Just a bit of the hell the White race has put Africans through to become leaders of the world.

Portugal initiated the European movement of international expansion after their conquest of the Moorish stronghold of Ceuta in North Africa in 1415 CE. Emboldened by their unexpected success and determined to break the Islamic monopoly of trade with Africa and Asia, the Portuguese Prince, Henry the Navigator, who apparently never went to sea, using maps supplied by Jews who had been trading in gold in Northern and Western Africa through the Sahara, began to send Portuguese expeditions down the coast of West Africa, first to trade, then to establish Portuguese holding posts. Until that time, most Whites thought the world was flat and the Portuguese also wanted to prove or disprove this.

European enslavement of Africans began in 1441 CE, when a Portuguese captain, “commissioned' by his sovereign, Prince Henry the Navigator, seized a couple of Berbers off the West Coast of the Sahara. Prince Henry used slaves to work and populate Cape Verde, Fernandi Po (now Bioko) and Sao Tome, and took others home, particularly to the region of the Tagus River. Four years later, the Portuguese were building a fort on Arguin Island, off Mauritania, to hijack the caravan of gold travelling to Morocco, and to acquire slaves. This was to fulfill the needs of southern Europe, where slavery had survived in the Roman Empire in domestic activities, and in certain pockets of intensive agriculture, such as sugar production.

Prof. John Henrik Clarke in (What Columbus did not discover), tells us that “the few Africans who reached Europe through capture, or through the Venetian and Genoan trade with the Levant and North Africa, had been mere exotics. Such individuals still appear in the modern period like the Scottish “Ladye with the meckle lippis” in Dunbar's poem, for whose favours James IV's Knights jostled; like Ibrahim Hannibal, Peter the Great's Black general, who provided the germ of the novelette by another figure of the Diaspora, Alexander Pushkin, or like the Black pages who remained fashionable among the Europeans.

“The combined Portuguese, Dutch, British, and French slave trade initiatives, which followed, “deposited Africans in Europe and its possessions in numbers which make it impossible to speak of genuine Diaspora communities in Europe. By 1551, a tenth of Lisbon's population of 100,000 was Black, and by the 1590s it had its own annual African festival. The Portuguese Blacks were in the long run unable to remain culturally and racially distinct from the general population. The same was true of the smaller Black groups in Spain and other European countries. The only real exception was Britain. After it acquired colonies in North America and the West Indies, and became heavily involved in the slave trade, it developed small but distinct communities of African descent in port towns like Bristol, Liverpool and London. Their total number may have been as high as 15,000 in the 1780s.”

Portuguese sailors reached Senegal in 1435, Cape Bojador in 1443 and Sierra Leone in 1446. In 1450, Pope Nicholas V's bull (letter) empowered Portugal to reduce to perpetual slavery, all Africans from Cape Bajador to Guinea. He quoted verses of Leviticus 25 and Exodus 21, to justify African slavery. Portugal reached Guinea in 1455, by which time, the Portuguese had become as familiar a sight as the Arabs in West Africa, trading along the coast and exchanging envoys with such powerful African monarchs as the Oba of Benin and Emperor of Mali.

By the time Portugal reached the Congo in 1481 CE, their trade in slaves and manufactured goods had expanded so much; they had to build trading forts along the coast. In 1482 CE, Portuguese Captain, Don Diego d' Azambuja, started building their most famous fort, Elimina Castle, in what is now known as Ghana. Because of the huge profits they were making in the country they called it the Gold Coast. In 1488, Bartholomew Diaz sailed to the Cape of Good Hope while another Portuguese was preparing to sail around the Cape of Good Hope.

Portugal's grab of large tracks of Western Songhai coincided with Columbus' 'discovery' of the West Indies in 1492 CE. Christopher Columbus, representing Spain, arrived in the West Indies, the supposed first European explorer to do so. In the same year, Rodrigo Borgis became Pope Alexander VI. The news of Christopher Columbus' 'discovery' was additional bad one for Africa which was experiencing serious political toilmoil at the time. Granada, the last Moorish foothold in Spain had just fallen and the Moorish exiles were returning to Africa unsung.

Strengthened by the 1450 Papal bull, authorizing Portugal to reduce to servitude all infidel people, Portugal quickly laid claim to the 'new' territories of Christopher Columbus and the rest. Spain, of course, promptly denounced Portugal's claim. According to Diop, “but with both countries being Catholic, they turned to the Pope for arbitration, a natural and logical step in an age when the Papacy claimed supremacy over individuals and governments. The Pope issued a series of Papal bulls in 1493, demarcating colonial possessions, with those in the Eastern Hemisphere going to Portugal, and the West going to Spain. The partition still did not satisfy the two parties' aspirations until 1494, when they both reached a compromise in the Treaty of Tordesillas, which rectified the Papal judgment to give Brazil's ownership to Portugal. This treaty signaled the beginning in earnest of modern European brigandage in international relations. In 1498, Vasco da Gama found the sea route to India and arrived in Calicut. In 1499, Amerigo Vespucci charted parts of the South American coast.

