Don’t Traumatize Yourself Further: Africans Did Not Sell Africans Into Chattel Slavery.

Those who haven’t consistently followed my writings on the major issue concerning the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade often miss copious amounts of literature that expatiate on the matter in the same way that the Oral traditions they memorize and regurgitate completely misses copious amounts of irretrievable information and the contexts by which such information can be understood.

I do not defend the often recited role that Dahomey, or even to a lesser extent, Asante and Oyo played in the kidnapping, torture, and sale of Africans to Europeans, or am I eliminating that this very act preceded the European transport of Africans to the Americas where the Europeans tortured, murdered, enslaved, worked, raped, molested for profit, all peoples of African descent for well over 400 years.

What the humble student of African history in Africa does not quite grasp is that one cannot force people to produce weapons for war where there are no wars. You cannot produce sugar where there are no consumers of sugary waters. My theory does not go against other so-called renowned African historians, per se. However, my work consumes their works of art in a more profound theory that fully encompasses disparate narratives about the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. If this means that such famous African historians who tout their horns about African complicity in the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade were idiots, then they are thus thoroughly described!

What is my theory? It is a simple one that anyone with a decent high school education should grasp: Europeans, I assert, turned to Chaos Management to eventually conquer the continent of Africa—because they could not raid the entire continent of Africa as they had successfully done in the Americas—and hence they adopted the method of “Indirect Violence.” African kingdoms, notably Dahomey, were almost entirely too advanced or advanced enough in the making of war, and they were formidable in retaliating to provocation, that they forced and limited the marauding Europeans, who arrived to the West African coasts yearly, to activities on the beaches of West Africa alone.

In today’s formulation, the idea of European indirect violence in Africa can be almost, entirely, be likened to the well-established evidence that the Euro-American Empire is responsible for breeding, funding and managing Terrorism in the Middle East. And so what if some Arabs sell other Arabs into slavery during this tumultuous era in Middle Eastern history? And so what if some Arabs kidnap, torture, enslave and kill other Arabs during this era of spreading global terrorism from the Middle East?

Are the Arabs going to be blamed for killing each other? Perhaps. Are the Arabs to be blamed for kidnapping, enslaving and torturing each other as a result of which side they perceive themselves to be on the tumultuous-historical divide of terrorism? Perhaps.

“Perhaps,” remains the answer. Some will say, yes. Others will look at the greater context of Euro-American meddling in the Middle East and conclude that no. Either answer is not wrong. It depends on what one wishes to discuss. Hence it depends on which context seems relevant to the question and the one answering it. If you asked the leaders of the west about the atrocities being committed in the Middle East, none will admit to them although one can barely dismiss their hand in them. Neither would the groups branded as terrorist groups in the Middle East admit to the torturous deaths of innocents, no matter how much funding they get from abroad to do exactly what they have been trained to do.

To fully grasp the enormity of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, and to become fully aware of the ideological issues at hand, one needs to first rid him/herself of the first kind of ideological branding: That Africans sold Africans. Once a student can step away from that narrative he or she can become available to appreciating the scale of the geopolitical issues that were at hand at the time.

I defend Dahomey not because I come from Dahomey myself (although one great grandfather of mine is directly from Abomey), but I defend Dahomey because the activities of Dahomey during the slave trade cannot be distilled to one diatribe that “Africans sold Africans.” I defend Dahomey’s actions, and I also defend Asante actions on the Gold Coast, because I believe that their actions were dictated in full by the geopolitical atmosphere that Europeans brought to West Africa and forced on independent African states on the coasts.

One cannot dispute the fact that so many independent African states were funded, equipped and militarily-prepared with European propaganda and tutelage to attack such formidable kingdoms like Dahomey on the West African coast under the flimsiest of accusations. Dahomey’s responses to such widespread terrorism of her own peoples—which invariably resulted in the retaliatory kidnapping of captives of war, torture and sale to other Europeans to fund even more war—cannot be understood without first appreciating the manner in which other independent West African states were led sheepishly to turn on one another in perpetual warfare. By perpetual warfare, I mean wars that do not end. Wars that continued for almost 500 years, and which constantly kept the chains for the supply of kidnapped fugitives and captives of war sufficiently oiled.

I do not mean to paint a saintly picture of Dahomey. What I intend to bring to the attention of the humble African student about his or her own history is the geopolitical context of the kind of perpetual warfare that was fomented by European states, and funded by European governments on the West African coast for the supply of fugitives and captives of war for chattel slavery in the Americas. Perpetual warfare is the means by which a steady stream of resources, including the supply of free human labor and expertise, is guaranteed to flow in own direction and one direction alone—onto European slave ships voyaging steadily away to the highly sophisticated systems of chattel slavery in the Americas, meant for the barbaric extraction of human labor, but also for the violent extraction of African expertise.  

The struggle with the student of African history, being African himself, or even more specifically being of Dahomeyan (Ewe) extraction or Asante or Oyo extraction is that the student is motivated to paint his history in like manner as the European histories that the Europeans have been painted for him to read, memorize and regurgitate. Some students are motivated to speak of the Kingdom of Dahomey as a kingdom on equal footing as the violent French Kingdom that terrorized it. Some other students are motivated to paint Asante and Oyo as Kingdoms that rivalled the barbarism of their British counterpart.

For that matter the narrative that Dahomey, Oyo and Asante acted independently—as if there was not in their presence and shadow, a formidable European geopolitical gravitational influence acting upon their characters—appeals to many. In a sense, this attitude towards African history and particularly towards the historicity of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade satiates those who wish to paint, in equal measure, African Kingdoms as capable of standing up to their European counterparts in war, diplomacy and in the support of European barbarism.

This attitude is however grossly misplaced. Dahomey may have been unmatched on the West African coast, even among its cousins, the Ewe states, like the Anlo and the Agave, in reacting to attacks on her. But Dahomey could not have matched the French or the British in the fine arts of propaganda-making. The French had a writing culture and by that the French had both a clear domestic policy and a concise white supremacist chattel slave-seeking foreign policy in West Africa.

The Dahomeyans, on the other hand, resorted to oral culture, often aided by a sophisticated drum language, but which nonetheless could not have stood up to the level of analytical effusion that is often associated with written culture. Not one foreign policy has been recited or performed on talking drums. And so Dahomey had no such clear and concise prescription for domestic and foreign policy or did she have the analytical tools to comprehend French insidious and pernicious intentions in West Africa.

 It is orally narrated to us that certain African elite who opposed African trading with Europeans, like the Nana Yeboahs of the Oyoko family in Asante, were later banished from their societies as a result of a consistent European pressure. Perhaps a writing culture would have made the ideas of those who opposed trade with Europeans in West Africa available reading to the larger masses, however, no major kingdom on the West Africa coast had developed any considerable writing culture. It is not that the Dahomeyans or the Oyo couldn’t have adopted one of the region’s ancient writing cultures, but why they opted for an oral existence beats the casual observer. But this is not the point. The point is that Dahomey was no match for the French when it came to the wanton manipulation of the masses through propaganda.

Neither were the Asantes or the Oyo a match for the British Kingdom. Much of the wars between Dahomey and Oyo, and this can be shown, came as a result of cheap manipulation of the two kingdoms against each other, through the use of mere external propaganda by European traders. It is no secret to claim that the European kingdoms were ahead of their African counterparts when it came to the art of telling lies and dishonorably pitching one “ally” against another. The Europeans themselves had had their own copious amounts of training in the art of war through their numerous tribal wars that engulfed and destroyed the social fabric of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, up until the last European Tribal War (The “Second World War”) in 1945.

To this point, the student of African history cannot whole-heartedly be pleased with attempting to assert the equality of the African states to their European counterparts in propaganda-making. The preliminary step for the humble student of African history is to desist from attempting to cast African history in the same light as the numerous histories of Europe that he has been forced to read, memorize and regurgitate. This is indeed the crux of the matter: Can the African historian think of his own history outside the crooked prescriptions of his European education?

My theory of how the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade transpired over the 400 years of perpetual war on the West African coast as a result of European Terrorism challenges the established narrative of African history as told to us, read to us, and written to us, by those who lack a true assessment of the geopolitical context within which West African kingdoms operated.

Better, I am challenging the western narrative that “Africans sold Africans.” I understand the impetus for this narrative—to shirk direct European responsibility for the most heinous crimes ever committed by human beings towards other human beings. Period. However, the idea that “Africans sold Africans” is incorrect, since what this new propaganda does is forge and force African victims of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade on Africa and Africans, while it carefully side-steps the glaring elephant in the center of the room—the presence of European chaos managers on the West African coasts: the very people who enslaved Africans and benefitted from their labor and expertise for well over 400 years!

If the humble student of African history doubts any part of my theory, he needs only examine the state of the African kingdoms after the slave trade. All the West African kingdoms were summarily defeated and occupied by European powers by 1900, and then these kingdoms were subsequently split into tiny countries, parts becoming the sovereign properties of the various kingdoms of Europe by the 1960s. How can one say that West African kingdoms were so strong and powerful, and even became rich nations as a result of the slave trade, and how can one insinuate that these African kingdoms had so much control over that trade of Africans on their coast, yet be so weak as to quickly fall to European powers within the same decades of the abolishing of the slave trade?

How is it even sensible to accept the idea that the Europeans just happened to seize on the chance to stop the slave trade, weaken these kingdoms and then take their lands and resources for free through colonialism? How does one accept that people in Dahomey and Oyo did not equally suffer from the violence of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade because their kingdoms engaged entirely in the perpetual wars that made fugitives and captives of war available to the European states?

How is it easy to accept these logical series of the steps of European Terrorism: (1) European nations fomented perpetual war, (2) They weakened such powerful African kingdoms on the coast as Dahomey through the constant fomenting of attacks on Dahomey, (3) As Dahomey for instance became embroiled in war, it became inescapable that she was going to be engulfed in the sale of its captives to fund even more wars, (4) After several centuries of this weakening, the European states finally grabbed the chance to defeat these kingdoms, balkanized these states and (5) Colonized them until today?

It is quite odd that the notorious student of African history would rather sidestep these logical steps, and he would also sidestep the reality of today’s African neocolonial, neo-imperial existence under European states, and rather fawn over some idea that Africans had the full will, and full desire, to do nothing, but kidnap their own brothers and sisters from other ethnic groups and sell them to the same people who would later colonize them. It would be fascinating to see how any kind of mind can work such illogical jumps in thought and land on the kind of European obfuscation that has become so pervasive in the telling, and writing of the history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade in West Africa.

When the Europeans engage in the obfuscation, at least their intentions are clear. What is not clear is whether the African student is even geopolitically aware, or whether he remains as stupid as the former elites of West Africa’s past kingdoms who abandoned their writing cultures. What needs to be ascertained is whether the new student of African history engages in the meme of “Africans sold Africans” and continues to indulge the oral cultures that led to his acquiescence to European propaganda, which led, invariably to his own defeat in the face of European Terrorism?

I have mentioned (neo)-colonialism and (neo)-imperialism a few times concerning how the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade quickly gave way to the complete and total domination of African peoples by European nations on the African continent. Does the new student of African history not see the economic and geopolitical transition from the slave trade to the proper colonization and balkanization of African states for the sole purpose of the extraction of resources and profits for Europeans? How can one even assume that African kingdoms were in any kind of control of the slave trade leading up to their total domination by western powers? How can one misconstrue this obvious reality and claim that African kingdoms were the (sole) beneficiaries of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade?

The reader can bear with me for a second so I can expatiate on the geopolitical malfeasance that is the ideology of blaming any part of Africa for the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade. The new African student of African history who toots the meme: “Africans sold Africans,” is often under the wild impression that he must express what he claims to be “brutal honesty” in his own affairs. By “brutal honesty,” he means to “admit” complicity in some measure, at least, in the business and profits that accrued to European slave traders. What he is wont to be unaware of is that it is not brutal honesty that he seeks, but brutal stupidity. A kind of stupidity nurtured on a diet of some history that he has been (orally) spoon-fed, and with a diet of European ideology that he has been carefully indoctrinated.

