A friend liked what we wrote here. She contacted us with a suggestion to condense the bullet points about slavery into a more concise compendium. Sounded like a good idea. So, to summarize, here are the bullet points that we made in the above-linked post.
- Although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century.
- People of every race and color were enslaved — and enslaved others.
- White people were still being bought and sold as slaves in the Ottoman Empire, decades after American blacks were freed.
- The region of West Africa … was one of the great slave-trading regions of the continent — before, during, and after the white man arrived.
- It was the Africans who enslaved their fellow Africans, selling some of these slaves to Europeans or to Arabs and keeping others for themselves.
- Even at the peak of the Atlantic slave trade, Africans retained more slaves for themselves than they sent to the Western Hemisphere.
- Arabs were the leading slave raiders in East Africa, ranging over an area larger than all of Europe.”
- Between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. 10.7 million survived the dreaded Middle Passage, disembarking in North America, the Caribbean and South America. And how many of these 10.7 million Africans were shipped directly to North America? Only about 388,000. That’s right: a tiny percentage. In fact, the overwhelming percentage of the African slaves were shipped directly to the Caribbean and South America; Brazil received 4.86 million Africans alone! [emphasis in the original]
- African tribes who captured other tribes sold them into slavery.
- For this reason, in 2006, Ghana offered an official apology. Emmanuel Hagan, director of research and statistics at Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, explains: “The reason why we wanted to do some formal thing is that we want — even if it’s just for the surface of it, for the cosmetic of it — to be seen to be saying ‘sorry’ to those who feel very strongly and who we believe have distorted history, because they get the impression that it was people here who just took them and sold them. It’s something we have to look straight in the face and try to address, because it exists. So we will want to say something went wrong. People made mistakes, but we are sorry for whatever happened.”
- Slavery occurred on every continent except Antarctica.
- Europeans enslaved other Europeans.
- Asians enslaved Asians.
- Africans enslaved other Africans.
- Arabs enslaved other Arabs.
- Native Americans even enslaved other Native Americans.
- Western Civilization, and only Western Civilization, “developed a moral revulsion against it”
- “Not even the leading moralists in other civilizations rejected slavery at all.”