When Christopher Columbus first set foot in the supposed 'New World' in 1492, he provided uninformed Europeans with the erroneous myth of themselves as 'discoverers' of already discovered and well established ancient African communities, colonies and trading posts across the Atlantic. Prof. Leo Wiener (Africa and the Discovery of America) explaining the diaries of Christopher Columbus, draws attention to the fact that “Columbus found dark-skinned people in the Caribbean Islands trading with the Indians. Columbus in his diary infers that the people were from the coast of Guinea (West Africa.)”

Wiener says: “…and he (Columbus) wanted to find out what the Indians of Hispaniola had told him, that there had come to it from the south and southeast, Negro people, who brought those spear points made of a metal which they call guanine, of which he had sent to the king and queen for assaying, and which was found to have in thirty-two parts eighteen of gold, six of silver, and eight of copper.”

On Columbus' return from the third voyage to the new land he had reached, he reports the presence of Negroes there. Interesting as this is, even more telling is the account he gives, after the first voyage itself, of having received from the 'Indians,' as it pleased him to call the natives, a present of certain 'guanines.'

From the Literary Digest, May 16, 1925. “Guanine' was the native African name of the time for pebbles or slobs of gold, the form in which it was imported to Europe from the Guinea coast. Quite naturally, Columbus, on being handed these same things in America, pricked up his ears. For be it remembered that Columbus, like all the rovers before him, had as his primary object, not the discovery of land merely, but the discovery of gold, ivory, spices, and articles sellable at a profit at home.

New lands were only a happy incidence to the business. They pleased one's king, lured new investors, and made good advertising. But gold was the thing, and Columbus lost no time in asking his Indians where they kept it. Very troublesome to Columbus their reply must have been, for according to his own report, they told him, "From Black merchants that come to us from the southeast.”

John Henrik Clarke in (What Columbus did not discover) tells us that: “Columbus was informed by some men, when he stopped at one of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, that Negroes had been known to set out into the Atlantic from the Guinea coast in canoes loaded with merchandise and steering towards the west. The same Christopher Columbus was further informed by the Indians of Hispaniola when he arrived in the West Indies that they had been able to obtain gold from Black men who had come from across the sea from the south and southeast. The dates of the accounts coincide precisely with the time that Askia the Great held sway over Songhai.”

Clarke also tells us that “American Indian legends abound with accounts of Black men who came to them from far-off lands. Aside from the report that Columbus obtained at Hispaniola, a notable tale is recorded in the Peruvian traditions. They inform us of how Black men coming from the east had been able to penetrate the Andes Mountains. “Furthermore, Indian traditions of Mexico and Central America indicate that Negroes were among the first occupants of that territory. Some Indians there yet claim descent from these same Blacks.”

Harold G. Lawrence (African Explorers of the New World, 1962) tells us: “We can now positively state that the Mandingos of Mali and Songhai Empires, and possibly other Africans, crossed the Atlantic to carry on trade with the Western Hemisphere Indians, and further succeeded in establishing colonies throughout the Americas. During the thirteenth century, Mali, the earlier of these two great empires, building on the ruins of ancient Ghana, rose to become one of the leading nations of the world… Voyages across the Atlantic were resumed, or continued during the reign of Askia.

Basil Davidson (Africans before Columbus, West African Magazine June 7, 1969) says: various writers have pointed from time to time, over the past twenty years and more, to the likely West African origins of the Black explorers who were said to have settled in Honduras.” Peter Martyr, historian of Balboa's expeditions, wrote: “Balboa in 1513, found Negroes in Panama. These were the first Negroes seen in the Indies. Balboa found them at war with the Indians and thought that they had sailed from Ethiopia."

John Henrik Clerks says: “Amerigo Vespucci, on his voyage to the Americas witnessed these same Black men out in the Atlantic returning to Africa. Fifteenth and sixteenth century Spanish explorers and early American art, legends, and burials, provide the principal sources of information on what happened to these African seamen after their arrival in the Americas. In effect, the Spanish conquistadors found dispersed all over the New World, small tribes who were from the very first considered Negroes. The largest Negro colony appears to have been a permanent settlement at Darien where Balboa saw them in 1513."

In Carter G. Woodson (The Africa Background Outlined) we learn that early European explorers on the Isthmus of Darien found caves there with skulls identified as African.

Students of ethnology have also observed that the religion of North and South American Indians is very much like that of the Africans, and the Indian language has words of African origin such as “Canoe,” “tobacco,” and “buckra.” Words like “goober,“ “yam,” “banjo” and “voodoo,” however, were later brought from Africa to America. Professor Leo Wiener proves with overwhelming evidence that the Indian medicine man owes his evolution to the African medicine man.

From ancient American history we have Emperor Septimius Severus who was a native of Africa and married to a Syrian wife. His son Caracalla, half-African, half-Syrian, succeeded him. Marinus was a Moor and another ruler was Pertinax, an African. We also find that in pre-Columbus Mexico, peasants were buried and warriors cremated, suggesting a mixture of culture arising from Whites from the North and Blacks crossing the Atlantic from Africa, meeting on the American continent and gradually blending to produce the more or less yellow race of Indians.