What the wayward African student of history is wont to also be unaware of is that his admission of African complicity in his own rendering of his brutal stupidity does not in any form or shape implicate all Africans in the tired European game of ascribing blame to the victims of European barbarism, which serves the European powers that wish to shirk responsibility. What is rather revealed in the oft-peddled narratives about African complicity is more of the same.

The French, for instance, are still collecting hundreds of billions of dollars annually in reparations from their West African colonies for a so-called tax for the end to their “civilizational process.” Which is, to put it another way, the same African countries, where the old ruins of the African kingdoms are now left unattended, are being forced to dish out free money, in billions of dollars, to the French in return for exposing the fallacy of their colonial endeavors in Africa. The obvious reality of the European-extraction of wealth from Africa is that this very arrangement is the continuation of more colonialism, nonetheless. The British and their relationship to their colonies in Africa are no different.

What escapes the mind of the student of African history is that no matter what narrative he has been fed about African complicity in the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, what he should rather quickly become aware of about the lie of African complicity is what remains of European terrorism in Africa, proper—the facts on the ground, which is the constant thread. African resources, including African labor and expertise, has only flowed in one direction for the past 500 years—into the arms of the very Europeans, the white elephants in the room, who claim they are just idle by-standers.

So, let us recount the process of European exploitation, the stages of European terrorism in Africa: (1) Fomenting perpetual war, which (2) Supplied fugitives and captives of war as slaves to the European traders, and which wars (3) Weakened the strongest African kingdoms, which invariably (4) Led to their defeat by European forces using African mercenaries, and hence resulted in the widespread (5) Systems of European colonialism and imperialism all across Africa, up until today!

There should be no doubt in the mind of a sane person where the blame lies in the European Terrorism that befell West Africa in particular. Right at the doorsteps of the so-called European powers.

At what point, one may need to ask, does the African student become aware of this stagecraft of the arrogant, perpetual European propaganda to shirk its responsibility in the terrorism that birthed the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade? At what point does the humble student of African history admit to himself or herself that this tirade of “Africans sold Africans” leveled against Africans does nothing but conceal a certain stage of individual psychosis about the trauma of Europe’s 500 years of Terrorism in Africa?

Trauma, as they say, can often be revealed in how one treats himself. Some victims, not all, are quick to blame the root causes of their trauma on themselves. And so some African students of African history are easily traumatized by the facts of European Terrorism in Africa (who wouldn’t?), and so their self-assigned blame can only be rationalized in the terms of a mental illness.

No matter, it is still our duty as guardians of African history to push back on the well-funded, well-aired, often okay-written European propaganda on African history with our clear, concise and direct refutation. What is certain is that the European, and Euro-American institutions for kidnapping Africans (Black people for that matter) and enslaving them in the Americas, particularly in the United States, largely did not even end for as long as 80 years in some places upon completion of the U.S. civil war. And then there’s very little doubt that the enslavement of Black people in the Americas continued on in a slightly different form, widespread, controlling, publicly known and accepted — right up to the Second European Tribal War.

In fact, the national kidnapping of peoples of African descent in the United States, torturing them, even murdering them while cameras are drawn out in such acts as the murder of Black people on television by Euro-American Law Enforcement Officers—remains even today.

But it does not remain today in the overpowering form that prevented an African awareness of the nature of European terrorism (Ayevu methods) for nearly four centuries in Africa. It exists today in ways that we have amply become aware of, and we are, at least, capable of opposing and resisting it. Only the few students of African history—the ones gallivanting about in their brutal stupidity—fail to recognize the pernicious and insidious stagecraft of European terrorism in Africa and in the Diaspora. This is only to their own shame.

53 COMMENTS

  1. The Europeans are pushing this propaganda using their black eunuchs and bedwenches because they see black people in the diaspora coming back to the motherland to rebuild Afrika and get rid of the Eurasian parasites. This is their response to our unity and push for black empowerment. Like Nst bty Narmer unified Kemet by defeating the black rebels in upper Kemet and driving the white squatters out of lower Kemet our generation will restore the land of our ancestors. Their propaganda will fall on deaf ears.

  2. Re-Don’t Traumatize Yourself: Africans Did Not Sell Africans into Chattel slavery.
    Pt 1
    Having gone through your long, revisionist essay which alternated between wild speculations and verbal assaults on people who dared think differently, I could not resist the urge to comment on your theory of transatlantic slavery, one that supposedly “consumes” the consensus of learned African historians. Indeed, if your theory holds, then those renowned scholars may be idiots as you suggest. But just as “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”, I dare say the discovery of the real idiot is in the analysis. And so here is an analysis of the aforementioned essay.

    It is true one cannot force people to produce weapons where there are no wars, and so one cannot produce slaves where there is no demand for them. No one argues that the arrival of Europeans on the coast created a higher demand for slaves. However, any honest person knows that slavery existed long before the European set foot in Africa. So, in your own words, there were consumers of sugary waters, for which reason sugar was already being produced in pre-colonial Africa. The Europeans, then, were only new consumers who came with larger appetite. Why then the haste to place the entire blame on them because they were the ones who commercialized it?

    I am glad to see that the position has shifted from “Africans did not sell Africans As I pointed out in an earlier response, this fruitless labor to distinguish between indigenous and commercial (“chattel”) slavery is a despicable way of reducing the issue of slavery, from a moral one to a commercial one. If we agree that long before the Europeans came, Africans enslaved Africans, would it require a leap of reasoning to see that, with the coming of Europeans, those African slavers expanded their game of enslaving more Africans?

    A good theory is not in the grammar but in the evidence. While your essays are always laid out in flawless, impressive grammar and replete with impeccable choice if vocabulary, they are always lacking in the much-needed evidence. You theorize, for example, that, but for the advance military might of Dahomey, the marauding Westerners would have taken their adventures inward. One would expect you to adduce historical evidence to show that the Europeans indeed attempted this but were repelled by Dahomey. This is certainly a herculean task for you because military confrontations between Dahomey and Europeans began well after the slave-trade ended!

