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History of the African American Diaspora

            Between 650 CE and the mid-1500s, slaves were common in Europe and Asia, spreading through trans-Saharan and Islamic-run trade routes. Africans owned other Africans from different tribes, and people from all races, including whites, were enslaved. There were varying degrees of attitudes, treatment and racism during this time. Some slaves were treated as equals, others were considered inferior. It was not until during the transatlantic slave trade, which emerged in 1800s, that most Europeans, Africans and Americans began treating their slaves as property. Expanding European empires in the New World and recent maritime innovations during the mid 1500s led to imperial superiority and a need for cheap exploitation of labor. Because Africans were both accessible and used to the tropical climate, they became the staple for American slave labor. Therefore, the transatlantic slave trade, as well as additional influential people and literature, developed an anti-black ideology across the Americas.
             There were both many types and systems of slavery from the 650 CE to the 1500s. Of the types of slaves, there were concubines, Eunuchs, army men and laborers. Of the Muslims in the their region who owned concubines, many preferred white females from the Balkans and lands in the southwest of what was formerly the soviet union, Ethiopians, Nubian and others from Horn of Africa (Gomez 2005, 36-37). Africans were the least preferred. The eunuchs who often managed the concubines in the harems in which they lived were primarily from Europe, Asia, and the most preferable area, Africa. Many eunuchs had the opportunity to become the Ottoman's sultan head eunuch, the position allowing him to own other eunuchs and concubines (Gomez 2005, 37-38). Laboring slaves dug in the salt mines of Taghaza and the copper mines of Tegidda (Gomez 2005, 38). Other laboring slaves were in agriculture such as date production in the Saharan oases, sugar in Ahwaz province nearby southern Iraq and Kuwait (Gomez 2005, 38).

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