Talk:Atlantic slave trade

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Interesting article[edit]

Interview in 1930s with a man brought to the US by slave ship in 1860s Pashley (talk) 09:08, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Article about African involvement in slave trade[edit]

I'd just like to point everyone to an article, originally published in the New York Times, about African involvement in the slave trade, written by an African-American Harvard professor. This article sparked a huge controversy among the African-American community when it was published as it touches on many uncomfortable aspects about the slave trade that are often glossed over in history classes, but I think it is worth a read to understand just how complex the issue on slavery is. At least as far as historical facts go, he gets everything right. The dog2 (talk) 18:04, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

Understand section[edit]

In my opinion, the current Understand section is long, overly detailed, and repetitive. By word count it takes up more than two thirds of the article. I tried to take a first step in addressing this problem by removing some of the unnecessary detail and repetition, but I was reverted by Hobbitschuster. So: Hobbitschuster, do you have another idea for how we can cut down the section? Or do you think it's appropriate for the Understand section to be so long and detailed? —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:52, 2 November 2018 (UTC)

Seeing no response, I've reinstated the removals. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:52, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree; your removals so far are a good first step, but it needs more. Pashley (talk) 15:08, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it was rather long; the length is better now you've removed the text. I'd say still a little more could go. The paragraphs are very long, that's for sure. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:15, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I thought the more modest removals were a somewhat workable compromise (even though they still introduced some subtle wrong things and lies by omission). I think the ax laid to the article now is entirely excessive and detrimental. Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:56, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Could you please specifically explain why all these details are necessary? Why must the section go into so much detail about the Spanish Empire specifically? Why must it incorrectly imply that the "Back to Africa" concept fully lost political relevance at the end of the Civil War? Why must it mention the chief justice of the Supreme Court by name? And so on. And if you really think all these details are necessary, how do you propose shortening the section so it doesn't overwhelm the article? —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:15, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
Not to pick out any contributor in particular, but frankly these subjects should be treated with more respect and less 'commentary' than we have seen. As a travel site we are eminently not well qualified to give in-depth analysis on sensitive racial subjects such as this. I would agree in reducing to the well established high level historical points. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:26, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I don't think any of us have any intention to show disrespect to this topic. If that has come across, that's unfortunate and I apologize for that, but I think the point is that the "understand" section is way too long and ought to be shortened. It's out-of-proportion with the rest of the article. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:17, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I didn't think that anyone was being intentionally disrespectful. It is more the risk that large levels of ad-hoc contributions could accidentally come across that way. I'm suggesting to keep the narrative short, clean and accurate. Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:33, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'll be careful about what I say here per some debates I had in the past over WV:RA, but an edit war is starting to develop over this article between User:Hobbitschuster and User:Mx. Granger. I agree with you about how long the article section should be. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 03:10, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Some specific points[edit]

  • I wonder about "The U.S. is thus home to more descendants of African slaves than many other societies". Of course it did. But isn't "more than any other societies" also true? I cannot think of any country with a large population and a bigger proportion of descendants of African slaves. What country would that be? (I suppose Kongo etc. do not count, although perhaps most of the population has some forefather that was slave, depending on the dynamics in local slavery).
  • How was the prospect of perhaps sometimes being free act as a carrot? It would if slaves were manumitted for good service, but if that was not common practice, I suppose slaves "having ideas" was never good for the bosses.
  • I think the passages about the "odd assortment" of people taking different stands add value; one might easily think they were more homogeneous groups.
  • I also think mentioning African kingdoms by name make them more real to the mind. These were no petty kingdoms, as one might otherwise think, and handling Africa as a single entity is sort of against the purpose of an article like this.
  • There are minor problems such as the quotes around "the alleged inferiority of a supposed race" (aren't you quoting yourself here? I'd understand quotes around "inferiority" and "race"), and the sentence about Mauretania: what does the "it" in "to make it stick" refer to? The practice? But wasn't that to be abolished?

