Why do black nationalists not cite the African kingdoms for reparations?

notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,743
UK
There can be no demand without supply. And the Europeans did NOT force the Africans to give them slaves. It was greedy African kings who agreed to do this, since they got their cut from it.

So then, why do black nationalists ONLY blame the British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. for slavery, when they all got their slaves from Africans willing to capture and sell them?

The entire idea for slavery in this case was European, but Africans were a willing and vital cog in this system. It's like if a criminal gang buy cars to rob banks, and get them willingly from a car dealer. The car dealer is therefore on his or her own volition party to any robberies, and has to take a share of the blame (and criminally would in many jurisdictions).
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,627
Benin City, Nigeria
I'm not sure where you got the idea that the only black people (descended from slaves) in the New World who ask for or seriously talk about reparations are "black nationalists" but that's completely false, and adds an unnecessary and inaccurate slant to your approach to this issue.

As for why they don't ask, my speculation is that it's probably because those groups in Africa really don't have the money to make any impact, and also, are far away (less easy to contact). There are probably other reasons besides that though.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,879
Portugal
There can be no demand without supply. And the Europeans did NOT force the Africans to give them slaves. It was greedy African kings who agreed to do this, since they got their cut from it.

So then, why do black nationalists ONLY blame the British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, etc. for slavery, when they all got their slaves from Africans willing to capture and sell them?

The entire idea for slavery in this case was European, but Africans were a willing and vital cog in this system. It's like if a criminal gang buy cars to rob banks, and get them willingly from a car dealer. The car dealer is therefore on his or her own volition party to any robberies, and has to take a share of the blame (and criminally would in many jurisdictions).
I must confess that I find many of your posts odd and disturbing, not only from the area of human knowledge that we know as “History”, but from all… and yet… maybe they are representative of a way of thinking out of my box. Still didn’t figure it out!
 
Last edited:
Aug 2012
1,554
You asked about black nationalists specifically. In which case, the answer is simple. They do not see the various African nations of being capable of any kind of corruption or immorality.
Rather than seeing slavery as a blight upon humankind as a whole, they would rather pretend that it's the sole domain of another race, and that all the shortcomings of the human species are, in fact, exclusive to white people.
It's that tired old human desire to perceive oneself as something above other animals. Instead, they're Kings, or Gods, or the true Israelites, and all white people are genetic mutations, or "Edomites" or whatever other bloody nonsense they're peddling.

Of course, these kinds of deluded egomaniacs are but a fragment of the black population. And there are many, many black people with a more nuanced view on human history - some who, for socio-political reasons, would also champion reparations for the black community.
But it is important to always separate the sane majority from a loud minority.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,627
Benin City, Nigeria
An observation: the impression I've gotten is that many black people in the Americas that are somewhat aware of or knowledgeable about African kingdoms don't generally have any kind of positive view of the vast majority of those kingdoms that sold any or lots of slaves. They either ignore them completely or describe them negatively. But that doesn't necessarily apply to all of those kingdoms, and some of them do make exceptions for certain kingdoms for various reasons.

I did come across a sort of debate about this issue (not about reparations in particular though), years ago. I saw Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s criticisms of those kingdoms that sold lots of slaves, and I read Molefi Kete Asante's criticism of Gates' characterization of the role of those kingdoms in the trade. My own opinion leans much more towards Gates' view, and I think that they should be criticized for it and apportioned considerable blame.

Personally, I do think that at some future time, when they have more wealth, there should be region wide efforts (in the west and central regions of the African continent) to either pay black people in the Americas directly, or offer them free land or business investments/opportunities. Or anything else that could have a real economic impact. If such a thing were done right now, they would only get a meager sum. . .which defeats the whole purpose.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,879
Portugal
An observation: the impression I've gotten is that many black people in the Americas that are somewhat aware of or knowledgeable about African kingdoms don't generally have any kind of positive view of the vast majority of those kingdoms that sold any or lots of slaves. They either ignore them completely or describe them negatively. But that doesn't necessarily apply to all of those kingdoms, and some of them do make exceptions for certain kingdoms for various reasons.

I did come across a sort of debate about this issue (not about reparations in particular though), years ago. I saw Henry Louis Gates Jr.'s criticisms of those kingdoms that sold lots of slaves, and I read Molefi Kete Asante's criticism of Gates' characterization of the role of those kingdoms in the trade. My own opinion leans much more towards Gates' view, and I think that they should be criticized for it and apportioned considerable blame.

Personally, I do think that at some future time, when they have more wealth, there should be region wide efforts (in the west and central regions of the African continent) to either pay black people in the Americas directly, or offer them free land or business investments/opportunities. Or anything else that could have a real economic impact. If such a thing were done right now, they would only get a meager sum. . .which defeats the whole purpose.
Let me ask you one thing, for contextualization, to you, to the first poster, or to anybody that wants to answer:

Do you think that reparations for the human slavery should be made?

If yes, by whom and to whom?

