Analysis Of A New Account Of Some Parts Of Guinea And The Slave Trade European Civilization Essay

822 words - 4 pages

Beginning in the mid-fifteenth century, mass numbers of Portuguese ships sailed southward along the West African coast, bringing back slaves and gold. European expansion grew at a faster rate with voyages of Christopher Columbus and Vasco De Gama. With time, other European entities, including the Dutch, British, and French, joined in the process of expansion. Slave trade was a system that involved the dehumanizing of Africans. When one reads accounts written by enslavers like William Snelgrave, it is evident that slave traders are aware of this issue. However, William Snelgrave and many other Europeans felt the need to write accounts to justify their participation in the slave trade. This was certainly done to secure their economic position in the European world by purposely omitting the dark secrets of the slave trade and showing the “good” there is for the slaves to the world.
Snelgrave intentionally focuses on the “advantages” the slave trade has on the slaves themselves and omits the real facts to secure his transactions from the slave trade. In his account, he talks about how a huge number of Africans were taken captive in war, many of those who were perceived as useless, were killed. He states that if the Europeans weren’t there to buy them, they would have been long dead or living a miserable life back in their own country. But on the other hand, Olaudah Equiano, an African who was sold into slavery as a little boy, reveals the reality of the slave trade. Equiano expresses in his narrative, “The next day proved a day of greater sorrow than I had yet experienced; for my sister and I were separated.” (Equiano, 58). He expresses that he can go through anything but can’t stand being separated from his family. For captured slaves, the only thing keeping them sane and intact is their family, and the slave traders took that away from them too. The Europeans were aware of this but since the slaves gave them a sense of power, they make themselves and others believe that slavery is not as bad as it sounds. They make themselves the bigger person and justify themselves by claiming they are the ones saving Africans’ lives by participating in the slave trade while in actual fact they are the ones destroying lives.
Additionally, Snelgrave supports himself and slave traders by giving an overview of how the slaves are treated and taken care of on the ships to secure his position on ...

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