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Abolition and the Lasting Effects in East Africa

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Submitted By haydex1
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Abolition and the Lasting Effects in East Africa
Unlike the Atlantic world, slavery in East Africa looked a little different. Slavery in Africa portrayed a complex use of labor, the exercise of rights in person, and of exploitation and coercion tempered by negotiation and accommodation. However the most common features on slavery in East Africa is the fact that it varies overtime and place. For instance, according to Miers and Roberts, “Slaves might be menial field workers, downtrodden servants, cherished concubines, surrogate kin, trusted trading agents, high officials, army commanders, ostracized social group dedicated to a deity…( 5). Perhaps the largest difference between slavery in East Africa versus slavery in the Atlantic world or the new world was the people who regulated slave trade. It is popularly known in African history that the British, French, Germans and the Spaniards played significant roles in the extrapolation of African people and their resources in the slave trade and, later, colonialism. However in East Africa, those who were in power were the Arab who, similar to the European colonial powers, found Africa to be abundant in profitable resources and sought to acquire the resources through free and forced slave labor in East Africa.
Much like their European counterparts, the Arabs conducted slavery in the same repressive manner. In defining slavery, Frederick Cooper, in his book “Plantation Slavery on the East Coast of Africa” writes, “When comparing slavery in different historical contexts, it is important to remember that it is always a form of subordination and that the acts of violence at the core of any slave society’s mechanism of social control are those of the ‘enslavement process itself’” (Cooper 157). Slavery in all of Africa, and also in the Diaspora, sustained itself through the constant threat of violence and extreme supervision...

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