slavery africaIt is a historical fact that some prominent Jewish leaders willingly helped Adolf Hitler during the Holocaust. It is also a historical fact that Hitler's Nazi army had some high-ranking officers of "Full Jews" origin with Hitler's full knowledge. The Nazis allowed these men to serve but at the same time exterminated their families.

History is full of similar stories and conditions. Even the American revolution had some informants, "loyalists" and all-round traitors in uniforms and in plain clothes fighting alongside Great Britain. The main point I am trying to make here is that, there are betrayers, double-crossers, double-dealers, rats, evil and demonic men in every society and Africa is no exception.

There were evil men in Africa in those days and there are evil men in Africa today. The same way some Jews helped Adolf Hitler and some "loyalists" (and informants) betrayed America, I believe some very few Africans did in fact help the Europeans to get slaves in Africa in one way or the other. The purpose of this article is not to paint Africa and Africans as "saints" but to tell history from an African perspective.

In fact, Africa had more than "bad apples" and we do sincerely apologize to our brothers and sisters taken into captivity and beyond. This article is just about the nature of the "trade".

According to one famous African proverb, "Until lions get their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter". Reading the European version of history, one may think the whole continent of Africa participated in that evil trade but that is completely false. Reading the European version of history, it appears Africa and Africans put up no resistance at all and in fact, willingly participated in that evil trade. However, that is also very far from the truth. In fact, several communities across the continent put up great resistance. Some fought and died to protect their people. Sadly, the hunters recorded and shared the history of the hunt and it appears to be the only version the world knows.

It may surprise you to know that most slave owners in America and other parts of the western world were very good "Christians". In fact, some used the Bible to justify owning slaves. The Church, especially the Roman Catholic and the Anglican Churches, owned several acres of slave plantations (Please follow "Link 1" below for details). They were always looking for ways to justify their barbaric activities. Why would they record the true tales of the hunt?

Was Africa one nation? Were Africans one people? Were the Europeans in Africa just to trade? If Africans willingly participated in that "trade" then why would the Europeans bring battle troops and weapons of war all the way from Europe to Africa? If Africans willingly participated in that evil trade then why so many "Europeans against Natives" wars in African history? Also, if Africans willingly participated then what exactly were the Europeans fighting for in Africa? Were the European currencies of any value to Africans? Was there a common currency in Africa? Which currency was used to buy and sell slaves in Africa? Does the Bible permit slavery and slave trade? Why did the church participate in the slave trade?

Even in today's world, there are wars and rumors of war almost everywhere you go. There were wars in Europe in those days and there were wars in America. There were wars almost everywhere in the world. There were tribal wars in Africa too.

The difference between the tribal wars in Africa and the wars in the outside world was that, in the outside world, the conquered were often butchered (due in part to the highly sophisticated weapons of war used) whereas the conquered in Sub-Saharan Africa became part of the conqueror. In other words, while no enemy was left standing in the outside world, the conquered enemies were left to live and serve in Africa.

So it is true there were some "slaves" in Africa before the white man came. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, those "slaves" were not taken purposely to become slaves of another kingdom or empire. They were victims of tribal wars but it was somehow better than what was happening in the outside world where most enemies were wiped out. Also, in most cases, this form of slavery wasn't permanent. Once there was peace and understanding among the opposing factions, those in servitude ceased to be "slaves" and could return home.

There was also a form of servitude whereby people voluntarily went into servitude to pay for financial, customary and other forms of debt. Once again, this wasn't permanent. Once the debt was paid, those people ceased to be "slaves" and returned home. In fact, this form of servitude is still practiced in some rural communities in Africa.

In most parts of Africa, stories were orally told from generation to generation (sometimes through music, art and culture). There may be some little embelishments and slight deviations from generation to generation and from community to community. However, the basic truth mostly remains. Before I continue, I am an African and I do cherish our culture and traditions. Also, I did read history in school and I was taught by someone who actually knew what he was talking about.

I read an article online today and I was shocked to read so many people believe Africans sold their own brothers and sisters into slavery just like that. Just like the rest of the world, some of my ancestors were evil but as a whole, they were not "stupid" to have sold their own brothers and sisters into slavery just like that. My ancestors were deceived, demonically manipulated, divided and finally conquered. However, that does not mean they were "fools". In fact, my ancestors were too welcoming and trusting and that brought about our downfall. My ancestors allowed the white strangers into our land because, they (the white strangers) said they "come in peace".

