Africa : The Myth of the Black African Slave Trade

Sekhemu

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By Ayanna www.rootswomen.com/ayanna

Islam, Colourism and the Myth of Black African Slave Traders

Africans in the Diaspora have the challenge of rewriting history that as been stained by years of distortions, ommision and downright lies. One of the biggest challenges of rewriting this history has been the Atlantic Slave Trade, and one of the biggest sore points has been the idea that "Black Africans sold their own into slavery". A lack of information, a paucity of expansive scholarship and an unwillingness to have a serious discourse on Colourism as it existed in Africa even before European intervention, has contributed to this. Diaspora Africans are often quite naive and will do anything to hold fast to the illusion that "we are all Africans" and ignore the racism that has existed among a group that is far from uniform.

In looking at the issue of Colourism I could not help seeing the links between the role of Islam in Africa adn the role of Africans in the slave trade. The book, "Islam and the Ideology of Slavery" by John Ralph Willis is very helpful in looking at the almost imperceptible link between the enslavement of "kufir" Non-muslims or infidels, and the belief that Black Africans were not only heathens but inherently inferior. This is not a new thought and certainly not one that originated with the muslims coming into Africa.

The story of Tippu Tip who is one of the most widely known slave traders has always posed a problem for historians, especially Afrocentric historians in the diaspora trying to find some way to reconcile themselves to the idea of an "African Slave trader". The fact that Tippu Tip was not only Muslim, but a "mulatto" is vital. The common ideology of judaism and islam where Black Africans are concerned is certainly no secret. While some in Islamic writings we see an almost mystical reverence to Africans, especially an over sexualized concept of Ethiopian women who were the preferred concubines of many wealthy Arab traders and kings, others there is distinct racism. Add to this the religious fervor of the muslim invaders, their non-acceptance or regard for traditional African religions, and the obvious economic and political desires for which religion was used as a tool, and we get an excellent but little spoken of picture of Islam in Africa.
 

Keita Kenyatta

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Sekhemu said:
By Ayanna www.rootswomen.com/ayanna

Islam, Colourism and the Myth of Black African Slave Traders

Africans in the Diaspora have the challenge of rewriting history that as been stained by years of distortions, ommision and downright lies. One of the biggest challenges of rewriting this history has been the Atlantic Slave Trade, and one of the biggest sore points has been the idea that "Black Africans sold their own into slavery". A lack of information, a paucity of expansive scholarship and an unwillingness to have a serious discourse on Colourism as it existed in Africa even before European intervention, has contributed to this. Diaspora Africans are often quite naive and will do anything to hold fast to the illusion that "we are all Africans" and ignore the racism that has existed among a group that is far from uniform.

In looking at the issue of Colourism I could not help seeing the links between the role of Islam in Africa adn the role of Africans in the slave trade. The book, "Islam and the Ideology of Slavery" by John Ralph Willis is very helpful in looking at the almost imperceptible link between the enslavement of "kufir" Non-muslims or infidels, and the belief that Black Africans were not only heathens but inherently inferior. This is not a new thought and certainly not one that originated with the muslims coming into Africa.

The story of Tippu Tip who is one of the most widely known slave traders has always posed a problem for historians, especially Afrocentric historians in the diaspora trying to find some way to reconcile themselves to the idea of an "African Slave trader". The fact that Tippu Tip was not only Muslim, but a "mulatto" is vital. The common ideology of judaism and islam where Black Africans are concerned is certainly no secret. While some in Islamic writings we see an almost mystical reverence to Africans, especially an over sexualized concept of Ethiopian women who were the preferred concubines of many wealthy Arab traders and kings, others there is distinct racism. Add to this the religious fervor of the muslim invaders, their non-acceptance or regard for traditional African religions, and the obvious economic and political desires for which religion was used as a tool, and we get an excellent but little spoken of picture of Islam in Africa.


I have no problem with the idea that Africans were involved in the slave trade. I understand the deep psychological impact of religious doctrine and the effects it can have even on our visual perception. I have even heard brothers here tell me that they are not black or African....they Muslim. In other words, in their mind, because I wasn't a Muslim they were basically letting me know that if they ran into a white guy who said "la illa ha illallah' that he would have sided with that white guy before he would have with me. Therefore in Africa I can easily see the same indoctrination having taken place that would have obscured any vision of other Africans being the same as they were....and as such, there wouldn't have been a bit of guilt or conscious remorse about what they were doing to people who looked as they did.
 

river

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If we are to rewrite history then we must write with honesty. And let us not mistake self recrimination and negative introspection for honesty. In fact our task is not to rewrite his-story but to write our-story. His story does not need to be rewritten but it does need to be exposed for what it is--a cesspool of undigested lies. We must write with Alka seltzer, Pepto Bismol and Milk of Magnesia to help the world and ourselves digest the truth. We are not writing for the white man or trying to come up with something to win his approval and respect. We must write for ourselves, for our children and for the posterity of the world.

This man is right. The fact that these so-called African slave traders were muslim mulattoes is vital to diffusing the consternation that a half truth has left us with.
 

Omowale Jabali

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river said:
If we are to rewrite history then we must write with honesty. And let us not mistake self recrimination and negative introspection for honesty. In fact our task is not to rewrite his-story but to write our-story. His story does not need to be rewritten but it does need to be exposed for what it is--a cesspool of undigested lies. We must write with Alka seltzer, Pepto Bismol and Milk of Magnesia to help the world and ourselves digest the truth. We are not writing for the white man or trying to come up with something to win his approval and respect. We must write for ourselves, for our children and for the posterity of the world.

This man is right. The fact that these so-called African slave traders were muslim mulattoes is vital to diffusing the consternation that a half truth has left us with.


:bullseye:
 

abdurratln

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Feb 27, 2007
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Keita said:
I have no problem with the idea that Africans were involved in the slave trade. I understand the deep psychological impact of religious doctrine and the effects it can have even on our visual perception. I have even heard brothers here tell me that they are not black or African....they Muslim. In other words, in their mind, because I wasn't a Muslim they were basically letting me know that if they ran into a white guy who said "la illa ha illallah' that he would have sided with that white guy before he would have with me. Therefore in Africa I can easily see the same indoctrination having taken place that would have obscured any vision of other Africans being the same as they were....and as such, there wouldn't have been a bit of guilt or conscious remorse about what they were doing to people who looked as they did.

No one should be surprised. Islam is about the Unity of GOD. Those who do not believe are about dis-unity. Now, while we can try to find acommodation for non-believers and dis-believers please do not expect us to come down to your level.

It is a historical fact that the first Muslims were Black Africans. (May Allah be pleased with them all) And, the holy Prophet Muahamad (Peace and Blessins be upon him) was a direct descendant of a Black African named Hagar. (Peace and Blessings be upon him) Just deal with the facts.
 

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