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Slavery in West Africa

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  1. Introduction
  2. Developing slavery organizations in West Africa
  3. Slavery in North and West Africa
  4. The consequences of the emancipation of the slave population
  5. The importance of the examination of conventional examples of migration in West Africa
  6. Rationalizing slavery
  7. Conclusion
  8. Works cited

Slavery, as it is known in the United States, differs vastly in comparison to the institution of slavery in West African countries. Slavery in West Africa was, however, affected and shaped by slavery in other parts of the world. The two articles that are discussed highlight slavery, slave trading, and the effects of both on life in West Africa. In J.D. Fage's article titled ?Slavery and the Slave Trade in the Context of West African History,? Fage explores how slavery in West Africa was shaped by the Atlantic Slave Trade as well as how European slavery differed from slavery practiced in West Africa. Fage emphasizes three perspective points of view held in regard to slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade in West Africa. The first view states that the custom of slavery was an innate and widespread establishment in West African communities, so much so that when foreigners came to West Africa with a demand for slaves, the West African communities were immediately prepared for a highly organized trade with the foreigners.

[...] In an effort to establish stronger groups, many West Africans would gather together and capture West Africans from other ethnic groups. It is ironic that in their endeavor to avoid slavery they in turn enslaved others. It is all these things, mentioned in the two articles and in other sources that make slavery such a complex and multi-faceted institution. It would be very difficult to imagine what the United States and other countries would be like without the Atlantic Slave. [...]


[...] Carcavallo 7 It is by this that one could conclude that the elimination of slavery was an important event in West African labor history, especially when considering the changes it provoked in regard to the organization of family labor among the Soninke, changes that in turn produced additional migrants. The history of the Soninke highlights the importance of the examination of conventional examples of migration in West Africa. In this way, one could compare West Africa to Europe, in which a comparable history of ancient customary migration lays the foundation for the more recent emergence of migrant labor workers on the current labor market. [...]

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