Main Page - Latest News

Jamaica Observer: "Slavery was good for the black man."


Though extremely “politically incorrect,” the Jamaica Observer is stating what is obvious to any student of history. Being a slave in Africa and having your black slave master sell you to a white slave trader was like hitting the slavery jackpot. Black slaves in the antebellum south had a better standard of living than their former black slave masters in Africa.

From Jamaican Observer…

When the Europeans went to Africa to buy slaves, what did they find? They found a society and people vastly inferior to theirs. While the Europeans had emerged from their feudal practices, our ancestors in Africa, for the most part, had not developed for many centuries. We did not understand the concept of nation or government. Science and technology (and innovations in these areas) were non-existent in black Africa of the 15th and 16th centuries. Indeed, as a people, we had no sense of self-identity. In many respects, we were uncivilised.

Slavery was our most important contact with modernity. It is through this “most heinous system ever created” that we blacks were able to understand some of the principles of global trade. Our ancestors were introduced to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade between Europe, Africa and the West Indies. Black Africa’s part in the trade was the importation of European technology and the export of slaves. The importation of European technology was important – even though the Africans did not appreciate this importance at first. The export of slaves was also very important, especially for us in the West.

As time went on, we blacks, both in Africa and especially in the Caribbean were, in many ways, being Europeanised and thus civilised. We adopted several aspects of their culture – their systems of government, their technologies, their sense of order and their languages. In doing this, we discarded those aspects of our culture that clearly placed us at a disadvantage – like our lack of sense of self, loyalty to the tribe and our non-participation in modern technology.

Although not a believer in any god myself, the Christianity that came with slavery and European control would be of immense value to us black people. Back in Africa, we were preoccupied with the worship of animals, trees, spirits of the dead – even stones. These primitive religions that we were practising ensured that our ancestors in Africa were backward. The relatively superior Christianity, with its greater sense of order and responsibility would help, in many ways, to pull the black man out of the Stone Age. This could only have happened with slavery.

We blacks were changed, for the better, I might add, on account of slavery. We are a better race today because our ancestors went though slavery. The millions of lives lost were not lost in vain. The Europeans proclaimed the need for us to be civilised through slavery and though this may be hard to understand, they were right. Indeed, based on what is happening in black Africa today – slavery for us in the West was, in many respects, our salvation.

Read Column.