The past is a foreign country

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Africa before the Slave Trade

It is often forgotten that Africa was a very important continent before the Europeans arrived. The African empires of Benin, Songhai and Zimbabwe as well as the ancient Egyptian empire, were rich in culture as well as having vast economic wealth from trading gold and spices.

In the early 16th century, the Portuguese trader Duarte Barboosa said of the east African city Kilwa:

‘There were many fair houses of stone and mortar, well organised in streets. Around it were streams and orchards with many channels of sweet water.’ Of the people who lived in Kilwa he reported, ‘They were finely clad in (wore) many rich clothes of gold and silk, and cotton, and the
women as well; also with much gold and silver in chains and bracelets, which they wore on their legs and arms, and many jewelled earrings in their ears.’

A Dutch traveller to the kingdom of Benin in the early 17th century sent home this report of the capital.

‘It looks very big when you enter it for you go into a great broad street, which, though not paved, seems to be seven or eight times broader than the Warmoes Street in Amsterdam. This street continues for about four miles and has no bend in it. At the gate where I went in on horseback, I saw a big wall, very thick and made of earth, with a deep ditch outside. Outside the gate there is a large suburb. Inside as you go along the main street, you can see other broad streets on either side, and these are also straight. The houses in this town stand in good order, one close to the other and evenly placed beside the next, like our houses in Holland.’

(Thanks to Nick Dennis for the quotes)

Comptonboys, your task is to add three pieces of new information that you have learned about the Atlantic Slave Trade in your reply.

33 Comments:

  • At 12:23 PM, Blogger compton23 said…

    I have learnt that

    1 Buying slavesinformation was published in newspapers

    2 Slaves were killed aswell as sold

    3 Some slaves fought back

     
  • At 12:26 PM, Blogger compton23 said…

    I have learnt that:

    1 Some slaves fought back.

    2 Information about buying slaves was published in newspspers.

    3 Slaves were killed as well as sold.

     
  • At 8:31 AM, Blogger compton14 said…

    what i have learnt on slavery:

    1. life on the ships as they were being transported

    2. The middle passage

    3. life on the plantation farms

     
  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger youcancallmesir said…

    compton 14, that is really not enough, particularly as I gave you most of that information already. I would like you to expand some of your ideas and tell us more about what you have learned.

     
  • At 11:40 AM, Blogger compton7 said…

    the things i have learnt about black slavey is

    1. the atlantic slave trade. and that it took 3 steps. they would go to africa, get slaves go yo america sell them, buy coffee, sugar etc and woul go back to europe to sell it for double.

    2.i learn't about the slave rebellion, and that a ship had been overthrown by the african slaves which then travelled to safety.

    3. and the final thing i learnt was on the auctioning on slaves. when an auction took place there would be a giant gathering and fit slaves would be sold for high prices and the old would be cheap. i also learnt that there was a man who had bought a slave and set them free but that didn't happen much.

     
  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger compton30 said…

    i've learnt about the miidle passage,plantation and about how the slaves wer auctioned

    PEACE

    ABDALLAH

     
  • At 9:18 AM, Blogger compton30 said…

    i've learnt about the miidle passage,plantation and about how the slaves wer auctioned

    PEACE

    ABDALLAH

     
  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger youcancallmesir said…

    compton 30 thank you for your post but you should read what compton 7 wrote to give you an idea of the kind of detail I was expecting, rather than a few words.

     
  • At 11:25 AM, Blogger compton23 said…

    I have learnt that all slaves were black.

    Some black people were actually helping the white people.

    The way some black peopledied was extremely horrendous.

     
  • At 11:56 AM, Blogger compton20 said…

    I have learnt that there was only a few people that fought back including sojourner truth

     
  • At 9:24 AM, Blogger compton17 said…

    what i have learnt about slavery is:
    .men slaves were whiped and women were rapped
    .some slaves couldn't take the horror of being sold so they commited suicide.
    .also althogh slaves were whiped some of them retaliated and hit back

     
  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger compton16 said…

    1 i have learned that the slaves were all black and slavery started due to racism

    2 that slaves sometimes fought back and escaped by the transportation ships

    3 and punishment is getting whipped or being thrown in the sea

     
  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger compton16 said…

    1 i have learned that the slaves were all black and slavery started due to racism

    2 that slaves sometimes fought back and escaped by the transportation ships

    3 and punishment is getting whipped or being thrown in the sea

     
  • At 4:44 AM, Blogger compton24 said…

    i HAVE LEARNT THAT BLACK PEOPLE WERE SLAVES AND THAT THEY ONLY TOOK THE KIDS AND LADIES SOME OF THE BLACK PEOPLE NEVER SAW A WHITE PERSON BEFORE THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE GONNA EAT THEM.
    THEY WERE TAKING N SHIPS AND THE BOYS WERE WHIPPED AND THE WOMEN WERE RAPED.