    The analogy about the Euro-American terrorism in the middle East also leaves much to be desired. What you miss-or chose not ignore- is that the West could not have carried out its terrorism in the Middle East without the support of actors in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Israel are among the countries that the USA has used to destabilize and divide the Middle East today. If, in the next ten years, there is a radical geopolitical change resulting in the ousting of US influence and culminating in the unity of the Middle East, will see surely see a proliferation of stupid, perverted, politically-correct theories (as we now see on the slave trade) that seek to lay the blame squarely on the West while excusing these traitor-countries like Saudi Arabia. Emotional, self-made “Pan-Arabic” historians (or however they may be called) would then bend over backwards, using finely articulated grammar, to show how “Middle-Easters did not betray Middle-Easters” or how “Arabs did not kill Arabs”, and about how history should be put in some “ideological context.” But inasmuch as they would criticize America for the role it played in destroying the Midde East, honest historians would certainly call out these countries for conspiring with external agents to destroy their on region.

    One of your postulates, a geopolitical explanation for why “Africans did not sell Africans” was that Europeans funded African states to fight Dahomey and others. In response to this terrorism from the whites, Dahomey fought these states, caught some and sold back to these same Europeans! Not only is this unsound in theory but also historically untrue. Again, you give no historical evidence of tribes that were funded to attack Dahomey or Asante. You, thus, cast these expanding, aggressive kingdoms which formented unprovoked wars in their quest for expansion, as defensive ones, fighting to protect themselves from Western-funded terrorist states. And in all these, we are to take your word for it, against the overwhelming evidence of history.

    Certainly, we can we can, and do dispute the fact that these empires were acting in self-defense against European-funded aggressors. Take for instance Dahomey’s invasion of Abeokuta- a city whose population was more than the entire Dahomey-on the 3rd of March 1851. While they failed to take the city, they still took away a lot of slaves to sell. Are you saying as one with sound historical knowledge, that Dahomey marched several kilometres to a walled city to defend itself against European-funded Abeokuta?

    Another textbook Example as when a joint Asante-Akamu-Anlo army invaded Northern Eweland from 1869- to 1872. Though defeated, they still managed to take slaves of those towns that allied with them. In a previous post, you theorized that this was at the height of the slave trade, hence, attempting to wrongly cast Asante’s invasion in the shadow of a “formidable European geopolitical gravitational influence”, as your theory would have us believe. The facts of history, once again, exposed your theory as mere opinion since the invasion began sixty years after the save trade had ended. Honestly, this was when I expected you to either revise or throw away this theory.
    Of course, there is no doubt that these kingdoms acted in a context. This context, however, was greed, as pointed out by Adu Boahen, and not coercion by the West, as you seem to opine.

    • Hubert Agamasu.

      “A good theory is not in the grammar but in the evidence. While your essays are always laid out in flawless, impressive grammar and replete with impeccable choice if vocabulary, they are always lacking in the much-needed evidence.”

      Akpe. Akpe. Akpe sia! It is amazing how you can praise something and then insult the thing in the same sentence.

      The thing you call evidence, as I have pointed out on numerous occasions, is naked (oral) information. Nothing about this “evidence” falls outside of the neat outlines of my theory.

      In fact, when you admit o such naked (oral) information as “The Europeans…. were only new consumers who came with larger appetite… they were the ones who commercialized it,” you prove the theory.

      My claim is that the gross commercialization is what resulted in the gross miscarriage of human decency. The need for the barbaric Europeans to keep their supply chains oiled necessitated their tactics of spreading terrorism all across the region. Certainly, even you can see why Feudal Kingdoms in Europe will fund, train and spread propaganda in West Africa that will keep their commercial slave industries in the Americas sufficiently profitable.

    • Lol, when did it become a crime to write flawless grammar? You make a good point when you say the west are being aided by middle eastern actors, but what we must bear in mind is that the state of Israel is the 51st state of America. Any student of the geo-politics of the Middle east knows that the Palestinians are not fighting the state of Israel for self determination but rather United States and its junior partner, Britain, who established the Israeli state with the Balfour Declaration in 1917. The British also established the House of Saud. The ruling family in Saudi Arabia was hand picked by the British and installed. That is why Saudi Arabia can commit heinous crimes in broad day light like the murder of journalist Khassoghi and go scot free. The British and the Americans once again came together to remove the Mossadeq government of Iran in 1953 and installed the Shah of Iran resulting in the continued chaos we still have today in Iran. So although there are middle east actors, we have to look at the genesis of the problem.
      Chattel slavery is not commercial slavery as you erroneously try to allude. Chattel slavery is the form of slavery that dehumanise the African to the staus of an animal, and a property that is owned and can be traded, re-traded and cast away like a torn cloth and dumped into a trash bin when its owner has no further use of it. Slavery that existed in Africa pre-the 15th century. For example, captured soldiers being enslaved by the victors. These slaves were treated as humans and some of them excelled to high offices in the victors’ dominion should they prove themselves.
      Slaves in west Africa pre European arrival were divided into three classes. The first consist of slaves born in the master’s family, who are usually well treated and in many respects treated as part of the family, the second is composed of purchased slaves, The third of pawns or persons who have been pledged by their relatives, masters for repayment of debt with interest. This type of slavery was different to chattel slavery.
      The Europeans having tricked their way in building highly fortified castles resorted to kidnapping of Africans to start the process. They had the benefit of gun powder which had then just been invented by the Chinese,(but not for the purposes which the Europeans put it) With this superior weaponry the stage was set to brutalise communities and forment trouble among Africans. You keep referring to wars between Akwamus, Asantes, Dahomenians, Ewes and the like in the 1800s. By that time, there were no societies in west Africa. Towns and villages and whole communities have been destroyed by what the Europeans started when the Portuguese set foot in the motherland in 1482/83. The thinkers, craftsmen, priests, astronomers, doctors, teachers, bakers, chefs, carpenters, masons, builders et al et al have been captured and transported to the Americas and Caribbeans. Slave raiders like Samori Toure and others as well as the Asante and Akwamu Kings who sold slaves did so to protect themselves otherwise they would have been captured and enslaved. For proper trade to occur there must be a willing seller and a willing buyer, this was not the case with the slave trade as you and others claim. A lot of research is taking place now and stories of the earliest captives do not support the narrative that Africans sold Africans at the start of this genocide. This apologetic stance some African academics are taking is to say the least can only harm the case for reparations. Where are the riches of the African Kingdoms that sold slaves if it was really arms length transactions? Why then were slave masters compensated when slavery ended?

