West African Kingdoms Ghana, Mali Term Paper

Pages: 5 (1527 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 6  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - African

European slavery, on the other hand, regarded slaves as property. The status of slavery was hereditary and would continue through life. Slaves in the United States were also forced to adopt the religious customs of their masters. As a result, they lost many aspects of their magic and Islam-based cultures as they adopted the Christian traditions prevalent in the Americas.

This context should form the backdrop in studying the role Africans themselves played in the slave trade. Historians like Basil Davidson contend that many African slave traders had no idea about the conditions of the Middle Passage, as well as the significant differences in the European concept of slavery (Davidson 211). They were unaware of the conditions that awaited many of their kin in the Americas.

In conclusion, the political and economic life of prominent West African kingdoms contributed to the institution of slavery. However, slavery had a much different meaning for the Africans and the European colonizers.

Still, as Davidson observes, this lack of knowledge does not "reduce the inhumanity of the system in itself" (214).

Works Cited

Davidson, Basil. Africa in History. New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1981.

Der, Benedict. The Slave Trade in Northern Ghana. Ghana: Woeli Publishing Services, 1998.

Harris, Joseph E. Africans and Their History.

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