Quoting from the Black Book, published by Random House, New York, 1974, we are told that Columbus, in fact, was not Europe's first 'discoverer' of the West Indies: “…easily a century before Columbus, and perhaps for a still longer period, French merchants of Dieppe and Rouen regularly sent their ships to the Guinea coast of Africa and probably to the bays of South America, for gold, ivory, spices, skins, precious stones, and other exotic desirables. It is known that this commerce was organized on almost the scale of a modern Corporation “…but had to be concealed to avoid paying heavy taxes to the state and greedy kings of the era. These shipping magnates maintained a well-ordered clearing–house or admiralty office at Dieppe, as a place of business record and for the exchange of marine intelligence. The centre was in systematic running order for a period of time …spanning several centuries and …certainly well before the birth of Christopher Columbus.

From the Literary Digest, May 16, 1925, we are told that: “Africans were used as navigators and pilots by sea travellers because of their knowledge of the stars. A pilot or navigator of Columbus' first ship to America was a Black African called Piri Reis. A cartographer whose maps are reference points even until this day. He owned a map alleged to have been acquired from another African who had earlier been captured by Piri Reis' Uncle, Kemel Reis. Over the years, the role of these Africans in Columbus' journey to America became distorted.

The question is why would the slaves, Whites claim could not read or write, have value for or keep such priceless maps? Many were secret documents kept from enemies at all cost in those days, because they held the secret routes to new worlds and riches.”

Other African participants, particularly with Spanish explorers, include Estevanico or Little Steven, who was de Vaca's companion during their six years expedition from Florida to Mexico. Estevanico, who went to America in 1527, was a linguist. He learned the Indian language within weeks and had good knowledge of herbs and medicines, which gave him the status of a deity among some Indians tribes. In his expedition with Fray Marcos de Niza in 1539, in search of the fabulous Seven Cities of Cibola, all members of the crew, including Fray Marcos took ill and Estevanico went on alone to open up what we now know as New Mexico and Arizona. Isn't he a 'discoverer' too in Europeans terms?

Pedro Nino, an African, was a pilot of Christopher Columbus' command ship that 'discovered' the Pacific in 1513. Balboa carried thirty Africans during his 'discovery' of the Pacific in 1513 as pilots through the two oceans of the Isthmus. Cortez in his conquest of Mexico, was accompanied by a number of Africans, including one who became a pioneer of wheat farming in the 'New World.' Africans played significant roles in the exploration of Guatemala, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, nearly a hundred years before African slaves reached Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. Africans made contributions to the 'New World,' not only in opening it up as pioneers and collaborators, but also by influencing the Indians culturally and teaching them new skills such as iron and leather working and carpentry.

In his entry of 15th of January 1492, Christopher Columbus inferred that some of the people of Carib (Puerto-Rico) are cannibals. According to Prof. John Henrik Clarke: “this is one of the most persistent myths coming mainly from Europeans using it as a rationale to reduce some non-European people to servitude. This charge is often made and rarely proven. Ironically, the charge of cannibalism is more often charged to a people who in their society have more than an adequate supply of non-human meat. Those making the charge generally come from a society that has been historically short of non-human meat.”

Slavery to the New World began in 1502 when Gov. Nicola's de Ovando of Hispaniola imported a few Spanish-born Blacks from Spain. Rapid decimation of the Indian population of the Spanish West Indies created a labour shortage. Las Casas advocated importation of Blacks to replace the Indians who were dying out, so they began importing from Africa. In 1550, Petro Cabral reached Brazil.

After the middle of the 17th century, the demand for Atlantic slave trade became insatiable and peaked in the 18th century. Each year, seven times as many slaves were leaving Western African coasts. About a third were being exported from the Niger Region, the community of Ijaw, Ibibio and Efik fisher men and salt makers who controlled the water ways to the interior, developed city states whose whole fortunes came to be bound up with the slave trade. The area became known as the Slave Coast. The slaves included these people and the Igbos, Tivs and the Yoruba. About 35% of the slaves from West Africa came from the Slave Coast or the Benin and (Bight of Benin) region. They greatly influenced the culture, religion (Voodoo) and traditions of the 'New World.'

For 500 years, from (1441-1870-1960 CE) with the Bible in one hand and the gun in the other, they unleashed a devastating, unprecedented, unrelenting and un-godly, tyranny of hate, torture, enslavement and colonization on Africans. Africa was doubly disadvantaged: it was excluded from the economic flow engendered by the supposed 'discoveries,' and was bled dry by the exportation of humans in their dynamic ages, destined to replace the American Indians decimated by the European incursions. Progress on the continent came to a stop.

The African was the first to discover iron but had built no cannon, because he had not had serious need for one. The secret of gunpowder was known only to the African priests who used it solely for religious purposes at rites such as the Mysteries of Osiris. The African was at peace with himself and in no hurry to conquer the world when African invasion by aliens began to turn into an avalanche. From that technical standpoint mainly, Africa became quite vulnerable. Diop tells us “It became tempting, irresistible prey for the West, provided with firearms and far-ranging navies.”

