined borders is a very Eurocentric idea. There were nations and kingdoms well before there were countries. So “African” is more appropriate than many of the names we would use today.
  •  CallmeKinky Yes. Great point. Yet, the nations and kingdoms were not all exactly the same. Saying that “all Africans” did something is simply incorrect although your comment is valid.
  • Sarah I would never say they were all the same. There is a marked difference between tribal identity and “country” identity. One is defined by the kindred of people and the other is defined by the connection to land.
  •  Shay La’Dawn @ Sarah  and that is what I needed my peers to understand and acknowledge.
  •  CallmeKinky You are absolutely correct
    Sarah I wouldn’t say all that, lol. I just wanted to add that point to the mix. We talk about slavery like it only messed Africans in new worlds up. Many Africans who never left the continent are still dealing with the latent effects of slavery. They just acknowledge it as “country pride” which translates to hating other countries or exhibiting superiority complexes. It’s like a contest to see whose misery is the most miserable in some cases. #mytwocents
  •  CallmeKinky I like your #twocents. These conversations are necessary.
    Sarah  agreed
    Edrica  I enjoyed this informative conversation.
    This article c/o of the blog ABAGOND also captures the essence of why using the argument that “Africans enslaved Africans” is flawed.
    • Africa was not a country. Africans were not selling “their own”, they were selling their enemies, just as the Greeks and Romans once did. Africa, then as now, was made up of different countries. They were no more selling “their own” than, say, “Europeans” were killing “their own” during the Holocaust.

    And it overlooks a few other things:

    • Most African countries did not sell slaves and some even fought against it. But because Europeans back then could control the supply of guns there was little Africans could do to stop it.
    Want to know about my experiences in Ghana? Click here to learn about my visit to the Cape Coast slave castle.


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2 Responses to “Africans enslaved Africans”

    • callmekinky

      John- I apprecaite you reading and commenting. I have since come to believe that some topics are simply not black and white and for that reason, complexity will always exist when addressing certain topics.


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