The Slave Trade Was Brutal And Horrific

2148 Words Jan 25th, 2015 9 Pages
"Africa

“It is important to keep the memory of the victims, to consider that what happened is a part of the history of human being, not only history of Africans or blacks or whites.” Eloi Coly

For more than three and a half centuries, the forcible bondage of at least twelve million men, women, and children from their African homelands to the Americas forever changed the face and character of the western hemisphere. The slave trade was brutal and horrific, and the enslavement of Africans was cruel, exploitative, and dehumanizing. The trade represented one of the longest and most sustained assaults on the life, integrity, and dignity of human beings in world history.

Contrary to what we learned in school, the transatlantic slave trade actually began in the 1450s when the first Africans arrived in Europe. You see, slavery existed in some capacity since the beginning of human interaction. As early as 2,000 years ago, the Romans enslaved people of color as servants. Around 600 AD the Arab Muslims started enslaving Africans. However, slavery was not based on race until Europeans began slave trading with Africans. It is also worth mentioning that Africa had a slavery system that existed within the country long before the Europeans arrived. The African slavery system was based on tribal ethnicities and economic status as thousands of Africans were captured during various wars between African nations and sold into slavery. In 1440, Spanish and Portuguese explorers sailed…
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