November 25, 2012
Narratives From The Atlantic Slave Trade
Throughout history, slave trade has always been a big issue in both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean regions. Over the course of more than three and a half centuries, the forcible transportation in bondage of innocent men, women, and children from their African homelands to the Americas changed forever the face and character of the modern world. The slave trade was brutal and horrific, and the enslavement of at least twelve million Africans was cruel and dehumanizing. Together, they represent one of the longest and most sustained assaults on the very life and dignity of human beings in history. Nobody knew slavery as well as the ex-slaves themselves, which is why their stories are highly accepted. Narratives were the only way for slaves to truly express their hardship. Slave narratives are a big part of history even though it is a difficult to reflect back on, especially for the African people.
The transatlantic slave trade laid the foundation for modern capitalism, generating immense wealth for business enterprises in America and Europe. The trade contributed to the industrialization of northwestern Europe and created a single Atlantic world that included Western Europe, Western Africa, the Caribbean islands, and the mainlands of North and South America. Even though the slave trade brought tremendous growth for their economies, there was a negative effect on the people of Africa.
A common misconception was that Europeans invaded Africa and force innocent Africans into the slave trade, which is not true. Europeans were responsible for the slave trading system, but they never ambushed the natives. Most slaves that were forcibly moved to other continents were already slaves in their homeland at one point in their lives. “Locations in sub-Saharan Africa were original lands of captivity for nearly all who later forcibly departed from the continent” (Larson,...
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