Also, before I continue, please note that there were 2 types of slave trading in Africa. The one introduced mostly by the coming of Islam through the Arab raiders and traders from the Middle East and North Africa (or the Trans-Saharan slave trade) and the one introduced by the coming of the Europeans (or the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The focus of this article). The Trans-Saharan Slave Trade is deeply rooted in the Islamic cultures of several countries in the North of Africa (especially in the Maghreb region or the "Berber world") and still practiced (although silently) by some Muslim-dominant countries such as Mauritania and Libya.

According to my grandfather, in those days when there were no Christianity and no modern-day government systems in Africa, kings, queens and other traditional rulers ruled their kingdoms as heads of state and judged cases according to the rules and regulations of the land. Those who disobeyed the laws of the land were punished and those who obeyed and sacrificed for the betterment of their communities were rewarded accordingly. Although every land had some "prison" facilities, those prisons weren't meant for large groups of criminals. In other words, those who killed were killed. Those who stole paid dearly for it. Those who slept with people's wives were banished from the land. Children who disobeyed elders were punished accordingly, and so on.

My country Ghana (in West Africa) was a major slave trading post (headquarters) where slaves from different parts of Africa were brought and arranged before shipping abroad.

When the white strangers first came to Africa, my ancestors were not sure about their intentions so most communities drove the white strangers away from their land. However, the white strangers managed to convince some of our traditional rulers that they had not come to cause any harm but just to preach the good news (the Bible) and also to trade with the local people. It was barter trading where goods were exchanged for goods. Please follow "Link 2" below for details.

Ghana was called "Gold Coast" because gold was in abundance. Although my ancestors valued gold as a precious metal, the white strangers valued it more. To the white strangers, gold was more precious than blood and they were ready to kill and die for gold if necessary. In other words, my ancestors had gold in abundance and the white strangers needed some of the gold. The only way for the white strangers to get pieces of gold in Africa was to trade things like bottles of wine, clothing and textiles, guns and ammunitions, etc. That was how the "trade" started.

Some of the local chiefs along the coast started accepting the white strangers by giving them place to stay. The white strangers started building missionary centers where they stayed and preached the gospel and also traded with the local people. However, the white strangers later on expanded those missionary centers (including churches and cathedrals) into forts and castles (where they packed slaves before shipping them abroad).

The white strangers did not understand the local language and the local people did not understand a word the white strangers were saying so it made communication very difficult. To help break the language barrier, the white strangers went to the local rulers and asked the local rulers to give them some of the local people to train so they could speak and translate the foreign language which would make communication easier. However, none of those local rulers were ready to give their people out to go stay with strangers. In fact, it was a great taboo in most communities across Sub-Saharan Africa. Such people had to be traditionally cleansed before they could rejoin their communities.

Later on, some of the local rulers came up with an idea that, since the white strangers said they came to preach the "good news" which was meant to change people from their bad ways, they could actually give some of the "OK" prisoners to the white strangers so the white strangers could preach the good news they said they came to preach to those prisoners. The idea was to change those prisoners into good people with the "good news"(or the Bible) and also train them in the foreign language in order to aid communication. So the traditional rulers gave some of those prisoners out to the white strangers and to show appreciation, those white strangers gave gifts like textiles, bottles of wine, mirrors, etc. to the traditional rulers. That was how the white strangers got their first "local servers".

Those local people (the former prisoners) lived and served the white strangers in the castles and forts and learned the foreign language which enabled them to serve as mediators translating the local language for the white strangers and the foreign language for the local people. This helped a lot in communication.

As I mentioned earlier on, those local servers living with the white strangers were some of the "bad apples" in the society and although they served as mediators and made communication a whole lot easier, they also made life a living hell for the local people (some as a form of revenge). For example, when the white strangers sent them to go collect taxes (lets say 5 pieces of gold), those criminals added their own taxes (and made it 7 pieces of gold). At times too, they mis-translated just so they could get more power. Some of those criminals even became more powerful than the traditional rulers.

In other words, the white strangers, after preaching the "good news" to those prisoners, turned them into far more dangerous monsters than they were before. Why? Because, only the white man had guns at that time and they shot anyone the criminals considered "criminals".

Those local people living with the white strangers served and "worshiped" them so well to the point where the white strangers began asking for more. Because of the benefits they derived from those local servers, some of the white strangers took some local servers with them on their return home. Back home, they found those local servers (the black men from Africa) extremely useful and decided to come back for more.

They realized they could use them to work on their plantation farms back home to make more money. They also realized they could sell some of those local servers to their friends and countrymen and make more money. And that was why most of them (the "white strangers" but this time around "slave traders") returned with the intention of picking more local servers (this time around, "slaves").

