David Walker's View On Slavery

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David Walker acknowledged that slavery had long been practiced in Africa, but he charged white Christian slaveholders with greater crimes against humanity and greater hypocrisy in justifying those crimes than any prior slave system had been guilty of. Twentieth century scholarship has lent much support to the contentions of Walker’s and others in the African American antislavery vanguard that slavery as perpetrated by the European colonizers of Africa and the Americas brought man’s inhumanity to man to a level of technological efficiency unimagined by previous generations. When Portuguese mariners began trading gold, ivory, and spices with the chieftains of the coast of West Africa in the mid-fifteenth century, they discovered that African prisoners of war and their children could be readily supplied for sale as slaves. The slave trade…show more content…
They arrived at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619 aboard a Dutch slave ship. Only twenty in number, including at least three women, these people had survived the desperate Middle Passage from their homeland to America, a voyage so harsh that it is estimated that one in eight Africans died in transit without ever reaching the slave markets of the New World. Initially, the black people brought to the Virginia colony were not considered slaves. They were classed as indentured servants who could become free if they worked satisfactorily for their masters for a stipulated number of years. But by 1700, the growing plantation economy of Virginia demanded a work force that was cheaper than free labor and more easily controlled. By establishing the institution of chattel slavery, in which a black person became not just a temporary servant but the lifetime property of his or her white master, the tobacco, cotton and rice planters of British North America ensured their rise to economic and political preeminence over the southern half of what would become the United
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