  3. Re-Don’t Traumatize Yourself: Africans Did Not Sell Africans into Chattel slavery. Pt 2
    Also, no one has ever argued that any African kingdom is on the same pedestal with any Western kingdom, whether in might or propaganda-making but again, this is clearly beside the point. Coercion of African kingdoms by mighty Europeans was not before or during the slave trade but after it, when the West actually started making attempts to conquer and rule. Moreover, to assume that African side of the story as lost because Africans could not read or write would be unfortunate (we may then ask where you got your version of history from, since you were equally not there). Africans did not read or write, but preserved their histories in oral traditions that are corroborated by histories of other traditional areas.
    In researching these histories and making conclusions, therefore, no one is thinking his history within the cooked prescriptions of European education. Neither are we regurgitating oral traditions. Instead, we are only researching our history as honestly and as open-mindedly as an academics. We are only taking a cue from the numerous qualified, dispassionate African historians and not close-minded and opinionated arm-chair historians.
    Hence, in your attempt to challenge the historical truth that Africans sold Africans, you have only recast it in view of a theoretical framework for which you have advanced no single historical evidence in your entire write-up.

    You asked how powerful African kingdoms could fall within decades of abolishment of the slave trade. But does the question not answer itself? The save trade ended! This is where your theory suffers another mortal wound (if it is not already dead by now. During the slave-trade, there was rivalry between the European powers themselves and the African kingdoms called the shots, being clever to even manipulate the rivalry among the European traders to their on advantage. If for instance, France had attempted to attack Dahomey at the height of the slave trade, Dahomey could appeal to Portugal, a rival trading country, with promise of better deals. This could create problems for France.

    Sixty years after the slave trade, however, these kingdoms would have lost their money and leverage (let us remember they did not invest their monies in banks or economies but spent it on ammunition and goods), making it easy for any Western power to attack them. One then understands why Asante and Dahomey opposed the end of the trade!

    In recounting the process of European exploitation, you mentioned that Europeans fomented perpetual wars to supply slaves: You have provided no evidence that wars during the slave-raid were formented by the Europeans, i.e., that they funded smaller states to attack the larger ones. There is contrary evidence that these larger states were enticed by the slave trade and voluntarily waged wars and raided slaves before, during and even after the slave trade. In some instances, the West even became the protector of smaller tribes that were constantly being harassed by larger ones. The bond of 1844, for instance, was signed by the southern chiefs who sought protection from the British against Asante. This is a fact of history! The onus is on you to prove that it as the smaller states that were rather harassing the larger ones at the behest of the foreign powers.

    Stronger African kingdoms focused on conquering and subjugating those around them. For a long time, the West concentrated on cheating the Africans in the trade while watching them kill themselves. Some of these smaller tribes appealed to the Europeans for support and the British took advantage to make them protectorates. With the slave trade ended, the Europeans looked to a new avenue of exploitation-colonialism. This is when their attention shifted to the plight of the oppressed states. They then assembled these smaller tribes and aided them to defeat their oppressive monarchies and, thus regaining their sovereignty independent. The battle of Akatamanso is a good example of this British interventionism.

    In conclusion, the aggressive expansion of these kingdoms and its attendant divisions and enmities were what the White man capitalized on, and this is the lesson we must learn from history. Had we lived in peace and mutual respect of each other, with no aggressive states fighting to oppress others and expand their territories, it would have been easier for us to unite against the external enemy. Had Asante not invaded Northern Eweland, The Ewes might not have been inclined to march on Kumasi with the British in 1874. The same could be said of Akatamanso and a host of other so-called British-Asante or Franco-Dahomean wars. But to this fact on its head and say that the Ewes (or the tribes that fought at Akatamanso) were funded to do so would be utterly preposterous, to say the least.

    The obvious truth that the black man sold his fellow black man to the white man may be a trauma for some, for which reason they would do anything to deny the truth of history and compose their own ridiculous theories. For some of us, it is not a trauma but a constant reminder that we must be honest enough to own our own involvement in the great tragedy that befell us and seek to correct history from our own mistakes; that our pan-Africanism must not be that of blame-shifting. For decades we have pointed fingers at others for our fall and, seventy years after colonialism, we are so depraved we are even dying to go and stay in the slaver’s land. It is time for introspection, humility and sober reflection on our own history.

    If we close our eyes to the verdict of history, researched and written by learned Africans, and stick to our own outlandish theories cooked out of ignorance and denial; in the false belief that we are putting on a show of pan Africanism: that would dishonest, anti-intellectual, and the very definition of brutal stupidity.

  4. This in fact, is one of the most ridiculous analysis I hv ever come across. So much has been written, but very little has been dealt with. Every one knows that the European was largely behind all the brutalities and the current state of the African continent. It is amazing to suggest in your write up that even though the African was sort of involved in the selling of his own brother to the European, he was actually manipulated to do so by the European. It is also interesting to suggest that all the intracontinental wars of African kingdoms against other African kingdoms were indirect machinations of the European. So, for how long, will the average African allow the average European to manipulate him? If indeed, what you have nicely written above is true, it actually makes the biggest fool of the Blackman. Why does it seem impossible for Africans to recognise, protect and defend themselves against foreign invaders? Something is definitely wrong somewhere with our mentality.

