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Topics: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery, African slave trade Pages: 4 (1534 words) Published: November 17, 2013


The trans-Atlantic slave trade was the largest long-distance coerced movement of people in history. From the late fifteenth century, the Atlantic Ocean became a commercial highway that integrated the histories of Africa, Europe, and the Americas for the first time. For several centuries slaves were the most important reason for contact between Europeans and Africans. But why were the slaves always African? One possible answer draws on the different values of societies around the Atlantic and, more particularly, the people involved in creating a trans-Atlantic community saw themselves in relation to others – in short, how they defined their identity. In fact, Africans themselves sold slaves to Europeans for use in the Americas. Given the long-lasting historical repercussions of the estimated eleven million African captives forced to cross the Atlantic from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, we know amazingly little about the individual experiences of the horrific Middle Passage. Historian Randy Sparks informative book, Two Princes of Calabar, tells the remarkable true story of two African Princes enslaved at Old Calabar in the Bight of Biafra, taken first to the Caribbean and then shipped to Virginia. They then escaped to England where they sued for their freedom in hope to make it back home. Sparks book gave the public a first-hand look on the atrocities the slave trade brought to the Africans. Sparks not only discusses the maltreatment the slaves received but also mentions how the slave trade provided communities with economic benefits. Two Princes of Calabar addresses issues in Africa today from colonialism to the horrific slave trade with this extraordinary true story of two Princes journey back to freedom. Sparks study began when he encountered a series of letters by former slaves to Charles Wesley, the brother of the founder of Methodism, John Wesley. The letters were written by Little Ephraim Robin John...

Bibliography: Sparks , Randy. The Two Princes of Calabar. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2004.
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