--LPfi (talk) 21:42, 5 November 2018 (UTC)

Check out w:African_diaspora for some actual data points. Important to recognise in looking at those numbers that being a member of the African diaspora does not equate to having an ancestor who was a slave.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that Brazil has more descendants of the African diaspora than the United States. (55 million for Brazil vs 46 million for the US. Also many Caribbean nations have much higher percentage of African diaspora than the US. (95% for Haiti vs just 14% for the United States) Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:40, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
I wrote a lot of the stuff in the section, so I'll address some of the points here, while trying to avoid contentious political debate. I understand some of these points are extremely politically charged, so I'll try to stick to whatever there is a broad consensus from historians on.
First of all, I am not very familiar with Roman slavery, but in any case, I think we can excise some of the details if people find it extraneous. After all, this article is about the Atlantic slave trade, and not about Roman slavery. That said, we should mention some of these civilisations, as I think we have a duty to be fair and accurate, and it is most certainly true that slavery was not invented by Europeans to oppress the Africans, but had in fact existed since the dawn of civilisation itself. And the Arab slave trade should be mentioned, because it happened for much longer than the Atlantic slave trade, and enslaved way more people. We don't have to go into details about that, but I think it should be mentioned because of its notability.
Secondly, I absolutely agree that some of the African kingdoms that sold slaves to the Europeans should be mentioned, as should the part about the vast majority of slaves having been captured by other Africans. Our duty here is to tell the facts as they are, and not propagate widely-believed myths even if these myths may be more widely believed than the facts. It's beyond our scope to debate about whether Europeans or Africans were at a greater fault, but as far as facts go, it was a lucrative business both for the Europeans that transported the slaves and the Africans that captured and sold the slaves. And just as a side note, Africans do not and never did see themselves as one single "black" race, just as Europeans do not and never did see themselves as one single "white" race, so mentioning the kingdoms is important so we do not make the mistake of treating Africa as a homogeneous place (because it is not).
And also, it is a common myth that only white people owned slaves in the Americas, but this is not true, and there were both black and Native American slave owners. Free blacks and Native Americans may have been second class citizens, but there is absolutely no question that some of them owned slaves. It may be politically contentious to bring this up, but these are the facts, and we should state them as they are. The dog2 (talk) 03:50, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Generally, agreed, and I think this should be mentioned in the article. However, most of the slave-owners were white, right? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 03:56, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's true that the vast majority were white. I'm not disputing that. But to say that all were white is not correct. That's why I wrote the parts about black and Native American slave owners. If you watch a PBS documentary by Henry Louis Gates Jr, you can see a part where he finds out that Don Cheadle's slave ancestors were owned by the Chickasaw tribe. The dog2 (talk) 04:00, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
You need to ask yourself what you really want to achieve by including the many nuances around the slave trade. Although factually correct to say that slave owners were not exclusively white, and indeed many involved in facilitating the slave trade were also from many different races, I don't think a travel article is the best place to explore it. In any case the transatlantic slave trade was indisputably driven by Europeans and Americans, regardless who else played a part. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:25, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I think some of it depends on the length of the article. If there was a reasonable amount of content in the Understand section, I would see nothing wrong in adding some more historical background. But is this information already in the article? That's what I'm not so sure about. Does the article actually say, "All slave-owners were white"? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 04:38, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm happy to have the article re-written in a different tone so it does not come across as political commentary. But what I was also trying to avoid is oversimplifying things and turning this into a "white-bashing" article. Perhaps what we have is too much details, but what I wish to avoid is perpetuating myths, so I think there should at least be a brief mention that Africans were involved in the slave trade. If you go to Abomey in Benin, you can see the Dahomey royal palaces, and significant portion of the money used to build that came from selling slaves to the Europeans. Slaves had been captured as spoils of war in Africa for a long time before European contact, but what changed when the Atlantic slave trade started was that many of these kingdoms, and most certainly the Dahomey kingdom, waged wars with the explicit purpose of capturing slaves because of how lucrative the slave trade was for them. The role played by the African kingdoms in the slave trade was most certainly not insignificant, and historians generally agree that the Europeans would not have been able to enslave the numbers of Africans they did if not for the complicity of the African kingdoms.
As for non-white slave owners, I guess that's not as important and if really necessary, we can cut more of it out, but I do think that even though the article does not explicitly state that, we should also be careful not to imply that slave ownership was an exclusively white thing, because that is factually incorrect. The dog2 (talk) 04:45, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Speaking of which, isn't Be fair one of our policies? Writing only about European involvement in the slave trade while ignoring the fact that many Africans were complicit does not seem very fair to me. The dog2 (talk) 05:16, 6 November 2018 (UTC)


[Edit conflict] Actually, a major difference between slavery in the British colonies in North America and then the U.S., as opposed to in the Muslim world or Rome, is that it was explicitly white-supremacist, with slavery being restricted to people defined as "black". That's the key point, not who owned the slaves. But just how travel-related is any of that? The complicity of African kingdoms, though, is absolutely relevant because there are places to visit related to the African end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:19, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
While it's true that there was always a racist component, initially, economic gain was a bigger motivation for the slave trade than racism. It became more and more racist as time wore on. Speaking of which, initially, the Europeans bought their slaves from African slave markets that had been around since long before European contact, and it was only later that the slave trade expanded to the scale it became. I'm not sure if there are any West African slave markets you can visit today, but I know in East Africa, you can still visit the slave market of Stone Town in Zanzibar, though I presume that would be more connected to the Arab slave trade than the Atlantic slave trade. The dog2 (talk) 05:51, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
You didn't grow up in the U.S., but when I was in elementary school, I learned something I think and hope most American children learn, which is that in colonial Virginia, both Europeans and Africans were held as indentured servants, essentially enslaved only for a period of years and then freed, with free children. After one or more very serious rebellions by the indentured servants, the landowning ruling class came up with a brilliant strategy: Make the "black" people slaves in perpetuity and put the poor whites up to supervising them, thereby investing them in the system and preventing the poor from uniting against the ruling class again. And this strategy of racism was so successful that it's still being used to divide and conquer the non-rich in the U.S. to this day. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:13, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I didn't know about that. I did know that only blacks could be enslaved, while whites could only become indentured servants, but this is the first time I've heard of racism being used as a strategy to control the poor. But anyway, my main concern is that cutting too much will result in gross oversimplification to the point of misrepresenting history. While I understand a travel guide can't go into every single detail, I think we should still be careful not to perpetuate widely-held myths, so there should be enough detail to allow our readers to at least be aware of the complexity of the actual history. The dog2 (talk) 07:20, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
My reaction is that you want to engage in a whitewash, and that's highly inappropriate, to say the least. Once again, you are injecting a totally unnecessary controversy. Slavery in the U.S. was specifically and pointedly based on race. And as a historian, since you're interested in the U.S., study the history of Irish indentured servitude in the Americas, too. But don't write about it here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:25, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
This is getting out of hand. The Atlantic slave trade was immoral, indefensible and for the most part the responsibility of white people. If you really care about this level of detail of who did what to whom then go to w:Atlantic_slave_trade on Wikipedia and edit away. I'm sure you will have an interesting time.
As for this article, can we just leave well enough alone? Wikivoyage is not the place for this. Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:36, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think you misunderstood me. I never suggested adding anything about Irish indentured servitude to this article, and I know it's not relevant to this topic. That comment was merely to highlight that I am aware of the double standard that was practised at that time, and not meant to suggest any addition to this article. And neither am I downplaying European culpability or the role white supremacy played in the slave trade. But at the same time, I stand by my view that completely ignoring the culpability of the African kingdoms in the interest of political correctness is not the way to go, and African involvement in the slave trade is a significant aspect that has to be mentioned in order to give an accurate representation of history. If the community decides that it is too controversial to include and must be cut out lest it offend anyone, fine. I'll drop the debate and concede. But I still think that cutting that aspect out will mean that we are not depicting history accurately. If you really insist on cutting out the part about non-white slave ownership in the Americas, I am more willing concede on that one since it's not as important an aspect as African involvement in the slave trade. The dog2 (talk) 07:50, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Show me where anyone has pushed back on the culpability of Africans who captured and traded slaves. You have a very annoying habit of attempting to shift the meaning of people's objections to something more comfortable to you, and it needs to stop. The words above stand, and I seriously doubt they need any further explanation. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:56, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I hope this is not deteriorating to personal conflicts. As I interpret the actions here, no one is pushing a political agenda. We just disagree on how much detail is needed to give a fair picture and defeat common myths. I am convinced this kind of an article need to give some more background than less convoluted travel topic articles, so I do not think it is overly encyclopedic as it stands. There are some details the importance of which I cannot judge, and some things could be stated more compactly, but I think we should not be overly worried over the length of the Understand section. --LPfi (talk) 09:32, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I may have gone overboard, but trying to direct attention away from the strategy of racism/white supremacy that established the differentiation between "black" slaves and "white" freemen in colonial Virginia that was maintained in what became the U.S. until 1865 and in many ways still continues, due to a motivation not to engage in "white-bashing", is nothing I will be a part of. There are fundamental ways in which American slavery was different from and in general crueler than at least some well-known previous systems of slavery, very much including at least some in Africa. There were systems in which slaves' families couldn't be broken up; in the U.S., slave families were typically broken up. There were systems in which slaves had certain rights to some kind of decent treatment - read the Bible for some examples, and you can also look at w:Islamic views on slavery. There was no such law or convention in the U.S. One could go on. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:02, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I suppose that could motivate adding a few comments or changing the tone of some passages, but it does not require removing information on slavery with non-white owners or later relations between black and native people. Understanding how past slavery affects the Americas today is very important (and I suppose this article is the place to discuss it or provide hints on further reading), and the nuances are quite important for that end. --LPfi (talk) 10:21, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
My reactions have been to what I've been reading in this thread, not in the article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:45, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

