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I really am always at a loss as to when people mention slavery they utterly ignore the middle easts involvment in africa which included far more people and continued for far longer....

Slavery was an institution in Africa and the Middle East long before the Europeans stumbled on it and turned it into an industry - check out the Bible. While slavery was evil wherever it was practiced, there was a quantitative and qualitative change for the worse once the Europeans began to ferry shiploads of slaves across the Atlantic. Rational Edperception 08:34, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
Industrialised it! SusanG  ContribsTalk 08:40, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
"enslavement was the African lot" This commits the common error of lumping all of Africa together. The European slave trade focused on West Africa, one relatively small portion of the continent. I don't think slavery is something we want to be flippant about. Rational Edperception 08:42, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
Who's being flippant? SusanG  ContribsTalk 08:49, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
To lump all Africans together by writing "enslavement was the African lot" is either flippant or ignorant. Slavery was never the Egyptian lot, nor the Moroccan lot, nor the Ethiopian lot. Rational Edperception 15:00, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

Someone has to teach you how to do a Google search... Slavery was never the Egyptian lot,nor the Ethiopian lot, nor the Moroccan lot. PFoster 15:09, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

Your patronizing sarcasm aside, your grasp of English usage seems a bit weak. The phrase "the African lot" imples all Africans, the phrase "the Moroccan lot" implies all Moroccans. If your Google skills are up to the task, you might wish to confirm that the majority of the population in none of these countries was ever enslaved. Rational Edperception 15:29, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
No, of course it wasn't - if by "lot" you mean "the fate of a majority of the X people..." but your answer implied -to me at least - that slavery wasn't an important historical factor in those three particular countries. Which it was. Peace. PFoster 15:33, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
Your reading skills could use a bit of work, too. Problem with those who do all their reading on the internet. I stated quite clearly that my objection was the lumping all Africans together with the phrase "the African lot" was inaccurate, and proceeded to give three more examples where the term would be inaccurate. I have lived in Africa, I have African friends, and they would find your sophomoric generalizations insulting. Rational Edperception 15:36, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
My reading mostly happens in real books, sweetie. Some of them even without pictures. In no way was I implying that all Africans should be lumped together. Reasd what I said - that slavery was an important historical part of the development of the three specific countries that you mentioned as being states within which slavery was NEVER "the lot" of the people who lived there. PFoster 15:43, 25 April 2008 (EDT)
No. What you said was "Someone has to teach you how to do a Google search", and proceeded to send a lot of irrelevant links about countries where slavery has been practiced. Try to remember you are responding to what I wrote - which was that Africans should not be lumped together in one undifferentiated group with the phrase "the African lot". Check out the meaning of the phrase "the human lot" It refers to ALL humans. Sweetie? I didn't know you cared! Rational Edperception 15:57, 25 April 2008 (EDT)

Colonialism was a curse, making many African states hodgepodges of groups who hate each other...[edit]

If we're going to talk about making generalisations about Africa, this is one I'd like to see some finesse added too. The idea that Africa is a continent that is simply teeming with ethnic conflict - and that the "tribes" (another over-simplification) are unable to live in the same borders - is a gross over-simplification which ignores history. Yes, the colonial powers, especially the Brits, but pretty much all of them, used ethnic groups as a means to divide and conquer and to impose colonial rule, and yes, the after-effects of those policies continue to have effect in Africa. However, that sort of reductionism ignores important things such as the ways in which Africans worked across those alleged "ethnic divides" during the anti-colonial struggle and the relative irrelevance of ethnicity in the politics of many African, the "groups who hate each other" analysis tends to take the politics out of African conflicts, framing them as "age-old ethnic conflicts" and not doing enough to engage with the economic and power-based roots of these conflicts...PFoster 21:28, 25 April 2008 (EDT)


....not really. Not in the sense that the "New World" was "discovered." Africa was in the European consciousness going back to antiquity--it's just a quick jaunt across the Mediterranean, after all, and you can see the bloody thing from parts of Spain. Carthage was in Africa, don't forget, and Augustine was from there--the continent was part of the European world from early on. DeadHead 09:50, 26 November 2008 (EST)

