Talk:Slavery in Africa

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Character of slavery in Africa prior to European contact.[edit]

The following sentence appears in the article: "In most African societies where slavery was prevalent, the enslaved people were largely treated as indentured servants and not treated as chattel slaves." Two citations are given in support, but I am removing them both because they do not support the facts given in the sentence:

  • Basil Davidson, The African Slave Trade, pg 46 (Difference): The edition is not given. In the edition I have access to, page 45 through 47 are a general discussion of tribal feudalism. There is no mention of slavery on those pages at all. Earlier in the book, at page 30 or so, there is a discussion of the "type" of slavery practiced, describing it as being similar to early European feudal serfdom-- but it does not compare it to indentured servitude, which is a completely different thing. And indeed the term indenture does not seem to appear anywhere in the book other than a reference on page 63 to European indentured servants (described as 'near slave') being brought to the Americas.
  • Anne C. Bailey, African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame. Books.google.co.za. The text in the linked Google version of the book, at least as I comes up for me, does not make any comparison of types of slavery or characterize early African slavery.

It may well be that the sentence is factual, but the citations given in support must actually support the facts in the sentence. That is why I am removing the citations and replacing them with the "citation needed" tag. Someone with more time than I have should re-read these sources and find the correct pages to cite (if any exist) or rewrite the sentence in conformity with the facts provided. Until then, it properly must remain uncited. Crypticfirefly (talk) 03:42, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Before you remove use the talk page, I reverted you and still you went back and re-added a disputed deletion. The statement is hardly controversial, and having read both books see no issue. IF there is an issue with page number (as I have said already) you do not DELETE ref. There are also tags for that. [not in citation given] A whole range of ways, but you delete solid ref. Many solutions exist but you delete the two ref. Why not use the talk page first, and then replace indentured servitude, after all it was an editor who put the term there.--Inayity (talk) 08:31, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure what the issue is here--is it the comparison to indentured servitude or is that there wasn't significant traditions/institutions of chattel slavery in Africa prior to transcontinental slave trades? I don't know about the Bailey source and don't have Davidson with me, but my recollection is that Basil was making the argument that servitude institutions in Africa and Europe in 1500 were broadly parallel. Also, let's remember that the lead should largely be supported in more detail in the text--where discussions of Pawnship, for example, seem to justify the statement in the lead. I think a better sentence there could certainly be written (remember the page still needs more clean-up and fix after Slavery in Africa was combined with African Slave Trade), but that the deletion of sources was, good faith, but hasty. How can we improve the content in that sentence? AbstractIllusions (talk) 18:00, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
The issue is the comparison to indentured servitude, which seemed to me a surprising claim. That's what led me to look at the cited sources. I found nothing there to support it. However, I do not feel that I know enough about this subject to be comfortable rewriting the sentence. The solution is for one of you who seems to know more about this to either rewrite the sentence in conformity with the information found in the listed sources, or find a source the supports the statement in the article. Crypticfirefly (talk) 05:19, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
So I removed the dubious tag. I added a reference which clearly makes the comparison apt. I also reworded the sentence so that it is clear that the main claim to be supported in the sources is that "Chattel slavery was rare in pre-European slave trade Africa." The comparison to indentured servitude is to help the reader, but is not the main claim and shouldn't be central in the sentence. Hope this resolves all concerns. AbstractIllusions (talk) 11:56, 3 November 2013 (UTC)

Regardless of whether it is supported by the cited texts, the statement is contradicted by many of the other details throughout the article. Slavery is essentially brutal, and we should always be suspicious of attempts to minimize it.208.68.128.90 (talk) 21:23, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Suggestion of move to History of slavery in Africa[edit]

As nearly the entire article is about history of slavery in Africa, it should be moved this way. In such a case Slavery in contemporary Africa could be moved to Slavery in Africa and be expanded by additional information on its history. Sarcelles (talk) 18:55, 15 July 2014 (UTC)

What is the rationale per RS for such a move. sounds like just shifting names around. Most books say Slavery in Africa to cover what is covered here. do not see what name change will gain.--Inayity (talk) 19:16, 15 July 2014 (UTC)