In reply to a recent article in which I disclosed some neglected facts concerning race and slavery, a reader inquired as to the point in unveiling them. Before answering, let’s review some of the tidbits that I shared in the interest of that “honest discussion” of race that the Eric Holders of the world continually charge the rest of us with deferring:
(1) For centuries, millions of white European Christians were enslaved by Asian and African Muslims;
(2) The first slaves in Colonial America were white;
(3) Blacks were in America prior to slavery;
(4) A significant portion of African blacks who eventually became slaves in America were already Christian;
(5) These black slaves had been converted by the African blacks who sold them into bondage;
(6) During the antebellum period, there existed several thousand slave owners who were black;
(7) The first slave master in Americawas a black man, Anthony Johnson, an Angolan who had originally been sold into slavery by his fellow Africans to Arabs and who owned black and white servants.
There is still other historical “trivia” that defy the conventional narrative on race and slavery.
The civilized world, justly, expresses outrage over the abduction and enslavement of hundreds of young Nigerian schoolgirls at the hands of the African Islamic terrorist organization, Bokum Haram. But the stone-cold truth of the matter is that this sort of thing has been transpiring in Africa from time immemorial. For millennia upon millennia, black Africans have seized upon and enslaved other black Africans. And, as notes famed Islamic scholar, Bernard Lewis, among others, from the dawn of Islam, Muslims have abducted and enslaved non-Muslims—both black and white.
It is estimated that well over 100 million black Africans died over the span of 14 centuries as they were marched across the scalding hot sands of the Sahara Desert by those Arab raiders and traders intent upon reducing them to a life of bondage in foreign lands.
In spite of the tremendous number of blacks transported to the Middle East, the latter consists of relatively few blacks today. Why? For one, African boys were frequently forced to undergo castration, a practice so barbaric that but a tiny percentage survived it. Those who did, however, fetched a purchasing price several times that of those of their peers who were not made into eunuchs.
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.