So they returned for slaves but no local ruler was ready to give their people out except those criminals I mentioned earlier on. In my country for example, the Ashantis and those living in the interior parts of the country did not want to have anything to do with the white strangers. In fact, the first white stranger to set foot on the Ashanti empire did not return.

At this point in time, the white strangers had already expanded those churches and cathedrals into forts and castles with slave dungeons. Although history often portrays it as an open secret, the local population had no idea those slave dungeons even existed. In fact, some of those slave dungeons had church buildings and church services on top of them.

As I mentioned earlier on, the white strangers needed slaves and more slaves but there was no easy way of getting slaves in Africa. So, what the white strangers did was that, they created confusion among the various tribes so as to create more tribal wars.

Before the white man came to Africa, tribal wars were mostly fought with swords, spears, bows and arrows. Although these weapons were lethal, they were nowhere near as quick and fatal as the guns and cannons. The problem here was that, only the white strangers had guns and decided which tribal group to support in times of battle. Any tribal group the white strangers supported with their powerful cannons, guns and ammunitions, easily conquered their enemies.

This also created another major problem. The white strangers did not support the tribal groups for free. In fact, the white strangers started demanding taxes (which included pieces of gold and prisoners of war) and total submission after victory. Any tribal group or community which failed to submit to European authority or refused to pay taxes, were wiped out. Sometimes the leaders of those communities were executed publicly as a form of warning to neighboring communities. Most communities in Africa were turned into concentration camps with European authorities in place.

Although not often mentioned in history books, there were well-trained and well-equiped European troops all across Sub-Saharan Africa and they fought several battles with native tribes who refused to submit to European authority and that explains the several "Europeans against natives" wars in African history.

Yes, there were some greedy and evil Africans who helped the Europeans to get slaves in one way or the other. However, as a whole, Africans were not ready to give their own brothers and sisters out into slavery just like that. In fact, most fought and died in battles to save their communities from the hands of those evil white strangers. 

In Ghana for example, because the Ashanti empire was so powerful to defeat, the white strangers created so much confusion and so many wars between the Ashantis and the neighboring tribes and in most cases, supplied some of those neighboring tribes with guns and other powerful weapons of war to enable them defeat the Ashantis. The white strangers continued this until they were able to defeat the Ashantis. The white strangers then took away the king of the Ashantis (Nana Prempeh I) and the queen mother (Nana Yaa Asantewaa) and several others into exile just to break the Ashanti kingdom apart even after slavery so they could colonize and control the Ashanti gold, etc.

To conclude, yes, there were some greedy and evil Africans who did help the Europeans to get slaves in Africa in one way or the other. However, there was no slave-trading agreement between the continent of Africa and the Europeans who visited our land like history portrays. Africa as a continent, was deceived and demonically manipulated. Also, Africa as a whole did not willingly participate in that evil trade like history portrays. Maybe it wasn't enough resistance but some communities across Africa fought and perished in the hands of those evil white strangers who visited our land.

Link 1: Christianity and slavery: The role of the Church

Link 2: Barter Trading and Taxation in Colonial Africa

Add comment
K. Ananse
It is true our brothers and sisters taken into captivity suffered a lot and continue to suffer because of the transatlantic slave trade. However, people often forget the fact that Africans back home, and Africa as a continent, suffered and continue to suffer a great deal too. For example, millions of able-bodied men and women were taken out of the continent to provide “free labor” to the outside world. In the end, the outside world prospered (from the free labor) while Africa suffered and continues to suffer. Didn't the "slaves" and slavery help build America into what it is today? And to those of you who think Africans back home had it easy, google what slavery and colonization did to the Congo. Google how King Leopold II turned the whole of Congo into a concentration camp much worse than Hitler's. And google what percentage of Congo's population perished under Belgian rule.

Some Americans try to downplay the role of slavery and slaves in America’s rise to power and fame. In fact, some Americans say only about 2% of Americans owned slaves during the peak of slavery. However, they often forget the fact that, America's entire economy depended on slavery and slaves. In fact, the "slaves" built America. Someone may ask how? Well, didn't the expansion of slavery in the first 70-80 years after the American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States? Weren't slaves mercilessly tortured and made to work even harder during this period? Didn't this allow the United States to seize control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution? That was what made America a prosperous and powerful nation. Cotton was the "OIL" of the early 19th century and determined the wealth of nations. Cotton accounted for a staggering 50 percent of US exports and ignited the economic boom that America experienced.

