A Contented Caste, not Chattel: The Truth About Africans Enslaving Other Africans

Slavery in Africa was part of a united caste system unlike any other in the world.  It does not justify the Jewish-led Trans-Atlantic slave trade.  On the other hand, denying it ignores a valuable model for democracy and peace.

Introduction

Africans enslaved other Africans.

“White” nationalists and supremacists use the fact to try to excuse the genocidal horrors of west Asian enslavement of Africans.

Some “Black” nationalists and Afro-centrists deny it.

Both are wrong, for oversimplifying the issue.  For example, both ignore the fact that for most of human history, most slaves have been “white”.  In fact the very word slave comes from Slav, the name of a “white” west Asian (“European”) people.  There were even “white” slaves in pre-colonial Sub-Saharan (“Black”) Africa.  The first few minutes of this BBC Radio special on Mansa Musa, Emperor of Mali, quote Arab historians who saw them in his court:  Mansa Musa BBC Documentary

The worldwide practice named “slavery” in English existed in many forms.  In west Africa, slaves were part of a caste system, where all castes had rights and privileges over the others.  Far from the horrors of the chattel slavery of the Americas, they formed a contented class that enjoyed power, wealth and freedom of movement.  Slavery was basically a way to incorporate conquered foes into the victor’s society.  It was a matter of mercy, forgiveness, tolerance and progress in the world’s most genetically, phenotypically and linguistically diverse continent.

diversity
There are more languages and genetic diversity in Africa than the rest of the world COMBINED.

This excerpt from Cheikh Anta Diop’s Pre-Colonial Black Africa shows that you can’t look at everything from the eyes of the west Asian.  Too many African diasporans, even ‘conscious’ ones, fall into that trap, failing to see that you can’t produce arguments against the west Asian paradigm from within the west Asian point-of-view.

Cheikh Anta Diop was Director of the Radio Carbon Dating Center at the University of Dakar, Senegal.  His books have reclaimed thousands of years of African history.
Cheikh Anta Diop was Director of the Radio Carbon Dating Center at the University of Dakar, Senegal. His books have reclaimed thousands of years of African history.

Analysis of the Concept of Caste

The originality of the [west African caste] system resides in the fact that the dynamic elements of society, whose discontent might have engendered revolution, are really satisfied with their social condition and do not seek to change it:  a man of so-called “inferior caste” would categorically refuse to enter a so-called “superior” one.  In Africa, it is not rare for members of the lower caste to refuse to enter in to conjugal relations with those of the higher caste, even though the reverse would seem more normal.

The present territory of Senegal will be used here as a model for study:  nevertheless, the conclusions which are drawn from it hold true for the whole of detribalized Sudanese Africa.  In Senegal, society is divided into slaves and freemen, the latter being gor, including both gér and ñéño.

The gér comprise the nobles and freemen with no manual profession other than agriculture, considered a sacred activity.

The ñéño comprise all artisans:  shoemakers, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, etc.  These are hereditary professions.

The djam, or slaves, include the djam-bur, who are slaves of the king’  the djam neg nday, slaves of one’s mother’  and the djam neg bây, slaves of one’s father.

African Caste System:  Know Justice, Know Peace

totems
Same name = same trade, same caste, same totem

The gér formed the superior caste.  But-and herein lay the real originality of the system-unlike the attitude of the nobles toward the bourgeoisie, the lords toward the serfs, or the Brahmans toward the other Indian castes the gér could not materially exploit the lower castes without losing face in the eyes of others, as well as their own.  On the contrary, they were obliged to assist lower caste members in every way possible:  even if less wealthy, they had to “give” to a man of lower caste if so requested.  In exchange the latter had to allow them social precedence.

The specific feature of this system therefore consisted in the fact that the manual laborer, instead of being deprived of the fruits of his labor, as was the artisan or the serf of the Middle Ages, could, on the contrary, add to it wealth given him by the “lord”.

Consequently, if a revolution were to occur, it would be initiated from above and not from below.  But that is not all, as we shall see:  members of all castes including slaves were closely associated to power, as de facto ministers;  which resulted in constitutional monarchies governed by councils of ministers, made up of authentic representatives of all the people.  We can understand from this why there were no revolutions in Africa against the regime, but only against those who administered it poorly, i.e., unworthy princes.

For every caste, advantages and disadvantages, deprivations of rights and compensations balanced out…  it can be understood why Africa’s societies remained relatively stable.

Conditions of the Slaves

Djam-bur: Slaves of the King- Slaves in Name Only

king

In this aristocratic regime, the nobles formed the cavalry of the army (the chivalry).  The infantry was composed of  slaves, former prisoners of war taken from outside the national territory.  The slaves of the king formed the greater part of his forces and in consequence their condition was greatly improved.  They were now slaves in name only…  they shared in the booty after an expedition;  under protection of the king, during periods of unrest, they could even indulge in discreet pillage within the national territory, against the bâ-dolo [“those without power”, the poor peasants]-but never against the artisans who [could]… go directly to the prince… The slaves were commanded by one of their own, the infantry general, who was a pseudo-prince in that he might rule over a fief inhabited by freemen.  Such was the case, in the monarchy of Cayor (Senegal), of the djarâf Bunt Keur, the representative of the slaves within the government and commander-in-chief of the army.  His power and authority were so great that the day of his betrayal brought an end to the kingdom of Cayor.

