Africa’s “Bigger Slave Problem”


Last year Joe Biden said African Americans who don’t support him “ain’t black,” but this year the Delaware Democrat is open to reparations for slavery, America’s “original sin,” according to the composite character president David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama. A neglected historical account provides enlightenment on slavery’s true origins and its most enduring practitioners. In 1856, British Army officer John Hanning Speke set out to find the source of the Nile. Speke’s massive Journal of the Discovery of the Source of the Nile documents the African societies he found, and the widespread practice of slavery. “To catch slaves is the first thought of every chief in the interior,” Speke wrote, “Hence fights and slavery impoverish the land.” Many Africans were “caught in wars, as may be seen every day in Africa, made slaves of, and sold to the Arabs for a few yards of common cloth, brass wire, or beads. They would then be taken to Zanzibar, resold like horses to the highest bidder, and then kept in bondage by their new masters.”

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