Monday, October 16, 2023

Born in Blackness

I really enjoyed this world history lesson that includes Africa's significant effect on the world. In Born in Blackness, I learned a ton of stuff that is generally glossed over in traditional tellings of world history.

Europe's initial explorers were not trying to reach India, as is commonly believed, according to the author. They wanted Africa's gold, and they searched up and down the African coast to get it. What they found were African kingdoms or states with similar levels of institutions as those of Europe at the time. Trade relations grew (European exports in textiles, for example, in exchange for African gold) and slowly the trade for slaves (which were already a thing both in Europe and Africa) began to grow.

The slave trade then transformed the world. The author even makes a case that The New World, and America's eventual independence would not have been viable without it. Slave labour made profits in the southern part of the continent possible, and created the new markets and that eventual United States was able to trade with, reducing its dependence on Britain and thus creating the possibility of the eventual revolution.

The book is a tad repetitive but I was entertained and learned a lot, so I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the topic.

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