O.A. Ladimeji in (Nationalism, Alienation and the Crises of Ideology) makes the point more directly: “Our conquest was made possible, not by the means of production, but by the means of destruction, the technology of murder. It is the existence of the firearms and the West's monopoly, which predominantly accounts for Europe's ability to terrorize the rest of the world. We can see that while Western philosophers saw the progressive liberalization of their societies as the product of moral enlightenment, the agents of this liberalization were engaging in the wholesale slaughter of populations, establishing completely arbitrary totalitarian despotism and effecting the most violent attempt in history… at the domestication of man. 'Enlightenment' was no sooner born in Europe than it was buried by them in the African world. When Africans possessed equal quantities and quality of arms, the onward march of European expansion meets decisive defeat as at Adowa. The same phenomenon is repeated by the victory of the Vietnamese, aided by Russian and Chinese technology, against a murderous American imperialism.”

Africa as a whole was not just waiting to be dismembered without a fight. After the initial surprise attack, we braced up, by and large. We were only defeated by superior weapons of destruction at a time when we did not think such technology necessary. In fact, they came initially as equals until they found out that we had no guns. Even then, our Generals were as valorous as any of the kind of the day. Names of our warrior nationalists, mostly Kings and Queens abound: Queen Nzingha of Angola, King Nana Kwamena Ansa of Ghana, Nehenda of Zimbabwe, Anowa of Ghana, Ashanti King Prempeh, the Jaja of Opobo, Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin City, Madam Tinubu of Lagos, Behanzin Hossu Bo Welli of Dahomey, Samory Toure of Mali, Mohammed Ahmed the Mahdi of Sudan, Nefertiti of Nubia, Mohammed Ben Abdulla Hassen the Mad Mullah of Somaliland, Chaka the Zulu, and many others gave good accounts of themselves in our honour.

Prof. Henrik Clarke says another problem the African had in “dealing with the European during this period, was African's tragic naiveté. He had never dealt extensively with this kind of people. He came out of a society where nature was kind; nature furnished him enough food, enough land; enough of the basic things he needed to live a pretty good life. These old African societies were governed by honour and obligation.”

Africans had heard of the devil, of course, but never expected its manifestation in human flesh and blood. The African was caught unprepared. He could not imagine any man with a soul doing what the White man did to him. Collectively, Africans did not understand what slavery was really all about. Even including the African traitors, we had no idea we would never see our captured relatives ever again. We hoped in our hearts, that our relatives being kidnapped into slavery would be treated no worse than we treat our houseboys today.

Houseboys and girls in Africa are slaves in a sense but slavery to an African is like an adoption. Africa is almost a free slavery system. A parent who cannot cope with bringing up a child may hand over the child to another parent in a better position to give the child a good home. A parent may give a child to a Chief because usually, Chiefs are well placed to provide food and shelter through the communal tax system. The slave in an African home often has the rights of the adopted child.

Even now, a hundred years after the supposed end to cross Atlantic slavery, Africans on the continent still do not know the hell our enslaved relatives went through in the hands of their slave masters. Our enslaved kith and kin kept their historical perspective on slavery intact whereas in Nigeria, for instance, the only reminder of it is a solitary slave chain preserved privately as a tourist attraction in a run-down hut in Badagry, a coastal suburb of Lagos, one of the major seaports for the West African slave trade. Ghana has more terrifying evidence in their tell-tale Castles, but Africans on the continent hardly visit or relate to the evidence. One of the Castles in Ghana has been given over to the African Descendants Association. They have a guest book they sign, and looking through, you see very personal and emotional comments by Black visitors from abroad to the Castle. For our kith and kin from abroad, the reaction when faced with damning evidence is painful. It is painful to remember that they were sold here like cattle but for us Africans on the continent, our memory of slavery is completely blank.

In fact, the Whites at first posed as friends to win our confidence and entrench themselves on our coasts as tenants to trade. Then in the dead of night, when all peace loving people are supposed to be in deep slumber, they struck. They stormed over-land, assisted by local traitors, corrupted with token western materialism. Surrounding our towns and villages, blocking off outlets, they pounced on unsuspecting, unarmed and unprepared families having their meals, siesta, nightcap, relaxing at play, working at the farm or visiting neighbours; chasing us almost naked through the woods, maiming some, trapping others in their nets like sport animals, to kidnap, chain, and drag to their God-forsaken 'New World.' Anyone resisting capture was hacked mercilessly to death on the spot and those who tried to escape were hunted down like game animals.

It is estimated that over two hundred million Africans were murdered by Whites during the European slave trade, just to capture about a quarter of that number, out of which only about 10 million survived the journey of the Middle Passage. To temporarily evade capture, Africans had to drastically change their habits and life styles. A reasonably secure community life could no longer be taken for granted by anyone. Africans had become fugitives on their own soil, with fewer and fewer bread winners, all fleeing from one mishap or another, unable to put down firm roots any where, or aspire to any form of organized living, let alone invent and improve upon the civilization they had pioneered.