[Unindent] OK, looking at the first paragraph of "Understand", I think it's fine except that I would simply add "Arabs" at the end of the list in the first sentence, the length of their slave trade being irrelevant to this article. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:06, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

We do have another option, by the way. We could call the article "Slavery" and encompass all forms of slavery that are travel-relevant. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:08, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
If the "white-bashing" thing is what you objected to, then it's just a misunderstanding and there's no issue. What I meant to say was that I was trying to avoid letting the section degenerate into political propaganda full of common myths and oversimplifications. I'm not saying that white people or racism were not to blame for it. To the extent that it is historically accurate and relevant, white culpability and racism absolutely should be mentioned. I honestly thought that the objection was to mentioning African involvement in the slave trade, because that has in fact been a contentious political issue. Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr (who is black and left-leaning, by the way) received a huge backlash from the African-American community when he wrote about that aspect of the slave trade in a New York Times opinion piece (the one I provided a link to in an earlier post on this page), because many people were uncomfortable addressing it.
And besides, my suggestions of what could be removed are just to try to find a compromise since people have objected to the length of the section. This is not to deny the fact that white supremacy played a huge part in slavery in the Americas. I personally don't object to having the sentence comparing Roman and American slavery left in. The dog2 (talk) 13:26, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
And by the way, I guess there is a potential to expand the scope of this article to encompass all slavery. The slave market of Stone Town, Zanzibar has in fact become a tourist attraction commemorating the slaves that you can visit. And India has a black community called the Siddis who are believe to have been brought over as slaves by the Arabs. And much like the black people in the U.S. today, they continue to face much discrimination, arguably even more so than American blacks, since most Indians don't know that they are Indian citizens and presume they are illegal immigrants from Africa. The dog2 (talk) 13:32, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Keep in mind, this is a difficult topic to cover. It's the kind of topic with many varying viewpoints, little-known facts, common myths, and the list goes on. I'm not sure if we can be expected on Wikivoyage to get every detail of the article right. We're talking about this article like it's terrible at the moment, which I find hard to believe.
Remember, also, that this isn't a very relevant travel topic like Driving in Europe. It's one of the more marginal travel topics in the sense that it's a topic more appropriate for Wikipedia than Wikivoyage. I'm not saying we should delete the article, though.
And slavery is never a good thing. Whether it's the case of Rome in ancient times, the Arab world in the Middle Ages, or the slaveowners in the South during the early 1800s; saying that one form of slavery is "better" than the other is like comparing the effects of hurricanes and tornadoes — both cause a lot of damage. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:49, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Wikivoyage:Goals_and_non-goals clearly states that a non-goal of Wikivoyage is not to be encyclopaedic. It is depressing to consistently ignore this principle, and we keep coming back to the obsession around race with the disingenuous claim that not being obsessive is 'being historical inaccurate'. I don't see any point point debating The dog2 on this because he always claims that he is not being understood and that the community is always wrong. He needs to go Wikipedia but that is too hard for him to engage over there so he persists on Wikivoyage. The next step should unfortunately be banning these subjects. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:01, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Where am I being obsessed with race here? I'm trying to have a discussion on what are the important points we should keep and what are the not so important points we can get rid of since people have complained about the length. I'm trying to compromise here, so I would appreciate it if people stop personally attacking me just because of a disagreement. People will have disagreements from time to time overt are the important points and what are not, so I'm trying to reach a consensus on what should be kept and what could be taken out. The dog2 (talk) 21:05, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Comparing different forms of slavery is valid, just as is comparing different forms of natural disasters (e.g., a localized tornado vs. a widespread hurricane). However, as Andrewssi would say, going into detail on this stuff is not really relevant to travel. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:10, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Let me just say that I would consider an article just entitled slavery overbroad and with little travel focus or relation. Maybe something can be said about the Arab slave trade or the history of the Barbary Pirate states (who made a habit of capturing people for either ransom money or enslavement; apparently including Miguel de Cervantes) in a different article, but I think other slaveries are best left to Wikipedia and/or dealt with in other historical travel topics. I would like to respond to the points raised at the beginning of this section, but will do so in a new section. Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:20, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

a new section[edit]

So to the points raised by the first comment in the above sub-section, let me say in brief the following:

  1. I think the edit is fine, but the lot of Afro-Brazilians is a bit different from the lot of African Americans as Brazil (to my knowledge) does not have a "one drop rule". Otherwise Bolsonaro (who is on record as saying nasty things about "The Blacks" would likely have had difficulty getting elected, in a country that is majority "nonwhite" by a "one drop rule")
  2. The possibility - even if remote - of being freed is of course a carrot. You can always have other carrots (e.g. being promoted to better jobs, being given some limited freedoms or handouts), but freedom is always the biggest possible carrot for the vast majority of slaves. And in (almost) all slave systems, it was just common enough to give people hope, but uncommon enough as to not undermine the system. The South in the 19th century was perhaps the big exception to that. Manumission got less and less common as time went on - perhaps one in many factors making abolitionism more and more common in the North.
  3. agreed.
  4. agreed.
  5. I'm not 100% married to the scare quotes, but I think it reads better that way and I did not want to write the stuff without them. And as for the Mauritania bit, what is difficult is to make abolition stick. Apparently they have abolished slavery more than once, never officially reintroduced it and yet there are still de facto slaves or there were recently Hobbitschuster (talk) 22:27, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
(The difficulty is that "abolition" is not found as such, and "it" cannot refer to "abolish slavery", And it is not the act you want to stick but the result. --LPfi (talk) 22:52, 6 November 2018 (UTC))
This is the problem discussing this section is that people seem to rely more on 'what is to their knowledge' than just looking up easily accessible facts on Wikipedia. 29% of Brazilians can claim African ancestry. The relevance of this to Bolsonaro's victory is not something that needs discussing here. Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:56, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure somebody like w:Ben Jealous would not be considered "black" in Brazil. Yet in the US he is. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:31, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have to say I'm feeling frustrated. We have consensus that the section is too long, yet Hobbitschuster is continuing to edit it to make it even longer and still has not responded to my comment above.