    • Your contribution to the debate ignores the causative factors that Africans find themselves in today. Great empires have come and gone including Mansa Musa’s Mali empire that made huge waves in the late 13th and early 14th century. Still reputed even by today’s standards as the richest man ever lived in this world. It is often very difficult for people to understand the deviousness the early Portuguese who were welcomed with open arms under the guise of trade. The records show that Africans at the start of the genocide were not sold by kith and kin but were captured. Some were tricked into going to the forts and onto ships for meetings and socialising and later found themselves at sea in chains. During those early days. Whole townships were burnt to ashes and destroyed by Europeans with superior weapons. These superior weapons played a major part in subduing the Africans. And greatly increased the already fragile state of affairs between the coastal communities of west Africa in the 16th century. By the time what we now refer to as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade really commenced when the actual selling and buying of slaves began to take shape thousands if not millions of Africans have been captured and transported without money or cowries changing hands. Naturally, it became the survival of the fittest and it was not so much Africans being manipulated by the Europeans but rather the Europeans found African collaborators to assist them in the evil enterprise. At the time that new campaign is being waged by the most affected people,( i.e. the Caribbeans and African Americans) clamouring for reparations we have Africans in the motherland, instead of aligning themselves with their brothers and sisters are rather undermining and trying incessantly to blame Africans for their own misfortune bequeath to the victims. It is significant to note that ex President John Kufour of Ghana when asked about his views on reparations in 2007 was not interested in any such initiative because it was according to him too complicated. What is complicated about reparations and reparatory justice? If the Africans who are not interested in righting the wrongs of the past have nothing better to offer let them keep their mouth shut. Were there not Jews helping Nazi Germany killing millions of Jews in the 1939-45 in the European war (falsely labelled as a world war)? If these Jews can be classified as collaborators why are the small number of Africans who helped perpetuate this monstrous and heinous crimes not collaborators? Rather we are caught up in blaming ourselves. You asked why Africans can’t defend themselves against foreign invaders? Diogo de Azambuja did not arrive at Elmina with gun fire. He arrived with offers of establishing trade links and asking his host to join his King in washing the European God. Mansa Musa’s travels to Mecca and his immense wealth had aroused great interest in the riches of west Africa and that was one of the attractions of European explorers to west Africa. Fast forward, 1957, after more than 500 years of exploitation and colonisation Ghana became independent, at least politically. Guess what happened? In less than 10 years the CIA and their associate plotted a coup in Ghana in 1966. It was followed by another one in 1971, then 1979, 1981. So where is the case for the Blackman being a fool, why don’t you blame the white man? In 2004 Mark Thatcher, the son of the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher tried to organise a coup in Equitorial Guinea. Thanks to the late Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, the coup was foiled. Mark Thatcher had planned to take control of the vast oil resources of the country if he had succeeded. It would have been another round pillaging and plundering of the country for hundreds of years. In conclusion I think you make a good point that something is wrong with our mentality, if President John Kufour can happily give away Ghana Telecom, a major security asset to Vodafone UK on a 999 year lease for a mere pittance then something is surely wrong with our mentality, but Africans were not willing sellers of the brothers and sisters.

    • Emmanuel Amevor I mostly ignored causative factors, because they are largely irrelevant to the point I am trying to establish. You hinted in your address that Africans were tricked. For how long will Africans be susceptible to this kind of European trick? That is my point. Its time to wake up and claim our rightful position. You also hinted that Europeans were far superior militarily, thus making it easy to disintegrate the African fibre. This argument also does not wash. As to how the European succeeded in overtaking the Blackman in terms of warfare and military prowess, when in fact the Blackman is the oldest race of humanity on the surface of this planet, is very difficult to comprehend! It is up to us to reflect deeply on ourselves and change the future. This is why I believe that we are part of the reasons why we are where we are.

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor the Chinese having invented gunpowder although not for the purposes which the Europeans decided to use it for and having access to it made a lot of difference. I don’t think the causative factors can be ignored, but that is not the debate here. Like I said in my earlier thread the Caribbeans and and African Americans have undergone enough trauma and hardly need the distractions of blame apportionment by some rented African chiefs and other apologists doing the runs of late.

    • Emmanuel Amevor I don’t think you understand my point. Because ur comments do not respond to what I am saying.

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor Your position as I understand it is that causative factors are irrelevant and so should be ignored. My thread tried to put across the opposite view, Narmer Amenuti exhaustive piece is debunking the myth of Africans selling Africans which you find futile. You further went on to dismiss the Europeans’ role in the ‘intracontinental wars of African kingdoms against other African kingdoms were indirect machinations’. My position is that Europeans were and are still culpable. You also claim that every one knows that the Europeans were behind the brutalities currently. I have news for you, there are continental Africans and others of African heritage in the diaspora who think that Europeans in Africa were and are still a force for good, otherwise there will be no need for people asking for Africans to apologise for the brutalities and the current state of the continent. I hope these clarifies my points.

    • Emmanuel Amevor No, that is not my point. My point is that, we have our part of the blame to take for such manipulations. They did not force the manipulation on us with bombs and guns. They lied and tricked us, and we BELIEVED those lies. So why are we resting so much on the part they played, while deemphasizing our part?

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor The records are there if you care to research them. Gun boat diplomacy was not invented by Henry Kissenger and Richard Nixon. After tricking us, they used guns to subdue us. No one is deemphasising any part we played. What some of us are trying to debunk is the myth that Africans were willing sellers of their kith and kith, which research clearly shows otherwise.

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor Very good question my good friend. Africans are higher beings, I believe. And this is our major weakness as a race. Till today, we believe anything we are told without question. But believe is not enough.

    • Emmanuel Amevor So higher beings believe anything they are told, right? Is that the characteristic of higher beings? Ei, this is amazing!

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor unfortunately, like I said. To this day after all these horrible experiences we are where we were over 500 years ago. Swallow everything thing we are told hook line and sinker.

    • Emmanuel Amevor So this is what I want you to tell the writer above. Tell him we are also to blame. The writer doesn’t seem to understand that! So tell him!

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor I don’t think that is Narmer Amenuti’s position. He, like me don’t accept this propaganda that Africans willingly sold Africans. The Caribbeans and African Americans who suffered this trauma do not need the self pitying African blame game. This revisionist history is being propagated by people who have done very little or no research into this subject and just regurgitate what some Eurocentric historians write to make them feel good and makes a good argument for their case against reparations and reparatory justice.

    • Emmanuel Amevor Boss, u r still writing these details. They are not needed here. I hv made my point very clear to u, and I thought u understood me. I’m saying both the white man and black man are responsible, but the writer doesn’t think the Blackman should be involved at all. Ask him to find out if I’m lying instead of writing these boring histories. And remember, I am not Eurocentric. I am only a critical thinker.

    • Emmanuel Amevor Does it mean u hv not understood me or what? We allowed ourselves to be tricked. And we are still allowing ourselves to be deceived. And u think there is nothing wrong with us?????