Many of the slave ships that carried our kith and kin to the 'New World' had Christian names, such as those of Sir John Hawkins, a slaver, licensed by Queen Elizabeth, who transported his human cargo in ships named Jesus, Angel and Grace of God. Quite often, the captains of the slave ships were Christian clerics or priests. John Newton was one such captain of a slave-trading vessel. He read the Bible daily on board the ship while hundreds of human souls were in his ship's hold. Pursued his studies for his ministry and held prayer service on deck twice daily. He wrote a hymn: “How Sweet the name of Jesus sounds.”

Here is a White writer's description of what happened on those ships: “Below the deck…sometimes more than five feet high and sometimes less; and this height is divided towards the middle, for the slaves lie in two rows, one above the other, on each side of the ship, close to each other like books upon a shelf…so close that the shelf would not easily contain any more. The poor creatures, thus cramped, are likewise in irons for the most part, which makes it difficult for them to turn or move or attempt to rise or lie down without hurting themselves or each other. Every morning, more instances than one are found of the living and the dead fastened together.”

Africans never surrendered to slavery. They had to be beaten and dragged on board slave ships. On slave ships, Africans were constantly subjected to callous beating and torture, with the sick, the dying, the dead, the living, all chained together and confined in a heap, toileting on each other, in narrow suffocating space. Many Africans starved themselves to death, cut their own throats with their fingernails, threw themselves over board to escape torture and slavery. Quite a number of them succeeded in over powering their captors and taking over their slave ships.

To break and humble Africans, some of the most brutal and inhuman treatment in the history of mankind was practiced against them by Whites on board those slave ships. Some captains, at the start of a journey would chop a number of slaves to bits and force the others to watch and to eat the flesh. Torture and dismemberment were used to deter rebellion.

A typical example took place on board the “Friedericius Quartus” in 1709. The right hand of the leader of a revolt was cut off and exhibited to all the slaves. The next day, the left hand was cut of and exhibited as usual. The third day, the head was cut off and hoisted in the air dripping with blood for 2 days for all slaves to see. Schools of sharks trailed slave ships waiting for their next meal of dead human cargo thrown overboard into the icy waters of the Atlantic.

Stories like the following appeared in the press: “A cargo of slaves of the Ebo (Igbo) tribe had been landed at a suspiciously secluded spot on the west side of the island. They preferred death to a life of captivity, and as they walked into the water, the leader said: “The water brought us here. The water will take us away.” In 1552, 109 slaves killed all the crew on the Portuguese ship, 'Misericordia,' except those that escaped in a small boat. The Misericordia was never found after that. In 1650, a rebellion, led by Alfonso Ceillescas, seized a Spanish ship off the coast of present day Ecuador. Alfonso Ceillescas became Lord of the Indians and Africans in the region. In 1742, the slave ship 'Mary' was driven ashore in the River Gambia by locals with the help of the captured Africans on board. The ship was plundered and destroyed. In 1752, Africans from the Gold Coast and Bonny in today's Nigeria's Niger Delta, took control of the slave ship 'Marlborough' and after defeating attempt to recapture them, returned with the ship to Africa. On August 30, 1800, Gabriel, leading more than 1000 armed slaves was poised for action near Richmond, Virginia, USA, but was thwarted by a violent rainstorm forcing the troop to disband. Thirty-five of the slaves, including Gabriel were hanged.

Denmark Vassey, a free person and an urban artisan in Charleston, South Carolina, was planning to surround an area with 9000 slaves in the summer of 1822. He was betrayed in June of that year before he could go into action. 139 Blacks were arrested, 37 of them including Vassey, were hanged and 32 were exiled before the end of the summer. On August 21, 1831, Nat Turner, at Southampton County, Virginia led a band of 6 slaves on a crusade against bondage. In a few days, they had attracted 70 fellow slaves to their fold and killed 57 Whites. On the 24th August, 1831, hundreds of militia and volunteers stopped them near the County seat in Jerusalem, killing at least 100 Blacks. Turner was hanged on Nov 11, 1831, triggering a new wave of unrest that spread fear and unease among slaveholders and led to the passage of more draconian laws against slaves and free Blacks.

In 1839, 54 slaves, led in rebellion by Joseph Cinque, the son of a Mendi King of Sierra Leone, gained control of their slave ship, AMISTAD, along the coast of Cuba. The crew was instructed to sail back to Africa. After 2 months at sea, the ship was captured off the coast of Long Island, New York, and the Africans were jailed. Spain demanded that the slaves be handed over to them. Abolitionists insisted that the Africans should be set free because they were illegally enslaved. The Supreme Court eventually ruled in favour of the Africans, who when released from jail, returned to Sierra Leone. On November 7, 1841, Madison Washington, who had previously escaped from a Virginia plantation, but had returned there to rescue his wife after living in the North for a while, was recaptured and was on board the 'Creole,' along with other captured slaves, ten days out of Hampton Roads, on their way to New Orleans, when he led a rebellion. The slaves forced the ship to the Bahamas, where they regained freedom.

