This month marks five hundred years (1518) since the first direct shipments of slaves from the continent of Africa to the Americas began. Emperor Charles V of Spain sanctioned the move because the native American populations who had previously been ‘pressed’ into service had been decimated and needed to be replaced. Previously African slaves had to have been born under Christian dominion and because many of the slaves leaving Africa had been either muslim or animistic in religious belief they were thought to have been a seditious risk to the native populations. Therefore they were bought to Europe first. But commercial ‘needs must’ and so direct transportation started. Slavery is bizarre. Commercial interest at the expense of all else is bizarre. Other bizarre facts: The League of Nations didn’t adopt The Slavery Convention abolishing slavery until 1926. The United Nations Declaration on Human Rights (stating “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.”) wasn’t adopted until 1948.
You wouldn’t have thought we’d have found a ‘Pop’ for this topic but Josh Rouse has come to our aid, bizarrely: