The Original Slave Master and His Religion
History, Black Culture, Spirituality

The Original Slave Master and His Religion

author | Mack Major

We can't have a serious talk about reparations without including Dahomey.

Dahomey was an ancient African kingdom in West Africa that was the epicenter of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The reason why we have to differentiate the Transatlantic Slave Trade from the rest, is because there was other slave trades taking place in Africa at the exact same time that Europeans got involved in the African slave trade.

There was the inter-african Slave Trade, where Africans enslaved other Africans. And there was also the Islamic Slave Trade—which was much older and had been going on much longer than the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The Islamic Slave Trade started in 700 AD. The European slave trade began around 1492 AD.

What's interesting is that the European involvement in the slave trade was actually the shortest one in human history; while the Islamic Slave Trade was and is still the longest in human history.

Muslims are still right now actively trading in black slaves at this very moment you are reading this...and have yet to fully outlaw actual slavery.

slave trade muslim black men

Dahomey was a vital part of all three slave trades, bridging the Islamic Slave Trade with the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Inter-african Slave Trade. They were the ones who showed the Europeans how to trade with Muslims to get the best black slaves in Africa.

And just for the record: Dahomey is the modern nation of the Republic of Benin. It's still an active country today.

Benin, aka Dahomey, was most responsible for helping to kick off the Transatlantic Slave Trade, because they helped capture their black neighbors and created the greatest slave market in the world for the express purpose of selling black slaves to white Europeans.

And to be clear: Dahomey participated in slave ownership themselves. It was a common practice among many African societies; and continues to be so today.

Funny how there's no marches, outcries, active legislation or moral grandstanding over the black folks today who are still being traded as slaves throughout Africa. In fact, Africa is the only continent today where slave trading is still embraced.

Ironically, Europeans have totally outlawed the practice; including here in America. Imagine that.

» If we're going to seek reparations for the wrongs of slavery, why aren't we reaching out to Africa's borders? Specifically to Benin? They literally got rich off of trading their black neighbors to white enslavers. Yet we totally give them a pass.

slave trade muslim 3
IMAGE: Islamic slave trade caravan

Some other interesting facts about Benin:

There was a neighboring kingdom close by named Ouidah. Ouidah is a Portuguese expression for the name Judah. To Dahomey they were a different people group distinct from their own, though many had skin just as dark.

So there was a Kingdom called Judah that can still be seen on old maps today, from which Benin (Dahomey) raided and sold almost the entire population into slavery to the Europeans. Those slaves ended up in America, the Caribbean, Central and South America. Which means there are descendants of Judah, a literal African kingdom, still alive in North America today.

Not trying to imply anything: these are just facts. Use your own critical thinking on this one.

map benin
IMAGE: map of west coast of Africa showing location of Benin and Ouidah

Benin is also where voodoo comes from. It's their state religion stretching back for thousands of generations. We are often told that Christianity was the slave master's religion; but that's not totally the case. Christianity was the religion of the second or third slave masters; the first slave masters being Dahomey and Black Muslims. Before slaves were sold to Europeans, they were often already owned by Dahomey slave masters.

Which basically means: when you practice vodun/voodoo today or any of its derivatives like Santeria, palo mayombe, quimbanda, umbanda etc, which are practiced heavily in the Caribbean and South America—you are practicing the ORIGINAL slave master's religion.

To take it further, Christianity is the ONLY religion in the world that actively ended slavery. Voodoo, the religion of Dahomey, never provided freedom for black people; just more bondage. Because voodoo places you under the bondage of the ancestral spirits too.

Only Jesus Christ totally sets us free to be free human beings who can worship God and live without the bondage of others. Freedom comes through Jesus Christ ONLY.

Remember that the next time someone tries to lure you away from Jesus Christ and the Church, and into ancestor worship. They are luring you away from freedom and back into bondage once more. God bless.

"Christ has freed us so that we may enjoy the benefits of freedom. Therefore, be firm [in this freedom], and don't become slaves again." Galatians 5:1

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