History of Slavery

Slavery is a phenomenon that existed a very long time ago mostly in European countries. The expansion in agriculture was one of the factors that contributed to the demand for slaves. The origin of slavery and its implications to Africa and the rest of the world has been the main focus of Everett Suzanne in the book the History of slavery. The book articulates the origin of slavery from its roots in Africa and other parts of the world where slaves were traded.

Everett brings out how Europeans explored Africa and return came back with slaves. Africa was an important source of slaves because of a number of factors. First of all the book indicates that most of the Africans were strong and could work for more hours than any other races. It is from this assumption that most Europeans sought for slaves from African colonies.

Slaves were captured in war in the African colonies, by the great chiefs and rulers who colluded with the slave masters and Arab traders. The slaves could be exchanged for some goods such as cloths and electronics that came from European nations.

Everett has also indicated the important contribution of the transatlantic trade to the development of slave trade and slavery. It is because of the trade that most Africans found their way to Americas and other European countries. It is the transatlantic trade that facilitated the movement of people as slave’s .During the trade there was an increased demand for slaves by the European traders. They collected slaves from African colonies and transported them with the use of ships. It has been documented that slaves suffered during their transportation from Africa. Some of them even died before they could reach their destination. The pictures presented in the book provide the suffering that slaves went through before they could be sold by Arab traders to Europe. The suffering slaves have been shown in the illegal naval ships that were headed for the Americas.

The slaves were given an inhuman treatment and had no rights. From the picture painted by the author, there was no sense of humanity in the perpetrators of slavery. Despite the fact that some of the slaves were tiny and emaciated, the Arab traders did not mind as long as they accomplished their objectives in the transatlantic trade. On arrival in Europe, slaves were assigned to their masters who mistreated them and subjected them to hard labor. The Greek and the Romans have also been mentioned in the origin of slavery. It has been documented in the book that the Greek and the Romans were enslaving themselves long before even the Arabs started their slave trade. Most Greek families had housel slaves in their house holds. The house slaves were used for various jobs. They had no rights and were mistreated by their masters.

Slaves were exploited sexually by some of their masters and this was evidenced in the pregnancies that resulted due to the illicit relationships that occurred between slaves and their masters. There was a complete ignorance of the rights of slaves in their destinations.   Towards the end of slavery African Americans have been depicted to have found direction into literacy and development. This was especially true after some slaves managed to pursue education and even intermarried with some whites in the Americas. The literacy of slaves was facilitated by the desire by the slaves to know their rights and improve their standards of living.

Missionary work also contributed to the literacy and enlightment of slaves in Americas. Slaves acquired literacy to read the bible and this contributed a lot towards their development and awareness.


The theme that runs through the book is that of slavery and suffering. It is important to recognize the fact that the author set out to articulate how some Africans who were sold as slaves to Arab traders during the transatlantic trade, went through a lot of suffering by virtue of their status as slaves. The description of the process through which the slaves were transported illegally through the ships to Americas. There is evidence that the slaves were not transported in a human way. They were exposed to suffering and their masters did not care for their needs. Some of the slaves even died on the way and some on arrival. From such a background to the origin of slavery, the author has managed to articulate the theme of slavery and suffering. The depiction of Africans undergoing suffering in slavery by the author aims at making the point that Africans have come along way to their current status in the society.

There is also the theme of racial discrimination and the final empowerment of Africans. It is clear that Africans have had a long history of slavery in Americas. The reason why the Africans were in those ages treated as slaves was basically because of racism and discrimination that was perpetrated by the whites and other races. There is clear evidence from the book that humanity was not valued amongst the African race by the other races. The fact that Africans were treated unfairly against their will and even looked down upon by the other races has been prominent in the book. It has also been noted from the book that during the origin of slave trade, Africa as the continent of the black race played a significant role in providing slaves during trade. The fact that the Africans contributed the largest number of slaves to Americas is indicative of how the other races discriminated the race to the extent that the only work they could do best was to become slaves to white masters.

Even in the course of serving their masters as slaves, Africans did no have rights and they were treated as properties of the masters. The fact that they were denied human rights is indicative that they were discriminated against based on the color of their skin and status in the society. All these issues have been articulated by the author in the course of describing the history of slavery.

This indeed is a good account of slavery and how it affected the African race. The author through this account has managed to expose the social evils that were perpetrated against innocent Africans as slaves during the transatlantic trade. Through this book, some bitter truths have been revealed about the unfair treatment that slaves passed through even though they never seized from being human beings. The awakening of black people from the bondages of slavery and their literacy is also an important thing that has been brought in the book. Personally I have been astonished by the cruelty that the African slaves had to endure. I can clearly see the pictures portrayed in the book and I really feel pity and conclude that man has come a long way to achieve the present modernity and civilization. It is important that the author has recognized that slavery was a reality in the world and that it is still present in modern times but it has taken different approaches. The discrimination against blacks that has been witnessed in some European countries is not a matter that began recently but it has its history during the origin of slave trade.

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