    • Emmanuel Amevor No! But he has to mention that clearly. Otherwise, he is being very biased in his writing. Moreover, I don’t think he even agrees that we allowed ourselves to be tricked. You can ask him to find out. That is his main problem. He blames everything, from A to Z, on to the European. Can’t we for once reason for ourselves and save our own continent?

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor white people have always been biased about their writing, so i don’t see the problem even if he is. He is showing with conviction which side he is on. I wish we had a few more people like him. The world would be a better place for humanity.

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor white people have always been biased about their writing, so i don’t see the problem even if he is. He is showing with conviction which side he is on. I wish we had a few more people like him. The world would be a better place for humanity.

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor it is one of the ways but not the only way. It is not enough to just expose their lies and propaganda. We need to counter it with our narrative giving an African world view.

    • Emmanuel Amevor An African worldview shouldnt be a biased view! It should be an accurate and critical view

    • Emmanuel Amevor No, what the likes of the writer above has been doing is what has led us to where we are. By refusing to accept our mistakes, we can’t move on and make changes

      • Emmanuel Amevor oh boss, am even tired of talking. How many times hv we used the word “tricked” here?

      • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor my good friend, you are now telling me that if i am sitting in my village minding my business and some one appears and say he wants to trade with me. I accept him in good faith and the person happens to be a crook, a murderer and a psychopath which is unknown to me at the time. So because the person tricked me it becomes my mistake for which future generations be apologising for? What about the thief? Where in the English legal system is a person who has been robbed asked to apologised for being robbed in a court of law?, smh

      • Emmanuel Amevor So as higher beings as we are, we could not detect that they were in fact lying to us???

      • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor lol. I love your reasoning, bro. When we talk of higher beings, we mean people who believe in the principles of Maat I.e Truth, fairness, equality, reciprocity, justice et al. It doesn’t mean a crook can’t pull a fast one over you. It doesn’t mean you you should n’t ask for a recompense when you have been wronged.. That is where Sankofa comes in.

  5. Hubert Agamusu wrote: “Had we lived in peace and mutual respect of each other, with no aggressive states fighting to oppress others and expand their territories, it would have been easier for us to unite against the external enemy”.

    In other words, we should blame ourselves for the horrors of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and leave out the elephant in the room. By so doing doing, these writers seek to project some “false honesty by hastening to tell brutal truths” in order to elevate themselves to a moral high ground which in actuality is a fluke. This sort of behavior always vindicates Narmer Amenuti.

    The western industrial complex and later technological advancement is, to date, predicated on the free labor and loot that was siphoned out of Africa. The base of eventual western economic success is traceable to Africa yet these people are happy with only telling “brutal truths”. Show me what Africa benefited from this horrendous trade and then we can have a discussion.

    Victim blaming is a thing!!

  6. I’m sorry I have to disagree with you. I have Ghanaian family members who were documented chattel slavers.

    Let’s not look far. Salaga slave market is one of the popular slave markets. I admittedly do not know who set it up.

    The old lady lynched recently was at Salaga.

    Captain Mahama. I won’t talk plenty.

    Granted, the foreigners may have done their excesses, but until we accept our contribution and repent. I’m sorry..

    • Kwame Afrakomah Have foreigners wholeheartedly accepted their complicity and instigator role in the most horrible trade to have happened in human history? They are still blaming Africans for what happened. This is really pissing me off!

      Why is it that you the victims are so willing to throw your hands up in accepting your “guilt” when those who benefited the lion’s share and continue to benefit have yet to admit guilt? Because the propaganda machine that outwitted Africans and delivered booty is still working.

      Europeans to date refuse to accept their guilt. We did nothing wrong they say proudly! It was Africans that willingly sold their brothers and sisters to us, we were just willing buyers? Bullshit!! Where is the moral uprightness and superiority that they so copiously use to damn Africans and their culture?

      We all know that’s not what happened, the buyers actively worked in the background to make sure they got their loot and if that meant plunging entire societies into chaos and mayhem, if that meant killing and raping, whatever it meant, that’s exactly what they did and they continue to do!

      Till date, what are they not doing to siphon wealth from Africa and who gets blamed? Yes, you got it. Africans get blamed for everything from bad leadership to corruption to everything you can think about. Yet, these same people are behind the curtains pulling the strings and calling all the shots.

      Are Africans stupid to fall for the cheap lies, deceit and manipulation? Yes! But where is the moral superiority of the better evolved white specie? Wouldn’t a better, more enlightened human being with superior morals avoid the temptation of exploiting the simpleminded Africans?

      No! The superior Europeans jumped at the opportunity only to come out and at the other end to say Africans were stupid to be selling their own into servitude while downplaying their well documented instigator-behind-the curtains evil that masterminded and fuelled the chaos while they position themselves to reap the profits from this dastardly history.

      How the instigator of all this killing, raping and breakdown of humanity is not to blame but the victims must be blamed for being stupid is beyond me!

      Morality is subjective indeed.

    • Edem, cool down, I feel your pain. Trust me, I don’t buy their propaganda. You’re right, the west may not have fully accepted their complicity. I just feel both victims and victors alike must do their part, and we can’t force them, so we must try, hard as it is, to move on, since holding on is holding us back.

  7. The point Kwame Afrakomah, which is also the point Edem Anku is making, is exactly about holding on. One cannot move on from this stage of trauma without accepting that what happened to him, to his brothers and sisters and what continues to happen to him in Africa and to his brothers and sisters in the Diaspora has nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to do with his faults.

    We are victims to European barbarism as colonialism is still much alive in Africa, in the same way and manner that our brothers and sisters in the united states, for instance, continue to be victims to the barbarism of the white supremacist practices of Europeans in the Americas.

    To move on, one needs rather to accept that European terrorism on the African continent, past and present, and the barbarism Europeans unleash on Blacks in the Americas, and everywhere, has nothing, absolutely nothing to do with our fault. This self-blame game is getting out of hand, and it is this exact attitude that makes it impossible for us to move on from our trauma.

  8. Kwame Afrakomah The point is that those who did the greatest evil are out there enjoy their loot. Moreso, they just keep quiet and enjoy whatever they stole, they have audacity to stick their fingers into the face of Africans and say, we should be blamed for allowing ourselves to be deceived. Forgetting that deceit is what it is. Deceit is act of misrepresenting the truth in order to outwit or mislead a person into committing an action.

