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Slavery in Africa was different than in America

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African slavery was for a limited time and they had certain rights


In Africa, slavery was a result of debt, war crimes, or criminal activity. African slavery was vital to life; it played a huge role in society.

"In sub-Saharan Africa, the slave relationships were often complex, with rights and freedoms given to individuals held in slavery and restrictions on sale and treatment by their master.

This is obviously very different from American slavery, where slaves were seen as property and a status symbol. The more slaves you had, the better off you were. Slaves were bought for life, and often times their children would be born into the household for life as well. Slaves had no rights; many were treated inhumanely and brutally.


The main difference between American and African slavery comes from the plantations of America. Due to a need for a constant flow of human labor on these plantations, they were treated as a commodity and a tool rather than people being punished for crime. Furthermore, American slavery was far more labor intensive than African slavery due to export quotas required on plantations.


Because American slavery was economic in design, slaves were there to generate wealth for their masters. African slavery was used to integrate more bodies into a society, so that it could grow and become more powerful, but it was still a system to exploit certain people for the benefit of others.


There were limits and boundaries on slavery as practiced in Africa. An enslaved person in Africa did not lose his status as a human being. But enslaved people shipped to the Caribbean and eventually the South of the US were considered chattel, not people. They existed to be worked to death and to breed more slaves to be worked to death. Very, very different. Part of the reason was the presence of Christianity in the early US. The inhumane practice of slavery, particularly the version in place in America, could only be reconciled with Christianity if enslaved Africans were seen as non-humans, unworthy of divine love and human compassion required of Christian believers.


Slavery in Africa existed long before it reached America, but in Africa, the slaves were not treated as chattels like America and were given rights similar to indentured servitude. Later when the Arab slave and trans-Atlantic slave trade began the systems changed and they started supplying slaves outside of Africa as captives and fro monetary value.


Freedom was never a possibility in American slaves’ wildest dreams, unlike African slaves, who often could be granted their freedom after a generation or two. Black slaves were not recognized as human beings by U.S. law.

By Daniella X

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