White laws sanctioned the punishment meted out to Blacks by categorizing Africans as chattels, which like horses, and cattle could be bought, sold, mortgaged, borrowed, rented, bartered etc. Christianity made slavery divine, arguing that the Africans were the children of Ham who bore the curse of darkness from God. Missionaries often forced slaves to promise not to seek freedom as a condition for being baptized. Women were routinely severely raped and men were regularly castrated, their sex organs severed.

Some of the laws on the statute books of these White Christians from a variety of states in the USA included: Chapter 41: 'Slaves may be castrated if convicted of looking at or attempting to ravish a White woman or to escape from his master.' 'A Negro convicted of an offence within the benefit of a clergy, judgment of death shall not be given, but he shall be burnt in the hand in open court and suffer such other corporal punishment as the court shall think fit. If a Negro gives false testimony, he shall without further trial have one ear nailed to the pillory for one hour and then the ear cut off and the other nailed and cut off in like manner, and more over receive on his bare back thirty-nine lashes, well laid on, at the public whipping post, or such other punishment as the court shall think proper, not extending to life or limb.'

Chapter 371: “It shall be unlawful for any White person to marry any save a White person, or a person with no other admixture of blood than White and American Indian. The term 'White person' shall apply only to the person who has no trace whatsoever of any blood other than Caucasian, but persons who have one-sixteenth or less of the blood of the American Indian, and no other non-Caucasic blood shall be deemed White persons. All laws heretofore passed and in effect regarding the intermarriage of White and Colored persons shall apply to marriage prohibited by this act.”

Act XXII: For loitering…a run away is to be branded in the cheek with the letter 'R.' Chapter XIV “It is enacted that if any person shall steal any hog or pig, for the first offence, he shall receive on his bare back twenty-five lashes or pay ten pounds current money and if a Negro or Indian, thirty-nine lashes well laid on, at the common whipping post, and moreover shall pay 400 pounds of tobacco for each hog. “And if any person shall offend the second time, he shall stand in the pillory and have both ears nailed thereto, and at the end of two hours have the ears cut loose from the nails. And for the third offence he shall be adjudged a felon and shall suffer death.”

Chapter XLIV: “In Section 34, it is declared that if any slave resist his master, or other person, by his or her order correcting such slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction, it shall not be accounted felony; but the master, owner, and every such other person so giving correction shall be free and acquit of all punishment.

The following was a typical public auction notice: “(Public Sale of Negroes by Richard Clagett.) On Tuesday March 5th, 1833, at 1.00 p.m. the following slaves will be sold at Potters Mart, in Charleston, SC. Miscellaneous lots of Negroes, mostly house servants, some for fieldwork. Conditions: Half in cash, balance by bond, bearing interest from date of sale. Payable in one to two years to be secured by a mortgage of the Negroes, and appraised personal security. Auctioneer will pay for the papers.” “A valuable Negro woman, accustomed to all kinds of house work. Is a good plain cook, and excellent dairymaid, washes and irons. She has four children, one a girl about 13 years of age, another 7, a boy about 5, and an infant 11 months old. 2 of the children will be sold with mother, the others separately, if it best suits the purchaser.

“A very valuable blacksmith, wife and daughters; the smith is in the prime of life, and a perfect master at his trade. His wife about 27 years old, and his daughters 12 and 10 years old, have been brought up as house servants and as such are very valuable. Also for sale 2 likely young Negro wenches, one of who is 16 the other 13, both of whom have been taught and accustomed to the duties of house servants. The 16 year old wench has one eye. A lively yellow girl about 17 or 18 years old, has been accustomed to all kinds of house and garden work. She is sold for no fault. Sound as a dollar.

“House servants: The owner of a family described herein would sell them for a good price only, they are offered for no fault whatever, but because they can be done without, and money is needed. He has been offered $1,250. They consist of a man 30 to 33 years old, who has been raised, in a genteel Virginia family as house servant, carriage driver etc., in all which he excels. His wife a likely wench of 25 to 30, raised in like manner, as chambermaid, seamstress, nurse etc., their two children girls of 12 and 4 or 5. They are bright mulattos of mild tractable dispositions, unassuming manners, and of genteel appearance, and well worthy the notice of a gentleman of fortune needing such. Also 14 Negro Wenches ranging from 16-25 years of age, all sound and capable of doing a good days work in the house or field.”

The following anecdote was published by a local newspaper. (This version is taken from the Black Book): “George, a slave, belonged to a family…in the state of Georgia, near the Ochmulgee River who he served faithfully. He was an excellent mechanic and during the life of his owner or claimants (for he never had an owner) they would take no money for him, and in consequence of his faithfulness to them, at their death, George was still a freeman. Poor George then looked upon himself as one of the Lords, even of the accursed soil of Georgia. But George was doomed to disappointment. The unjust heirs broke the will, seized his person, and thrust him into the dark caverns of slavery again. Bound for a new residence, they started down the Ochmulgee. George was on board the steamboat, bound for his destination, but the vicious robbers of his liberty knew not where. George looked sad, and talked but little.