Milton e locklear
They did similar to native Americans. It always goes to greed and money. They have no remorse. They always say how sorry they are but at no given time do they mention giving back the stolen wealth. I am sure they will find a verse. After all, they are Christians and "civilized".
Michael Van McMurray
I bet if China, the Russians or some Alien life form showed up on our doorstep to start a war; none of us would worry about who is Black or White or who screwed up 100 years ago. We would all be AMERICAN, Brothers and Sisters, and kicking somebody's ass. Keep in mind, that the media is going to look for the Radicals and these people are a discredit to both Black and Whites. It's easy to think that all whites think one way or all blacks think another way when you see this stuff on CNN, but truly you are only talking less than 2% that seem to speak for the rest of us. When I was in the military we all got along and respected one another. We had the same goal and same mission and the color of our skin did not prevent us from achieving these things TOGETHER.
Claudia Cristina Granjeiro
This manipulation was more cunning in comparison to the Aztecs who already had against them the belief that the Spaniards had been sent by the gods. Now it seemed very simplistic to me that the Africans themselves sold their own people. In Brazil, there is a break in politics, and we see a country being governed by criminals and the people are simply paralyzed and few know to conclude that there is manipulation by these criminals using the public power to try to paint the path of crimes they have committed, and which have been committed against the motherland. They distort any order of interpretation that underpins the Republic and Democracy. They have managed to instill hatred against only one party while the others, with a rare exception, are the criminals selling our country and taking our people to retreat that I could never have imagined, not only our material possessions like Petrobras, but also issues like Education, Health and other essential services are being left to be provided only for the political and economic class to accumulate and accumulate more and more to the detriment of the less favored classes and minorities. In a world with real-time information and people did not change their way of acting from those you could not go get information and relate them so that you could have some degree. How many beliefs do I have, and which ones will I be able to overcome?
Rich Attonito
Great article and very educational in breaking down the origin of how the slave trade began with the Europeans. Of course, it's very unfortunate and we all can't do anything about what happened. The thing I find interesting is that local tribes decided to give criminals over to the Europeans and people seem so surprised that criminals took advantage of the opportunity and basically turned on their own people. It takes two to tango. Unfortunately, the mistake of the tribes with the handling of their criminals was exploited by the economic greed of the Europeans. So, let's be real because nobody is completely innocent in this thing. Why would you ever free murderers and thieves? Perhaps if the local leaders allowed the most honorable members of the tribe to bridge the gap, then there would be a different outcome. Please don't mistake my comment because by no means does that justify the horrors that this developed into with slavery etc. I'm just commenting in regard to the subject of the article itself. God Bless.
Dana Gale
To those of you who want to place blame on Africans for selling their own, please read king Leopold's ghost. While it is primarily a story of how one man fed his greed by raping the Congo resulting in the death of millions of Congolese, it also shines a light on how every European contributed to get their piece of the pie. Yes, Africans sold slaves to white men. Mostly these were Africans operating out of fear, or, and we must concede this, greed. However, it does not make it right, and it certainly does not allow you to place the blame for the European and American enslavement of Africans ON the Africans. That would be like concluding the Jews were responsible for the holocaust simply because you were able to find a few Jews that turned in other Jews. Otherwise, good people act in unlikely ways when they are afraid, or even trusting of a malevolent intruder.

So, as a white person, I say to all of you white people who think that showing that Africans sold other Africans somehow reduces our culpability in the slave trade, it does not. We went into a land that was inhabited by a people with their own cultures, some more advanced by our standards than you might believe, and took out everything we could. All of the riches, all of the resources, which sadly had long lasting effects that we still see today. Read King Leopold's Ghost.

Andy Pep
African slave ships were raiding Europe 200 years before the Atlantic slave trade started. 1.5 million were enslaved in Africa. The men were castrated on capture and the women sold as sex dolls.
We hear how slaves built America but why didn't Africans build Africa with their slaves?
None survived. None had families like American slaves.

