That is the title of a new book by Randy J. Sparks, of which Washington Post columnist Jonathan Yardley notes the following:
- "It has long been known that some African tribal chieftains and their underlings collaborated with the slave traders, who were chiefly English, French, Dutch and North American, but the assumption has been that they did so for what might be called essentially negative reasons, such as punishing rival tribes or currying favor with whites."
- "Sparks turns that assumption on its head. He leaves no doubt that, at least at certain locations on the Gold Coast, native Africans were not merely complicit in the trade, but were active, enthusiastic and decidedly voluntary participants."
- "As historian David Northrup has observed, 'African slave traders are usually cast in the role of victims … naive persons caught up in the vicious machinery of a larger economy they could not begin to comprehend,' a view that badly misrepresents the slave trade. These African merchants were as fully engaged in the Atlantic economy as their European counterparts … and deeply engaged in trading networks that extended deep into the African continent and across the Atlantic."
- "It was nearly four decades after that when Britain finally abolished the slave trade, which did more than anything else to end Annamaboe's golden age. 'The British abolition of the slave trade did not by any means end the traffic,' Sparks writes, 'but it did end the system as it existed in the 18th century and particularly at its forts on the Gold Coast. Built to protect the slave trade, the forts now became enforcers of the ban against it, and the economies of Cape Coast, Annamaboe, and the other towns surrounding those forts simply collapsed.'"
On the subject of black slavery in the United States, Wikipedia states the following:
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- "Some slaveholders were black or had some black ancestry. An African former indentured servant arrived to Virginia in 1621, Anthony Johnson, was the first true slave owner (the first to hold a black African servant as a slave) in the mainland American colonies."
- "In 1830 there were 3,775 such slaveholders in the South who owned 12,760 slaves, with 80 percent of them located in Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland."
- "Andrew Durnford of New Orleans was listed as owning 77 slaves. … 'Durnford was known as a stern master who worked his slaves hard and punished them often in his efforts to make his Louisiana sugar plantation a success.'"
- "Historians John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger wrote: 'A large majority of profit-oriented free black slaveholders resided in the Lower South.'"
- "African-American history and culture scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. wrote: '... the percentage of free black slave owners as the total number of free black heads of families was quite high in several states, namely 43 percent in South Carolina, 40 percent in Louisiana, 26 percent in Mississippi, 25 percent in Alabama and 20 percent in Georgia.'"
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