BLACK HISTORY MONTH : AN INSIGHT INTO SLAVERY IN OLD CALABAR, BY MR RICHARD DUKE

Black History Month: An insight into Slavery in Old Calabar By Richard Duke

•”According to Rev Hope Waddell, slaves came from several sources, and scholars of African slavery agree that “there were numerous ways to enslave people”. In Old Calabar, as in other regions, individuals sold themselves into slavery to escape famine , to seek protection, or to improve their circumstances, since a well-placed slave might prosper more than an impoverished free man. Individuals could be enslaved for debts, and entire families could fall into slavery by that means.

•James Morley, a sailor on board slave ships at Old Calabar in the 1770’s, reported that he knew of persons who were sold because they committed adultery or theft.

•Among those sold for adultery was one of the wives of Duke Ephraim, though the woman, who spoke very good English, told Morley that she was innocent of the crimes, and since Ephraim treated her “with the greatest civility” when he brought her on board, Morley believed the charge to be false.

•It has been observed that although men might also be enslaved as punishment for crimes or taken as prisoners of war, but those enslaved in these ways were generally in a worse position than other slaves; their lives were considered forfeit and they might be subject to sacrifice or sale, unlike those enslaved by other means.

•Unlike in the America’s, slaves in Calabar could not buy their own freedom or redeem themselves. The slave could only improve his social standing by purchasing for themselves other slaves ( down the food chain) who would help to reduce the amount of hard work he had to do.

•In the event of serendipity where the slave master in Calabar happened to set a slave free; the slave was often seen as a disgrace and had to seek the protection of another slave master. The life of a slave was tough. However, where a slave maid gave birth to children for her master, according to Waddell “both she and the children became free”.

Sources:
•The Two Princes of Old Calabar by Prof Randy Sparks
•Twenty Nine Years in the West Indies and Central Africa by Rev Hope Waddell.
•The Slave Kings of Old Calabar (unpublished) by Richard Duke
•Letters of the Old Calabar Slave Trade by Lovejoy and Richardson

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About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Eastern Europe and Nigeria and has visited over 18 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for three years in a row (2013,2014 and 2015). He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World On Wednesday the 30th of October 2013, Tony Tokunbo Fernandez organised his biggest event ever- The Black History Month Celebration at the House of Parliament. The Special Guest on the day was The Minister for Sports and Equalities MP Helen Grant and Key Community Ambassadors in The Black Community
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