It saddens me to experience hate from some of our brothers and sisters that are descendants of slavery all because they think our ancestors sold them into slavery. To be honest I do understand why they think so. Indeed slavery not only hurt our ancestors that were taken into slavery, it also put Africa as a continent backward. We have our culture but the white strangers came with deceit, manipulation and took our kindness and stole our people and riches. Africans tend to trust strangers so easily if only the white men were never allowed into our lands. I hope we keep a very watchful eye on the Chinese with their so called loans.
Bill DeMent
Slavery was a part of our history. There is nothing we can do about it now. We fought a civil war over this question and the results was that all slaves were freed and slavery was abolished in the United States. History is history. We cannot rewrite history today to fit our own version of how we feel. There are the haves and the have nots in all societies, even the African societies from which most if not all Black Americans originate. We need to stop living in the past and start living for the future. As long as we divide ourselves into black and white we will never achieve the goals of Dr. King. For many years, I thought he was evil incarnate, but as I have aged and gained wisdom, I have come to understand that he was indeed a great man who had a vision of the future that is totally different from the race mongers of today. If he were alive, he would be ashamed of the way our society has turned out.
Angelo Rigsby
well, the have nots in America are raising questions about what in the structure of this society continues to work against them having a better live. Since, you say we were all freed by the civil war and everything is glorious based on that fact and no ancestors yours (that enslaved I assume) and mine that bore the whip have the right to seek a better outcome than what America has presented. For you to imply that those that were enslaved should be glad about what little they got is insulting. For you to imply that you and your ancestors bear no responsibility for the atrocities committed during your forced enslavement of Africans is also insulting. You do not get the privilege of telling the enslaved what continues to cause us problems. Since you think you have no responsibilitie s you need to just shut up and walk away and remain silent while those who possess humanity make every effort to provide assistance to those human beings and their descendants that were and are being still desecrated. If you don't live in the past, you must stop taking credit for anything you consider good from the past. You don't get to pick what you take credit for either. If you knew anything about Dr. Martin Luther King you would know that the final goal, he stated was the achievement of economic equity in this society for all. If he were alive today (and he is in the minds of those who are human) he would be ashamed of the same people he was ashamed of always those who dismiss the suffering and pain of those treated in an inhuman manner. As long as the structures/people in this society continue to maintain those things that cause others pain and suffering and say "oh that's just the way it is have and have nots" what disgusting bull crap!
Scott Goss
Every culture and society has had slaves, but it's only the black slaves that are ever mentioned. No one else is important but blacks right? I'm so freaking sick of this. And blacks don't tell me to keep quiet about this! You don't own the rights to free speech. You were not a slave, your parents were not slaves, and your grandparents were not slaves, and your great-grandparents were not slaves. I did not own slaves, my parents did not own slaves, My grandparents did not own slaves, and my great grandparents did not own slaves. Get over it! You are not the only people who have suffered in this world. Yet your voices are the only ones we here crying all the time about everything!
D Budd
Well said Scott. However, Sir, you have spoilt your point by writing in such an angry manner, but all you say is right. Research the current problem of Africans enslaving Africans and selling them to the Sudanese as slaves. Not to mention, for almost 300yrs from the 16th Century, brits were enslaved by Africans. Between the beginning of the 16th century and the end of the 18th, thousands of Britons were slaves, seized by Barbary corsairs.

The Barbary corsair enterprise, which included not only taking European ships, goods and captives at sea but also raiding coastal settlements, was far larger than many people imagine. Estimates are that, across three centuries, corsairs operating out of Barbary coast ports (in north Africa) captured and enslaved more than a million Europeans. It is difficult to evaluate the cost of the goods they stole and destroyed, but it was enormous. We also know that a significant proportion of those taken captive – and of the treasure seized was British. Using oared galleys, Barbary corsairs methodically pillaged the Mediterranean throughout the 16th century, occasionally attacking English ships operating in the area. But it wasn’t until the early decades of the 17th century – when, with the help of Dutch and British renegades, the corsairs learned to sail and navigate square-rigged ships – that the corsairs focused their attacks on the people of northern Europe as well as Britain.

In summary, to some degree, all nations are as bad as each other. A friend of mine from JoBerg Africa is working hard to get money to pay for plastic surgery to get rid of his big African chunky nose {as he calls it} and for his huge lips and ears to be reduced. Poor lad, I look on him as a brother and we have been friends for years.

D Budd
Just thought,

To everyone on here, a good read is a book called "Twelve years a SLAVE" by SOLOMON NORTHUP. Simply brilliant, showing, as a slave, he was able to make a successful life and prospered, and bore no grudges against his slave masters. Keep safe everyone.