I think that the implication refers more to sub-Saharan Africa (particularly the interior) than to the Mediterranean areas. With that, I think it was better the other way. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 09:53, 26 November 2008 (EST)
Well, Northern Africa is still "Africa." And the first Portuguese explorers who went to sub-Saharan Africa weren't off on voyages of discovering new worlds--they were looking for something (Prester John) in a place that they already knew was there, and had for a real long time ("Ethiopia"--not *really* the country of the same name, but let's not quibble...)DeadHead 10:03, 26 November 2008 (EST)
Even that's wrong, because many classical texts describe the interior of Africa. Herodotus' "Histories", "The Periplus of the Erythrean Sea", the Carthaginian "Periplus", and Ptolemy's maps all venture into Sub-Saharan Africa, though sometimes with fanciful legends thrown in. Medieval Mali was also known to the Muslim World and Europe after Mansa Musa's hajj. I think this article could stand to be less Eurocentric in the first place... There's hardly anything about Africa before European colonization. -- (talk) 07:47, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, the hunt for the source of the Nile was genuine discovery, even though they'd known it was there for millenia, no one had ever actually found it to know what they were looking at. Wazza (Not Wazzock, Wazza)Approach the Presence 10:07, 26 November 2008 (EST)

Why not do precolonial history to debunk the idea that no civilizations existed in "sub saharan Africa" before that time?[edit]

People dont respond often but I will keep trying. prophetofreason 21:49, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Its problematic to define "civilization" and outline its criteria. Can you tell me what a civilization is? There is no standard definition. Windir (talk) 22:25, 6 October 2014 (UTC)
Well thats a good question. I can't seem to understand the definition. It seems endlessly circular. Many of the attributes given fit the so called "tribal" societies well. prophetofreason 21:54, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

"Africa was better off under colonialism"[edit]

I need a succinct debunking of this racist shit. Because after the third "how dare you call me racist?!?!?" it gets old not having a single-source debunking. Anyone have a non-rationalwiki source? Ikanreed (talk) 20:08, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I should follow up and say that pointing out mundane facts like human development index improvements and the increased protection of basic rights isn't what I'm looking for. Just a solid centralized take-down of a common racist talking point. Ikanreed (talk) 20:11, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
Why is that view necessarily _racist_? Some countries benefit from colonial rulers economically. I'd say for example that Europe would be less advanced without the Roman Empire.
Far less casualties since tribal warfare comes to a halt, fewer trade barriers and new technology coming in are valid talking points.
While it is true that not all of Africa was a snakepit before Europeans colonised it, putting blame mostly on Europeans exclusively ignores a few things:
  • Africa was only settled at the coast until ~ 1885. Diseases kept Europeans out of the way.
  • Some former colonies have grown much faster than Africa (Singapore is a great example, though its means are disputed).
  • No country is free of foreign influence and there are few borders in which the public had any say (i.e. not caused by warfare or some marriage). Some countries like Switzerland (less so Belgium) are doing fine with multiple ethnicities.
  • There still seem to be plenty of resources in Africa. Also, having lots of resources can actually halt development, the so-called Resource curse. (talk) 14:15, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
The actual answer was fairly complicated. Imperialism varied from place to place; Congo is impossible to argue improvement from colonialism. Other places, it's more nuanced.
Imagine if aliens from Gliese (higher chance of having life than Alpha Centauri) showed up. They bring with them the cures for cancer and AIDS. Gang wars stop, and maglev trains or whatever fancy equivalent are built. Pay increases for most people. Theres a catch though, several actually. The aliens control everything and you are forbidden from being involved in government. The lions share of the new wealth goes to the aliens. Many upper class people are kicked out of their homes for the alien industries to be built. As good as it may be for the lower classes compared to previously, it's practically illegal for them to move up. The new tech requires education which is forbidden for humans to learn. The aliens can commit crimes against humanity but get away Scott free. The most beautiful human women are taken by the aliens as mistresses. The luckiest humans are the ones who get work as servants for the aliens, even if that's a better job with more pay than before it's still humiliating.
Better to be the prince of hell...StickySock (talk) 14:46, 20 June 2016 (UTC)