The steamer glided along, with a crowd of guests, unconscious of their weary fellow-passenger. In the night, a splash was heard which awakened the attention of boatmen and passengers; all looked with anxiety, but seeing all appeared to be safe, it was a just conclusion that, this must have been the noise occasioned by the falling in of the bank of the river. Morning came, the grindstone of the boat was missed, information was given, and search being made, George was gone, they knew not where. The river was ordered to be scoured, and George was found with the grindstone tied to his neck, reposing in the depth of the Ochmulgee, preferring as a man, death before slavery. George had tasted liberty.

A typical advert for run-away slaves went like this: “Twenty Dollars Reward: Run away on the 13th instant, from the Subscriber/living on Elk-Ridge in Ann-Arundel County, a Negro man, named Harry, about 40 years of age, near 6 feet high, has knots on his left leg, which is larger than his right, and has red eyes. Had on, and took with him, a tow-linen shirt and trousers, brown cloths coat, brown corduroy jacket and breeches, two pair of yarn stockings, one white and the other blue mixed, a white shirt, felt hat, and red silk handkerchief. Who ever takes up said Negro, and secures him in goal, so that his master have get him again, shall receive, if 20 miles from home, eight dollars, if 40 miles, sixteen dollars; and if out of the state, the above reward, including legal fees, and reasonable charges, if brought home. 'Nicholars Dorsey, July 19, 1790.

As for the treatment of the slaves on plantations, the following newspaper reports were typical and regular: “Flogging with a leather strap on the naked body is common; also, padding the body with a hand-saw until the skin is a mass of blisters, and then breaking the blisters with the teeth of the saw. Very often, slaves were seen stretched out upon the ground with hands and feet held down by intimidated fellow-slaves, or lashed to the stake driven into the ground for 'burning.' Handfuls of dry-corn-husks are then lighted, and the burning embers are whipped off with a stick so as to fall in showers of live sparks upon the naked back of the slave victim. This is continued until the victim is covered with blisters. If in his writhing of torture the slave gets his hands free to brush off the fire, the burning brand is applied to them.

“Another method of punishment which is inflicted for such 'crimes' as running away, or other refractory conduct, 'is to dig a hole in the ground large enough for the slave to squat or lie down in. The victim is then stripped naked and placed in the hole, and a covering or grating of green sticks is laid over the opening. Upon this, a quick fire is built, and the live embers sifted through upon the naked flesh of the slave, until his body is blistered and swollen almost to bursting with just enough of life to enable him to crawl, the slave is then allowed to recover from his wounds if he can, or to end his suffering by death.”

C.L.R. James (The Black Jacobins) tells us about some of the things that happened to our kith and kin on the sugar plantations in the Americas. “The whip was not always an ordinary cane or woven cord…sometimes it was replaced by a thick thong of cow hide, or by the lianes, a local growth of reeds, supple and pliant like whale bone…The slaves received the whip with more certainty and regularity than they received their food. It was the incentive to work and the guardian for discipline. But there was no ingenuity that fear of a depraved imagination could devise which was not employed to break their spirits and satisfy the lusts and resentment of their owners and guardians.

“Irons on the hands and feet, blocks of weed that the slaves had to drag behind them wherever they went, the tin-plate mask designed to prevent the slaves eating sugar cane, the iron collar. Whipping was interrupted in order to pass a piece of hot wood on the buttocks of the victims; salt, pepper, citron, cinders, aloes, and hot ashes were poured on the bleeding wounds. Mutilations were common, limbs, ears, and sometimes the private parts, to deprive them of the pleasure which they could indulge in without expense. Their masters poured burning wax on their arms and hands and shoulders, emptied the boiling sugar over their heads, burned them alive, roasted them on slow fires, filled them with gun power and blew them up with a match (this was called 'to burn a little powder in the ass of a nigger'); buried them up to their necks and smeared their heads with sugar that the flies might devour them, fastened them near to nests of ants or wasps; made then eat their excrement, drink their urine and lick the saliva of other slaves.”

Sir Han Sloane, an obvious sadist, who visited the British Islands in 1688, didn't think the punishment he described (and quoted here) were harsh enough: “The slaves are punished…by nailing them down on the ground and with crooked sticks on every limb and their applying the fire by degrees from feet and hands, burning them gradually up to the head, whereby their pains are extravagant…by gelding (cutting off the balls) or chopping off half of the foot with an axe. Their punishment are suffered till they are raw; some (masters) put on their (slaves') skins, pepper and salt to make them smart, at other times their masters will drop melted wax on their slaves' skins and use several very exquisite torments…”

The same great Christian White lovers of Africa have perfected their torture systems into institutions like the IMF and the World Bank to manipulate lily-livered Black leaders for White hegemony. Our ancestors didn't take to their torture kindly. They continued their acts of rebellion through sabotage at work or by running away into hardly accessible swamps, forests and mountains, to continue the fight for their freedom. Africans cursed their tormentors in work songs; communicated with each other, even under severe restrictions, with body language and signs; and transformed their religious indoctrination to their advantage by replacing, for instance, 'Heaven' with 'Africa' in Christian songs about the joys of Heaven. Flying away home to Zion and crossing the river Jordan was translated by slaves to mean the joyful return home to Africa through the Atlantic. Death was seen as a welcome means of returning to Africa and with that, African slaves conquered the fear of torture and death.

African traitors were not spared by Africans, as this report in the 14th Wilmington (N.C) Journal shows: “A Negro has been tarred and feathered by his colored brethren, at Washington, Pa, in consequence of it being clearly proved that he was in the employ of slaveholders, in hunting up fugitives.”

In the same Wilmington Journal number 14, there is this report about a Runaway Negro Camp: “On Friday last, a run away Negro camp was discovered on an Island, in Big Swamp, situated between Bladen and Robeson counties. On Saturday morning, a company of twelve or fifteen started out to haunt, and after startling them from their camp, one of the Negroes fired at Mr. David C. Lewis, wounding him, from the effort of which he died on Sunday morning. On Friday, a man named Taylor was shot at twice from the same place, but missed. The Negroes had cleared a place for a garden, had cows etc., in the swamp. None arrested. The swamp is about four miles wide, and almost impenetrable.”

In South and Central America and the Caribbean, some Africans who succeeded in escaping from their masters' plantations or custody set up camps in hardly accessible swampy regions to create new and free African communities, using culture to broaden communications and encourage cohesion. These Africans were called the Maroons. They pulled-off a number of successful revolts including the big uprisings in Santo Domingo in 1522 and in Cuba in 1550. Africans achieved their first independent nation in the western hemisphere with Palmares in northern Brazil in circa 1595, although this was destroyed by the slavers in 1694. Africans fought with Simon Bolivar for the liberation of South America.

In 1759 CE, F. Voltaire, who had all his life asserted that Africans were naturally inferior to Whites, published 'Candide,' a sting on religionists' slavery of Africans. In 1772 CE, Rev. T. Thompson of the USA wrote that “the trade in Negro slaves on the African coast is in accordance with human principles and the laws of revealed religions.”

In August 1791, Haiti Island's slaves began their revolt under the leadership of Boukman, which continued in various disguises under Toussaint L'Ouverture, Dessalines and Henry Christophe. In 1792 CE, Denmark became the first nation to prohibit slavery. Quoting from C.L.R.James (The Black Jacobins): “At the time of the French revolution in 1789, the colony of San Domingo supplied two-thirds of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave trade. It was in Haiti that Africans finally scored their earliest greatest victory against slavery in the Diaspora.

According to C.L.R. James, “the revolt is the only successful slave revolt in history, and the odds it had to overcome is evidence of the magnitude of the interests involved. The transformation of slaves, trembling in hundreds before a single White man into a people able to organize themselves and defeat the most powerful European nations of their day is one of the great epics of revolutionary struggle and achievements. Their struggle lasted for twelve years, during which time, the slaves defeated in turn, the local Whites and soldiers of the French monarchy, a Spanish invasion, a British expedition of some 60,000 men, and a French expedition of similar size under Bonaparte's brother-in-law. The defeat of Bonaparte's expedition in 1803 resulted in the establishment of the independent Blackstate of Haiti on the 29th November, 1803, with Dessalines as Governor General for life.” Christophe became the first King of independent Haiti after the death of Emperor Dessalines.

The slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807 CE. In 1852 CE, Rev. Josiah, published a Bible defence of Black slavery in America and in 1863 CE, 'The London Times, with blazing headline, thundered that the Bible justifies Africans being sold and bought. It advised African slaves to ignore their freedom. The US abolished the slave trade in 1863 CE. Abraham Lincoln's strong leadership as President of US during the civil war helped to preserve the Union and led to the end of slavery throughout the nation. He was assassinated in 1865 CE. Legal abolition of slavery was promptly replaced with colonization from 1880 for the next 80 years. The Berlin Conference to consolidate colonialism took place from Nov. 1884 to Feb. 1885. Charles Carrol published his “Biblical and scientific proof that the Negro is not a member of the human race, in 1900 CE.”

NAIWU OSAHON Hon. Khu Mkuu (Leader) World Pan-African Movement); Ameer Spiritual (Spiritual Prince) of the African race; MSc. (Salford); Dip.M.S; G.I.P.M; Dip.I.A (Liv.); D. Inst. M; G. Inst. M; G.I.W.M; A.M.N.I.M. Poet, Author of the magnum opus: 'The end of knowledge'. One of the world's leading authors of children's books; Awarded; key to the city of Memphis, Tennessee, USA; Honourary Councilmanship, Memphis City Council; Honourary Citizenship, County of Shelby; Honourary Commissionership, County of Shelby, Tennessee; and a silver shield trophy by Morehouse College, USA, for activities to unite and uplift the African race.

Naiwu Osahon, renowned author, philosopher of science, mystique, leader of the world Pan-African Movement.

Development / Accra / Ghana / Africa /

Disclaimer: "The views expressed on this site are those of the contributors or columnists, and do not necessarily reflect TheNigerianVoice’s position. TheNigerianVoice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements in the contributions or columns here."

Articles by Naiwu Osahon