Robert Watson
West African Slavery

Dr. Robert Watson of Hampton University  used an interactive slide presentation to facilitate a conversation with seminarians about West Africa and its people.

     The slave trade operated from Senegal in West Africa to Angola, a distance of about 3,500 miles, to a distance of 300 miles from the coast into the interior.   While some Africans may have been brought from other regions, the documentation and geographic location points to the West Coast as the primary place of export of Africans to the new world.

    The people who lived in the West Coast of Africa from 14th  -17th century had experience in  producing mass amounts of agricultural products.  They arrived at their destination empty handed, but not empty headed, and they used their knowledge to adapt to their new surroundings.  The retention of Africanisms in culture  is a legacy of this knowledge.

    The discussion included differences between slavery in Africa and the Americas.  With the caveat that all slavery anywhere is wrong, Dr. Watson listed some differences:

The following resources were recommended for further study: