Although it is difficult to quantify with precision, the Emancipation Proclamation probably freed about 200,000 slaves, as Union troops marched farther and farther into the Confederacy, setting blacks free in their path. The slaves themselves became active participants in the movement, rushing by the thousands into the safety of Union lines and volunteering en masse to take up arms against former masters. Lincoln took another giant step forward the following year and supported a Constitutional Amendment to free slaves everywhere, even in the loyal, slave-holding border states. That amendment became the law of the land in 1865, crowning the "jewel of liberty,"as historian David Long has put it, paraphrasing Lincoln himself. Tragically, Lincoln himself did not live to see the Amendment ratified into law, though he surely knew its acceptance was inevitable.
But Lincoln did not back down. On January 1, as abolitionists prayed at churches throughout the North, and notwithstanding recalcitrant troops, political pressure, editorial criticism, and trembling hand, the President signed a final version of the Emancipation Proclamation. In its latest incarnation, it had even included the truly revolutionary hope that freed blacks would now join Union military forces to battle for the freedom the document promised. Lincoln—and surely African Americans as well—knew that for all its good intentions, the Proclamation would free slaves only if Union armies won victories in Rebel states. Ultimately, that is precisely what occurred.
Jane Nardal was credited by her sister as the first "promoter of this movement of ideas so broadly exploited later" by the so-called Trois Pères (Three Fathers), the movement leaders who "took up the ideas tossed out by us and expressed them with more flash and brio... Let's say that we blazed the trail for them." Senghor acknowledged as much in 1960, when he wrote: "We were in contact with these black Americans during the years 1929–34, through Mademoiselle Paulette Nardal who, with Dr. Sajous, a Haitian, had founded La Revue du monde noir. Mademoiselle Nardal kept a literary salon, where African Negroes, West Indians and American Negroes used to get together." After her death in 1985, Césaire paid tribute to Paulette Nardal as an initiatrice (initiator) of the Négritude movement and named in her honor a square in Fort-de-France, the capital of Martinique.
Slavery is viewed as an ancient and universal institution and thus it can be found in a diversity of forms throughout Africa. During the period of the Atlantic world, slavery served multiple roles within Africa and provided a foundation for the transatlantic slave trade in that Europeans found slaves for sale within Africa. In many parts of Africa, land was held in common and therefore people’s ability to work the land, and their position within their society, related to the number of people whom they controlled. This patron-client system meant that patrons were always looking for more clients, both free and unfree, as a way to increase their power. The nature of this agricultural and political system made slavery and pawnship (debt peonage) a common system in Africa, yet it was a system that is hard to generalize about and one that possessed great differences from the African slavery that developed in the Americas. While the role of African slavery in the Americas has been more thoroughly studied, and is better known, than slavery in Africa, the rise of the transatlantic slave trade, and then its gradual abolition in the 19th century, had important consequences for slavery within Africa.
The best starting point for the study of slavery in Africa involves , a broad treatment of the subject. This builds upon the debate that occurred between Walter Rodney and J. D. Fage concerning the origins of slavery in Africa. While argues that slavery did not appear until Africa’s sustained contact and interaction with Europeans within the context of the transatlantic slave trade, argues that slavery existed before this in Africa; is the accepted interpretation. One point that most studies make clear is that slavery in Africa differed greatly from slavery in the Americas and because of this it is hard to create a general definition of African slavery. An attempt to do so is seen within , in , and in , which challenges the accepted interpretation of Miers and Kopytoff. One common trend involves exploring the relationship between slavery in Africa and African slavery in the Americas. Scholars are especially interested in understanding the consequences of the transatlantic slave trade upon Africa, and one area of inquiry involves how external slavery affected internal slavery. Beyond this has been the attempt to understand the negative (see ), and other consequences (see ), of the external slave trade on Africa. focuses upon modern forms of slavery within Africa while making connections to earlier forms of slavery. The collection of essays in explores the legacy of slavery and the slave trade within West Africa while those in provide insight into the archaeology and remembrance of indigenous slavery.
African slaves were transported to Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Caribbean,Mexico, and Central & South America, starting very early in the 16th century.
Landowners in the American colonies originally met their need for forced labor byenslaving a limited number of Natives, and "hiring" many more Europeanindentured servants. In exchange for their transportation across the Atlantic, theservants committed to work for the landowner for 4 to 7 years. A few slaves wereimported from Africa as early as 1619. With the spread of tobacco farming in the 1670's,and the diminishing number of people willing to sign-on as indentured servants in the 1680's,increasing numbers of slaves were brought in from Africa. They replaced NativeAmerican slaves, who were found to be susceptible to diseases of Europeanorigin. "" 2 The Africans"came from manyracial stocks and many tribes, from the spirited Hausas, the gentle Mandingos, thecreative Yorubas, from the Igbos, Efiks and Krus, from the proud Fantins, the warlikeAshantis, the shrewd Dahomeans, the Binis and Sengalese." 3Eventually 600 to 650 thousand slaves arrived in America against their will.4
Both slave transportation, and slavery itself in the U.S. were brutal institutions. Itwas not unknown to have a 50% mortality rate during the passage from Africa. Slaveswho were too ill to survive the trip were sometimes thrown overboard to drown. Once onAmerican soil, slaves were largely treated as property, to be freely bought andsold. Some slave owners allowed their slaves to marry; others imposed marriages onthem. Slave marriages were not recognized by the states. The owner was free to split up acouple or family at any time simply by selling some of his/her slaves. Slave children weresent into the fields at about 12 years of age where they worked from sun up to sundown.
Négritude is a cultural movement launched in 1930s Paris by French-speaking black graduate students from France's colonies in Africa and the Caribbean territories. These black intellectuals converged around issues of race identity and black internationalist initiatives to combat French imperialism. They found solidarity in their common ideal of affirming pride in their shared black identity and African heritage, and reclaiming African self-determination, self–reliance, and self–respect. The Négritude movement signaled an awakening of race consciousness for blacks in Africa and the African Diaspora. This new race consciousness, rooted in a (re)discovery of the authentic self, sparked a collective condemnation of Western domination, anti-black racism, enslavement, and colonization of black people. It sought to dispel denigrating myths and stereotypes linked to black people, by acknowledging their culture, history, and achievements, as well as reclaiming their contributions to the world and restoring their rightful place within the global community.
For more than 200 years Britain was at the heart of a lucrative transatlantic trade in millions of enslaved Africans. But by 1807 the practice had been banned. How did this happen?
All eligible entries received will be judged by a qualified panel of judges chosen by Penguin Publishing Group and winners will be selected on or about June 15, 2018. Winning essays must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the themes and issues presented in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Submissions will be judged on style, content, grammar, and originality. Judges will look for clear, concise writing that is original, articulate, logically organized, and well supported. Winners will be notified by June 24th, 2018 via email, and will be announced online on or about July 1st, 2018.