Anyway, several users have expressed support for the removals so far, and the only opposition that I can see has come from Hobbitschuster (who still hasn't responded to the arguments made at the beginning of this section) and LPfi (who only seems to have objected to the removal of a couple of specific passages). So I think our next step can be to reinstate those removals (except the parts that LPfi objected to), and then we can continue to shorten the section from there.

By the way, I strongly agree with Andrewssi2 that the historical overview should stick to the well-established key facts. We're not equipped to adjudicate tricky historical details, and there's no need for that anyway—we can leave that to Wikipedia. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:38, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Anyway, does everyone agree with adding a listing for the Royal Palaces of Abomey? The Dahomey kingdom was one of the main African beneficiaries of the slave trade, and while the palaces are not explicitly a monument to slavery, they are without a doubt a glimpse into how some African kingdoms thrived because of the slave trade. In that way, the part on African involvement in the slave trade would be directly relevant to travel. In fact, the current King of Dahomey, although it is only a ceremonial role these days, apologised to descendants of the slaves from the Americas for his ancestors' role in the trade, and the palace is where that took place.
And as I said, if you really want to cut stuff out, I would say the first that can go is the comparison of different types of slavery since that is not the main topic of this article. We can mention the different civilisations that practised slavery in the opening paragraph, and mention that the Atlantic Slave Trade was one of several slave trades, and leave it at that.
And we can probably condense the section about colonialism, since that is not the point of this article. We can have a simple statement saying that abolitionism eventually resulted in colonialism, and not go into the details on that. The dog2 (talk) 23:44, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
Include listings that are museums or monuments to the history of slavery. Exclude listing (such as the one suggested above) that are a few degrees away from anything to do with slavery. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:00, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
So would Stone Town in Zanzibar qualify then? The slave market is now a monument to slavery that tourists can visit. The only issue is, it's on the wrong coast. The dog2 (talk) 00:10, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Trip Advisor reviews say the palaces have information about the slave trade, and a "room built with blood of 41 slaves". So I would guess they're worth including. In the "Understand" section, I agree with condensing the information about different types of slavery and colonization, though I think we should still mention the key differences between the Atlantic slave trade and earlier systems of slavery. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:10, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Look at the Wikipedia page for w:Stone_Town. The destination undoubtably is relevant to the history of slavery, but I don't see reference to the Slave Market being something that you can visit. The The Anglican Cathedral Church of Christ seems to be relevant (it celebrated the end of slavery in the city) and stands on the site. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:19, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
The Anglican cathedral was built on the site of the market, with the altar being at where the whipping post was. And this site mentions other places in Stone Town related to the slave trade that you can visit. The dog2 (talk) 03:55, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

A rewrite[edit]

I feel that the whole section needs both drastic shortening to eliminate much encyclopedic content that does not belong in a travel guide and some restructuring. I am therefore doing a fairly radical rewrite at User:Pashley/slavery. I do not expect my ideas to be accepted wholesale but they may be worth a look, though perhaps not until I have done more than I'll have time for today. Pashley (talk) 02:45, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