Djam neg Nday: Slaves of the Mother-  Beloved Family Member

mother

The slave of the mother’s household was the captive of our mother, as opposed to the slave of our father.  He might have been bought on the open market, come from an inheritance, or be a gift.  Once established in the family he became almost an integral part of it;  he was the loyal domestic, respected, feared, and consulted by the children.  Due to the matriarchal and polygamous regime, we feel him closer to us, because he belongs to our mother, than the slave of the father, who is at an equal distance, socially speaking, from all the children of the same father and different mothers.  As can easily be seen, the slave of the father would become the scapegoat for the society.  Therefore, the slave of the mother could not be a revolutionary.

Djam neg Bây:  Slaves of the Father- No Man’s Slave

Polygamy meant the slaves of the father were distant from all, unlike those of the mother.
Polygyny meant the slaves of the father were distant from all, unlike those of the mother.

The slaves of the father’s household, by contrast, considering his anonymous position (our father is everyone’s, so to speak, while our mother is truly our own), will be of no interest to anyone and have no special protection in society.  He may be disposed of without compensation.  However, his condition is not comparable to that of the plebeian of ancient Rome, the thete of Athens, or the sudra of India.  The condition of the sudra was based on a religious significance.  Contact with them was considered impure;  society had been structured without taking their existence into account;  they could not even live in the cities nor participate in religious ceremonies, nor at the outset have a religion of their own…  However, the alienation of the slaves of the father’s household in Africa was great enough, on the moral and material plane, that their minds could be truly revolutionary.  But for reasons connected to the preindustrial nature of Africa, such as the dispersion of the population into villages, for example, they could not effect a revolution.  We must also add that they were really intruders in a hostile society which watched them day and night, and would never have allowed them time to plot a rebellion with their peers.  It made it even less possible for them to acquire economic position and moral and intellectual education, in short, any social strength comparable to that of the bourgeoisie of the West when it overthrew the aristocracy.

——-

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For blacks to deny the existence of slavery in Africa is reactionary Afro-centrism that in reality just parrots the arguments of “white” nationalists:  whatever they say, we say the opposite.  This isn’t an ideology- it’s “defensive racism”:  Adopting the enemy’s values in order to compete against the enemy ie. conceding to play the enemy’s game.

wn

To try to conflate African caste slavery with “New World” chattel slavery is a ploy by “white” nationalists to justify their claim that “everybody’s evil but us, and that’s why they want to destroy us”, a word-for-word repeat of the Zionist argument, the same “Jews”/Zionists they claim to oppose.

Is this really what everyone wants?
Is this really what everyone wants?

Quality, not Ethnicity- Unity through Nobility

alHajj Malik ashShabazz

No one is going to get anywhere with either of the three groups.  Common sense and real-life experience make it clear that there are good people and bad people of all ethnic backgrounds.

dymir org
We care where we come from, but we focus on where we’re going.

History is not a Destination:  Ideals Are

The only way forward is to realize, accept and embrace the fact that similar values and qualities matter more than ethnic relatedness.  It’s not about ignoring race:  it’s about embracing noble ideals.

Knowledgeable of our different histories, united around our shared values
Knowledgeable of our different histories, united around our shared values

You may not want to share a future with everyone you share a past with…

Transcend, Unite
This is the way to the future: Transcend, Unite…
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Polygyny Legalization & Women’s Inheritance: An African Response to Homophilic Marriage Legalization Pressures

Kenyan President Signs Polygyny Law

It brings civil law, where a man was only allowed one wife, into line with customary law, where some cultures allow multiple partners.  It allows men to take more wives without consulting existing spouses.  It has abolished the practice of unofficial traditional marriages which were never registered and could be ended without any legal divorce proceedings.  Kenyans now have to be 18 to marry and this applies to all cultures.  The law now allows for equal property and inheritance rights – previously a woman had to prove her contribution to the couple’s wealth.

“Through polygamous marriages women in precolonial Africa often had greater personal autonomy. As new wives joined a compound, older ones could focus on their trading. And successful women traders, such as the Iyalodes in Yorubaland, had a lot of power. While autonomous female traders are traditionally linked to West Africa, studies have found a long history of women’s trading also in places such as among the Kikuyu in Kenya as well as groups in Uganda and Zambia.

Of course, whatever autonomy polygamy afforded back then, it was subsumed by colonialism and the rise of puritanical missionary teaching.”

“That is not to say that married life was all that mattered to women, or that polygamy didn’t come with advantages for women, like independent trading, finances and legal rights.