To account the reparation how many centuries should we go back in time, 1 century, 10 centuries, 100 centuries, 1000 centuries? How could we determine that number?

It would be the slave trade from Africa to America, from Africa to all the continents, or all the slave trade from all the continents?

Should be only considered legal slavery that existed or all the slavery?

Should this be made on racial basis or on legal ones?

And finally, on a first approach, is this really a “History” theme?
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,627
Benin City, Nigeria
Let me ask you one thing, for contextualization, to you, to the first poster, or to anybody that wants to answer:

Do you think that reparations for the human slavery should be made?

If yes, by whom and to whom?

To account the reparation how many centuries should we go back in time, 1 century, 10 centuries, 100 centuries, 1000 centuries? How could we determine that number?

It would be the slave trade from Africa to America, from Africa to all the continents, or all the slave trade from all the continents?

Should be only considered legal slavery that existed or all the slavery?

Should this be made on racial basis or on legal ones?

And finally, on a first approach, is this really a “History” theme?
These are legitimate questions, and I understand what you're getting at, but when I consider that. . .

1) some slave owners were compensated financially for having to give up their slaves (in some parts of the world), but the descendants of those slaves, that experienced social and economic discrimination by virtue of the social/political position they found themselves in specifically because of the slavery their ancestors had to deal with, were not given any compensation.

2) There are instances in recent history of reparations being given to certain groups, and these reparations were given despite the fact that bad or terrible things of a similar nature had happened before in history to other groups without reparations being given to those other groups. Examples here:

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~kmporter/historyreparations.htm

. . .then I don't think the idea of those African groups that played a big role in the slave trade giving out reparations is really all that bizarre. It's just that I don't yet see where the money would come from. But it's something that I hope will be considered widely, and very seriously in the future when more African countries are better off economically.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,879
Portugal
These are legitimate questions, and I understand what you're getting at, but when I consider that. . .

1) some slave owners were compensated financially for having to give up their slaves (in some parts of the world), but the descendants of those slaves, that experienced social and economic discrimination by virtue of the social/political position they found themselves in specifically because of the slavery their ancestors had to deal with, were not given any compensation.

2) There are instances in recent history of reparations being given to certain groups, and these reparations were given despite the fact that bad or terrible things of a similar nature had happened before in history to other groups without reparations being given to those other groups. Examples here:

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/~kmporter/historyreparations.htm

. . .then I don't think the idea of those African groups that played a big role in the slave trade giving out reparations is really all that bizarre. It's just that I don't yet see where the money would come from. But it's something that I hope will be considered widely, and very seriously in the future when more African countries are better off economically.

Unfortunately you didn’t answer to any of my questions directly. And personally, I will support or oppose to the them according to the fact that I will receive or pay, directly or indirectly those reparations. And this position as nothing to do with a sense of some kid of immaterial historical justice, but a sense of personal patrimonial perseverance. And in the end, it will be all that will matter for the Public Opinion. Will they pay? Will they receive? If “today” they will pay for the crimes that some other people made 100 years or 1000 years or 10000 years ago, I think you can expect a strong position. Similar reasoning can be made in inverse terms. And it is a rational human reasoning, not a historical one.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,627
Benin City, Nigeria
Unfortunately you didn’t answer to any of my questions directly. And personally, I will support or oppose to the them according to the fact that I will receive or pay, directly or indirectly those reparations. And this position as nothing to do with a sense of some kid of immaterial historical justice, but a sense of personal patrimonial perseverance. And in the end, it will be all that will matter for the Public Opinion. Will they pay? Will they receive? If “today” they will pay for the crimes that some other people made 100 years or 1000 years or 10000 years ago, I think you can expect a strong position. Similar reasoning can be made in inverse terms. And it is a rational human reasoning, not a historical one.
Well I'll answer these two questions directly:

Do you think that reparations for the human slavery should be made?

If yes, by whom and to whom?
I do think several African groups in west and central Africa should pay or at least offer something (regardless of whether any "British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, etc." mentioned in the opening post do or do not) to those black groups in the Americas whose ancestors were slaves. That is just my personal view, and I don't yet have any way to actualize this, unfortunately.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,879
Portugal
I do think several African groups in west and central Africa should pay or at least offer something (regardless of whether any "British, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, etc." mentioned in the opening post do or do not) to those black groups in the Americas whose ancestors were slaves. That is just my personal view, and I don't yet have any way to actualize this, unfortunately.
But that is precisely the point. Who are those “black groups in the Americas” and “African groups in west and central Africa”. Who are the members? Do they need to be blacks? How blacks? Maybe just half-blacks or maybe even browns? Do we need a skin colour chart to present to a court?

If a “black” person X, whose grant-grant-…-grant father was on an Africa selling side, his grant-grant…-grant mother was on traded side, his grant-…-grant father was on the buying side, and had another ancestor that recently migrated from Africa to America in the last 100 years, after the end of the slavery. Will he pay? Will he receive? Will justice be done? It will be possible to make justice? Or even better, what is justice, in this pluricentury cases?