First pass made & I think all the major issues dealt with, though it could use polishing. What do others think? Pashley (talk) 04:46, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I'd say you did a good job. I was genuinely concerned about oversimplification, but you managed to handle the nuances properly while not understating the role racism played in the slave trade. Speaking of the Arab Slave Trade, there were actually two aspects of it; the Indian Ocean slave trade and the trans-Sahara slave trade, but this is just a minor issue and doesn't change the substance of the section. The dog2 (talk) 04:53, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
And as a side note, I would caution you against using the word "n***o" unless it's from a direct quote, as many African-Americans will find that word offensive. I'm not trying to imply that you're a racist, but it's just something to be aware of as this can be a rather touchy issue. The dog2 (talk) 05:03, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
@Pashley: I saw that you took out the part about the Africans using weapons bought from the Europeans to capture slaves. I think that should be left in, because it was in large part because of European weapons that the Africans were able to capture the number of slaves they did. The dog2 (talk) 06:13, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I'd say the rewrite is a big improvement. It's still on the long side and of course could use polishing, but definitely an improvement. I especially like the choice to put information about race and racism into an infobox. —Granger (talk · contribs) 08:43, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I put something about weapons back in, albeit worded differently. 11:28, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Others have made a few useful contributions & I've edited further. I think it is now good enough it should replace that section of the article.
Other opinions? In particular, I'd like to hear from User:Hobbitschuster. Pashley (talk) 23:53, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Since there's no response, I'd say go ahead. The dog2 (talk) 19:07, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
Seeing no further comments, I've made the change. I think this is a good start, though the section could still use some further condensing. —Granger (talk · contribs) 03:49, 20 November 2018 (UTC)

Why shorten the "understand" section and not lengthen other sections[edit]

It seems that some here think that a long understand section can only ever be a "necessary evil" and something to grudgingly tolerate at best. But can't it also be a positive good in an article teeming with useful information in all sections, understand among them? Why is there this rush to shorten just for shortness' sake? Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:49, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

To be fair, the current iteration has many repetitions and elaboration of some points that are only somewhat connected to slavery so those could be trimmed. For instance, this article is not about colonialism, so there is no need to elaborate too much on that. I've already stated my view that because of the nature of this topic, we need to have enough nuance to be able to tackle common myths and treat this topic in a fair way. But at the same time, a travel guide is not an appropriate place to go into every single encyclopaedic detail, so of course where the right balance is, and where to draw the line is something that everyone is going to have a different opinion about. The dog2 (talk) 17:44, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
Who of you would also lay the ax to British Raj? Hobbitschuster (talk) 19:51, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
I wouldn't mind trimming that down either, as long as we can still get all the key points across. The dog2 (talk) 21:02, 9 November 2018 (UTC)

East Africa[edit]

There were also places in East Africa where slaves where exported, e.g. Mombasa, Fort Jesus. Might be interesting to add East Africa too (talk) 11:02, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Yes, that is true, but this article is about the Atlantic slave trade. The slaves exported from East Africa mostly went to the Arab world and India, while some were sent across the Sahara to the Mali Empire, among others. If someone with enough expertise on the subject can create an Arab slave trade article, those listings would most certainly belong in that article, but I'm not sure they belong here. It's most certainly true that the Arab slave trade went on for far longer and enslaved far more people than the Atlantic slave trade, but unlike the Atlantic slave trade, it wasn't only black people that were enslaved; the Arabs conducted slave raids on the European coast, and many white people were enslaved too, so it didn't have the racist aspect that the Atlantic slave trade did. The dog2 (talk) 21:14, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Indentured servitude[edit]

Coming to think of it, this article is about slavery, so should the information of indentured servitude even belong here? They are most certainly not the same thing. Indentured servitude of Irish convicts, and of Indian and Chinese labourers is most certainly different from slavery in that the status is only temporary, and they would go free once their terms of servitude were fulfilled. The only equivalent to African slavery was the enslavement of the natives by the Spanish and Portuguese in Latin America, since those people went unpaid and never got their freedom. The dog2 (talk) 23:45, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Indentured servitude is essentially slavery for a term of years. To the extent indentured servants were part of the Atlantic slave trade, they are relevant though tangential here. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:32, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
Looking at the mention of indentured servitude in context, I'd say it is appropriate. Pashley (talk) 11:48, 2 March 2019 (UTC)