Read more at:  http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27206590

Feminism Has Always Existed in Africa

In much of pre-modern Africa, there were women who possessed economic, political and spiritual power. To name only a few there were warrior women like the Amazons or Fon women of Dahomey. Or royalty who used their powers to demand justice like Makeda of Ethiopia, Nzinga of Angola or Mnkabayi of Zululand.

However, it is also true that women who weren’t lucky to be born into spiritually empowered clans or who weren’t wealthy traders or chiefly women, would face subjugation due to their gender.

The term ‘feminism’ in Africa is obviously an import just like every other English or French or Portuguese term is. However, the feministic concept is not an import in the very slightest. They didn’t always call it feminism (the noun) but there have always been women who were feminist (the adjective).

READ MORE…

Polygamy in Africa has little to do with sex

Polygamy is part of the fabric of African life.  Monogamy was equally common in precolonial Africa

Through polygamous marriages women in precolonial Africa often had greater personal autonomy. As new wives joined a compound, older ones could focus on their trading. And successful women traders, such as the Iyalodes in Yorubaland, had a lot of power. While autonomous female traders are traditionally linked to West Africa, studies have found a long history of women’s trading also in places such as among the Kikuyu in Kenya as well as groups in Uganda and Zambia.

Of course, whatever autonomy polygamy afforded back then, it was subsumed by colonialism and the rise of puritanical missionary teaching.

READ MORE at http://www.msafropolitan.com/2013/09/polygamy-in-africa-sex.html

Is Polygamy the Solution for Black Families?

Black men across the United States repeatedly state that monogamy is counter to their nature and that through marriage, women attempt to control and limit male sexuality. Other men say that polygamous unions would be a way to resolve the issue of high rate of single black women in the U.S., to ensure that children have fathers around, and to curtail cheating.

Surprisingly, there are growing numbers of African American women that agree with this position, and share their opinion that polygamous marriages should be made legal in the United States.

Is polygyny really a viable option for American black families and single black women, or is it nothing but a new pimp game women and the latest hustle?”

Listen to the Discussion…

Kola Nut & The Igbo Culture

Juju Films

Kola Nut & The Igbo Culture

There was a wealthy man in Okonkwo’s Village who had three huge barns, nine wives and thirty children. His name was Nwakobie, and he had taken the second highest title man could take in the clan. It was for this man that Okonkwo worked to earn his first seed yams. He took a pot of palm wine and a cock to Nwakobie. Two elderly neighbors were sent to present a kola-nut and an alligator pepper, which were passed round for all to see, and then the kola nut and alligator pepper were returned to him. We pray for life, children, a good harvest and happiness. You will have what is good for you and I will have what is good for me. Let the kite perch and the eagle perch too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break. – Chinua Achebe

#JujuFilms

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Black Fathers Are Better Fathers: National Center for Health Statistics

A federal survey of American parents shows that Black fathers who live with their children are just as involved as other dads — or more so.  The report also revealed that among American fathers living apart from their children, Black dads were equally or more involved than other dads, according to most measures.

The report was based on a federal survey that included more than 3,900 fathers between 2006 and 2010 — a trove of data seen as the gold standard for studying fatherhood in the United States.

For instance, among fathers who lived with young children, 70% of Black dads said they bathed, diapered or dressed those kids every day, compared with 60% of White fathers and 45% of Latino fathers.

Nearly 35% of Black fathers who lived with their young children said they read to them daily, compared with 30% of White dads and 22% of Latino dads.

Worry about Black fathers has been tied to a persistent fact: Black dads are especially likely to live apart from one or more of their children — and fathers of all races tend to be less involved in the day-to-day lives of their kids when they live elsewhere.

Yet the report also revealed that among American fathers living apart from their children, Black dads were at least as involved as other dads not living with their kids, or more so, according to most measures. Among fathers living apart from older children, more than half of Black fathers said that several times a week or more, they talked to their kids about their day — a higher percentage than among white or Latino dads living separately from older children, the report showed.

Nearly half of Black fathers living apart from their young children said they played with them at least several times a week, 42% said they fed or ate with them that frequently, and 41% said they bathed, diapered or helped dress them as often — rates on par with or higher than those of other men living apart from their kids.

Earlier research has shown that after parents break up, fathers become less involved as time passes. Mothers may curb the time they allow an ex to spend with their children. Fathers sometimes struggle to stay as involved if they form another family.

However, Laura Tach and fellow researchers also found that Black fathers were more likely than White or Latino dads to stay close to their children after having more kids with a new partner. Because it isn’t as rare for Black fathers to live away from the home, their communities might have stronger expectations that fathers will stay involved outside the “package deal” of a wife and kids, explained Tach, a professor of policy analysis at Cornell University.

“Some men think when they lose a marriage, they lose the relationship with the kids,” said Marquette University sociology professor Roberta L. Coles. “For Black men that doesn’t seem to be as true.”

In many cases, the differences between Black fathers and those of other races were not statistically significant, researchers said.

READ MORE…

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