    So now, Africans should be blamed for being deceived meanwhile the very nature of deceit is that you do not have the benefit of hindsight and the one doing the deceiving is the one to blame for whatever happens afterwards.

    But here we are today, blaming ourselves for being victims of a whole arsenal of machinations designed to completely misrepresent facts, mislead and rob us of our wealth.

    I will never blame Africans for being victims. The logic just defies all of human decency and I won’t fall that guilt tripping meant to hide and dampen European savagery.

    • Opoku Francis This in fact, is one of the most ridiculous analysis I hv ever come across. So much has been written, but very little has been dealt with. Every one knows that the European was largely behind all the brutalities and the current state of the African continent. It is amazing to suggest in your write up that even though the African was sort of involved in the selling of his own brother to the European, he was actually manipulated to do so by the European. It is also interesting to suggest that all the intracontinental wars of African kingdoms against other African kingdoms were indirect machinations of the European. So, for how long, will the average African allow the average European to manipulate him? If indeed, what you have nicely written above is true, it actually makes the biggest fool of the Blackman. Why does it seem impossible for Africans to recognise, protect and defend themselves against foreign invaders? Something is definitely wrong somewhere with our mentality.

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor I may not be in a strong academic nor intellectual position to believe his analysis just like the volumes of knowledge about the slave trade written by those that brutalized the continent. However, I can confidently pass sound judgements to some assertions of manipulation due to our living experiences now. Egs. White wedding, Catholics praying through saints(white man’s ancestors) to replace our culture of praying through our own ancestors. There are lots of them. How we have beautifully replaced and honoured other cultures why throwing away ours make me believe in the manipulation of the black man. These are current real life experiences. I equate very old history to information from NASA about our solar system. Since we can’t justify reports by NASA, we can choose to believe them or not. There are so many things they speak about our solar system today and tell you something else tomorrow. Eg. If you remember that stone that was to crush our earth somewhere in 1999 but later landed on mass. Can we prove that? I have a piece on the current manipulation of Africans. It got little attention because it is painful to admit that we are still mentally enslaved and manipulated most especially the African elites. We are the worse bro.

    • Aboagye Kwarteng Dofuor Kindly check on this piece I wrote.
      How are we thinking? This is how most of my Ghanaian people think.

      Ananse (spider) stories = colloquial, Spider-Man = Current.
      African proverbs = villagers language,
      Shakespeare’s quotes = Eloquence.
      Apostle Sarfo Kantanka=not a scientist,
      Albert Einstein = genius (debatably greatest scientist).
      African cultural marriage = engagement,
      British (white) cultural marriage = Actual or proper wedding.
      Praying through our ancestors = ungodly,
      Praying through white ancestors (Saints like St Paul, St Luke, st Anthony etc, I’m sorry my catholic brothers) = godly.
      Our social studies textbooks teach us “outmoded (bad) cultural practices” but no “outmoded (bad) foreign practices”.
      Our teachers ask, “what’s your English name”? Do we really need English names?

      What happened to our culture, our values, and most importantly our intellect? Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, folks.

      Note: To value yourself doesn’t mean to hate others. This is not about hate against other cultures, please. I’m only saying, put value on yours just like you do for others.

      Just Pondering!

    • Opoku Francis My point is simple: yes the manipulation is real, but we have also contributed in allowing the manipulation to take place. That is all I am saying. However, the writer wants to discard any trace of our contribution and place all the blame on the white man. This makes it very ridiculous.

  9. Narmer Amenuti No!!! It is rather the opposite! It is in fact, the constant blaming of the European for all of our current situation that makes it impossible to move on and make things better for ourselves.

    • Blame must be apportioned where it must!

      Europeans instigated, planned, executed, fueled and fanned the wanton desecration and exploitation of African people purely for extracting profit and they did so with absolute disregard for any kind of moral decency.

      In whatever endeavors that this kind of behavior rears its head, it must be called out for what it is. “Oh, you are just blaming Europeans for problems created by ourselves” is a diversion. A clever one to escape accountability.

      Africa will build itself back up and it will be built by Africans but first and foremost, we need to muster the courage and intellectual fortitude to call to out the elephant in the room without any iota of guilt whatsover!

      African complicity has not been denied. I acknowledge our stupidity. But like I said, I can’t be blamed for being deceived, for being lied to. It doesn’t make sense because I do not have the benefit of hindsight, that is the nature of deceit.

      The one doing the deceiving actively and knowingly to push me to commit the crime is the worst one here. And I won’t whitewash that fact in the name of telling brutal truths. I won’t!

    • Edem Anku the whole fact remains that nations always sought to dupe one another and when it didn’t work, they resorted to sabotage and direct invasions or declarations of war. Caucasian nations did trick and manipulate us in the past and they carry on tricking and manipulating us today. Instead of focusing our energy on blaming them, it’s perhaps time we look within each and everyone of us to decipher why we go on allowing them to manipulate us into wrecking our societies for their benefit. China and India are slowly creeping in with the same tactics as the Caucasians. For how long are we going to be pointing fingers at the external manipulators and ignoring our very own brothers and sisters who have been and remain in cahoot with them?

    • Mawanda Basweka I am not against looking inside ourselves neither am I afraid of self critique.

      I will, however, not shy away from calling out the savagery that has bastardized African culture and ruined its uninterrupted development.

      Examine any aspect of Africa’s socio-cultural life and economy, all of the structural and systemic issues in Africa trace back to the activities of savage profiteers and we can’t deny it.

  10. White superiority and Black inferiority is thickly embedded in the souls and minds of many Africans because of the LIES that were told and written by the White Supremacists. Winston Churchill famously said “history is written by the victors.”
    If you’re told enough times that you are less human, less intelligent, less beautiful etc., you begin to believe it and it shapes your view of self and your world. But, when we know better, we are allowed to renew our minds and start valuing ourselves more, and less forgiving about the genocide visited on of our people. Just visit any Caribbean country and listen to the people; you’ll begin to comprehend the enormity of the LIES of trans- Atlantic slavery.

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