     
  • At 4:50 AM, Blogger compton12 said…

    I have learnt about:

    the things i have learnt about black slavey is

    1. the atlantic slave trade. and that it took 3 steps. they would go to africa, get slaves go yo america sell them, buy coffee, sugar etc and woul go back to europe to sell it for double.

    2.i learn't about the slave rebellion, and that a ship had been overthrown by the african slaves which then travelled to safety.

    3. and the final thing i learnt was on the auctioning on slaves. when an auction took place there would be a giant gathering and fit slaves would be sold for high prices and the old would be cheap. i also learnt that there was a man who had bought a slave and set them free but that didn't happen much.

     
  • At 5:02 AM, Blogger compton18 said…

    I have learnt that:

    .Some slaves comited suicide on the slave ships because they were so destresed

    .slaves hands feet and limbs were cut of for doing things such as lacking in work or fighting back

    .slaves were killed sold and tortured

     
  • At 4:10 AM, Blogger compton3 said…

    the things i have learnt about black slavey is

    1. the atlantic slave trade. and that it took 3 steps. they would go to africa, get slaves go yo america sell them, buy coffee, sugar etc and woul go back to europe to sell it for double.

    2.i learn't about the slave rebellion, and that a ship had been overthrown by the african slaves which then travelled to safety.

    3. and the final thing i learnt was on the auctioning on slaves. when an auction took place there would be a giant gathering and fit slaves would be sold for high prices and the old would be cheap. i also learnt that there was a man who had bought a slave and set them free but that didn't happen much.

     
  • At 1:09 PM, Anonymous africa big brother said…

    This is an excellent blog. Keep it going.You are providing
    a great resource on the Internet here!
    If you have a moment, please take a look at my africa big brother site.
    Have a great week!

     
  • At 7:06 AM, Blogger sammy said…

    cool it has helped us with history work!!!!!!!!!

    luv ya lots

     
  • At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    cool
    luv ya lotz bruv!!!

     
  • At 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i am diong a report on the orgin and joureny of black people. starting from africa to now. i am mixed myself. but i love the fact that i have a little of black in me

     
  • At 1:06 AM, Anonymous XXX_BECCIE_XXX said…

    My Comment:
    I think this is a great source of information and should keep the work going because it is really helpful

     
  • At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have learnt that

    1) the Atlantic slave trade would never have existed if it was not for the Islamic slave trade that started around 650 AD, Muslim-Arabs hunted, enslaved, tortured and killed Ethnic Africans for a millennium before the same geographical ARAB-Muslims started/opened the slave trade to Colonial America who merely (in comparison) bought slaves for servitude

    2)Americans used slaves for labour and they allowed their slaves to have families and individual and independent lives outside of the times they were labouring, where as the Islamic slave trade used slaves mainly for sexual exploitation and as militia, (men were regularly castrated to avoid any reproduction)

    3) Many African American Muslims that have hatred towards whites because of the Atlantic slave trade should read their history books a bit more and discover just how more vicious, drastic and catastrophic their Islamic forefathers treated their African ancestors for a whole millennia before they began selling slaves to white Westerners.

     
  • At 12:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i am learning about the slave trade in history and i have learnt that life on board slave ships was very cowded and distgusting, i have learnt about the slave triangle and i have learned about africa before the slave trade.

     
  • At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I really needed some more information about lifestyles, culture, religious beliefs, food, family etc....
    Sorry but this really not what I was looking for.

     
  • At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have learned that Africa was a very prosperuos place before the Europeeans destroyed that.

     
  • At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Grisell D. said…

    That the slaves were people although they werent treated as such. Though the europeans didnt see it the africans were civilized

     
  • At 1:59 PM, Anonymous marina Dietz said…

    You people helped with my quarter history project thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
  • At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have learnt that slavery is wrong!

     
  • At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have learnt that slavery is wrong!

     
  • At 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have learnt that slavery is wrong. Also, goodbye

     
  • At 9:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i have learnt that

    1. slaves were stamped whilts on the boats. then they would be whipped and chained together and shoved into the underneath of the boat where it would be over full and you were to live in each others feaceas and on bodys.

    2. women were raped but they too were whipped. they were sometimes aloud to the upper decks to help cook and clean for the crew. they had todo whatever they were told and that could include being harrased by the crew.

    3. not everyone was fed everyday. if you were fed, it wasnt even a hand full of scraps from the crew. who wasnt fed often picked food off each others faces and eat it. when the boat needed to let people go, the yould grab one person that was chained and throw them off. the weight would full everyone on that chain off. often around 100 people were drounded.

     
  • At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have learnt that...
    1.Slaves were Black
    2. Thats racist^^
    3.I love Blacks

     

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