The Black and White of Racism
The book points out that “a fate worse than slavery” was likely had the Africans not been sold in their homeland during the slave trade years. Millions of Africans died at the hands of their fellow African captors before they made it to the African coast to be sold, by their African captors, to the slave traders.
For example, following are some facts from the book that support the point:
The history of Slavery in early America through the Civil War has been presented to the American people of today in a deceptive manner. White Slaves and Black Slave Owners and the extent of African participation in the slave trade has been excluded from most text books, as well as, historical museums and presentations.
Facts, such as the historical record that African tribes stalked other tribes to capture and kidnap more than 20 million other Africans in their own homeland to sell as slaves, is little known. "Historians estimate that ten million of these abducted Africans never made it to the slave ships. Most died on the march to the sea—still chained, yoked, and shackled by their African captors.
The survivors were either purchased by European slave dealers or instantly beheaded by the African traders insight of the [slave ship] captains if they could not be sold." Under these conditions, the Africans that finally made it to the slave ships lived, and today their decedents, most often, do not seem to feel that they would be better off back in Africa. Few today choose to return.
These quotes are from Sheldon Stern who "taught African American History at the college level for a decade before becoming historian at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum (1977-1999) –where he designed the museums first civil rights exhibit. Mr. Stern is an American with African heritage."
Mr. Stern noted: “Failure to educate young Americans about the whole story of Atlantic slave trade threatens to divide our nation and undermine our civic unity and belief in the historical legitimacy of our democratic institutions. Education in a democracy cannot promote half-truths about history without undermining the ideal of e pluribus unum—one from many—and substituting a divisive emphasis on many from one. The history of the slave trade proves that virtually everyone participated and profited—whites and blacks; Christians, Muslims, and Jews; Europeans, Africans, Americans, and Latin Americans. Once we recognize the shared historical responsibility for the Atlantic slave trade, we can turn our attention to “transforming the future” by eradicating its corrosive legacy.”
A commentary from a different perspective about Race Relations and reason for concern by Waylon Allen