Angelo Rigsby
Scott, my great-great-great grandparent's and my great-great grandparents were slaves on my paternal and maternal sides in the United States of America and I have the written documents and oral histories that prove this without a doubt. This makes my sons and daughters descendants of enslaved ancestors as well. There will never come a time when that will be erased by you or anyone else. I can only assume that you know enough about your family history to say your family was not involved, but I already know that that is subject to question and yes African descendant people don't only own the right to free speech, because I do have the right to tell you to keep your mouth shut when you do not know what you are talking about and to tell you, you do not have the right to discuss enslavement with anyone who has enslavement in their history unless they ask your opinion. In other words, you don't get the right to tell me anything about my history you don't control anything and even when you thought you did you did not. There will come a time when you understand (if you are lucky) that your view of the world is a fallacy. Always was and always will be...
Scott your racism is showing. it’s never going to end if there are people who still acts the way you do! You’re grandparents may haven’t own slaved but they were okay with living in the Jim Crow era!
Shanon Sugges
There was slavery in many different forms throughout history. The difference between those and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is the circumstances surrounding the ability to enslave someone. It was historically a by-product of war. The winning side took slaves from the losing side and used them to rebuild their country. There were others who were taken and enslaved, but it was for the most part illegal and done in the shadows. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was the first time that a person's color was used as a criteria to enslave people.

And for those who believe slavery was over in 1865 after Lincoln freed them, slavery never ended. It only changed to an institution of the state. It was an acceptable punishment if you committed a crime. Read the 13th and 14th Amendments. Shortly after the emancipation proclamation, laws were passed that targeted freed Africans so that the state could then turn them back over to the plantations they had work on through the convict leasing program. This still exist today.

Michael DelGrosso
Was a nasty, but necessary war fought in America to free black slaves? Because of that nasty, but necessary war, have blacks realized that they are free? Do blacks realize that even awful, horrific crimes against you don't have to mean the forever destruction of you? Are blacks able to forgive? Are blacks able to acknowledge that many peoples have been enslaved no matter how it happened, yet they have not self-destructed? Do blacks ignore the huge leaps and bounds made by blacks? Can blacks accept that everyone's best and worst quality is that we are human, therefore we sometimes make horrible decisions? Do blacks know that slavery is not what drives you to kill your fellow black American? Do blacks realize that slave owners are not what drives absentee parents? Can blacks let go of the past, so that their hands are open to take hold of their future?

If blacks cannot understand and accept the obvious answers to the aforementioned questions, they will continue to be a bottom-rung race of free, but unequal (by their own hands) people. The past happens in order to make ready the path for the future. Your present situation is only as permanent as you want it to be. Change direction, change your future.

Joe Michigan
The ONLY African Americans I know are the ones born in Africa. I have had the pleasure of knowing a number of them and they are in many ways like me in my understanding of what it is like to be away from the "mother" country, and the work ethic it takes to make something new in the USA. My parents born overseas and myself experiencing the "old country" for 8 years gives me a rather unique perspective. People whose ancestors have lived for more than 3 generations in the US just don't understand that. Except for the Americans of African descent that decide to leave the familiar confines of the black neighborhood. They become immigrants all over again, with their own kin rejecting them for not "representing" and the white people not understanding what they are going through.
This article is making a very important point but sadly some people are getting it all wrong. The article is not claiming no single African participated. However, under what circumstances or conditions were those who participated? Also, is it right to generalize an entire continent based on the actions of some selected few?

There are evil men in every society. Even heaven had Lucifer, and I think it would be quite insane for someone to think that no single African helped the white man get slaves. The criminals in our societies were punished for their crimes. Then the white man came with the Bible promising to change criminals into good people. We released those criminals to them and what did they do? the white man supplied those criminals with guns and brainwashed them into killing machines (all because the white man needed slaves). Those criminals never got paid for their services (as in selling the captured slaves). Their payment was in kind as in "revenge". Also, those criminals represented an insignificant fraction of the population. Take WW2 for example. Adolf Hitler had an entire army supporting him, but would it be OK to say, "German people killed the Jews during the Holocaust"? We only hear "Adolf Hitler murdered 6 million Jews". Several Jews helped Adolf Hitler murder their fellow Jews yet how often we hear "Jews murdered their fellow Jews during the Holocaust"? Why then is it OK to generalize and blame an entire continent for crimes masterminded by outsiders (Europeans)? That is where history is wrong.

Muslims took all kinds of slaves it is known in medieval times that many trade routes were founded by Muslim traders that go all the way from the Rusian steps to the Middle East then into Northern Africa and Europe. This known and factual according to medieval history. The routes had been used for thousands of years. It is also known that Muslims sold Africans that were acquired from other African tribes. Then sold into Europe. Muslim Arabs would trade anything and sell it where they would get the best price that also included any slave black white Asian or European.