Factors of the Enslavement of Africans Essay

Factors of the Enslavement of Africans Essay

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According to Manning, "This story of black people in the modern world acknowledges but does not advocate the concept of "race" (Manning 12). For Manning, the history of black people is the history of black community. He proposes that one way to look at racial difference is color. Another way is biological difference. A third is religious belief and a fourth is purity of blood. All four of these contribute to our sense of "us" or "them." This sense of us or them feeds the concept of racism and is not contained to only one element. While one may at color, someone else may consider religion. Examples of all of Manning's four elements exist in history. For example, people, who consider Jews to be different, typically focus of religious beliefs while people consider blacks to be different due to their skin color or hair. Race was certainly a consideration when it came to enslaving Africans.
RACIAL HIERARCHY In addition to categorizing people by the four elements described, groups are often ranked using one or all of these elements. Manning thoughtfully explains that historian Frank Snowden, after studying blacks in Greek and Roman society, determined that they were not clearly identified. As a result, there is no evidence that blacks were discriminated against in their societies. Manning also points out that white plantation owners and anthropologists of the nineteenth century clearly ranked people by race, placing themselves on top (Manning 13-14). Manning contends that the fifteenth Portuguese had no problem enslaving African blacks because it was a natural extension of the medieval belief of purity of blood. A more recent example is the Nazi's belief in purity of blood, excluding Jews and anyone else who was not considere...


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...ed to the new society. They brought new foods, music, and traditions, blending them with the new lands and cultures. Those who traveled back to Africa brought with them new ideas and experiences that they blended with their existing ways of life. They adapted and innovated to their circumstances, creating new identifies while holding on to as much of their old culture as possible.
Africans changed or rebuilt their societies as a result of their travels and interactions with other cultures. The enslaved black people built a tradition of opposition to slavery that manifested itself in significantly weakening the systems of slavery. They developed new traditions and a new sense of identity that incorporated appreciation for their ancestral life as well as the new realities or slavery. Migration, whether forced or done freely contributed to a new identity (Manning 38).

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