Historically, every man evolved from a common origin, out of which they got divided into different tribes, countries and classes. It is also a known fact that man like a sailor, voyaged into this God-given and egalitarian world and carry with him destined mark of honour, nobility and dignity.
Therefore, every man is equal, and since they emanated from the same single parent, it would definitely amount to an act of barbarism, animalism, terrorism and inhumanity for man to see and take his fellow man as a subject of material exploitation in all ramifications.
From time immemorial, every man is equal, everybody is born free, however, after some factors set in which in accordance with the natural laws and the unchanging system of life, a Muslim philosopher ‘Dr. Mustapha Sibai’ said “Some individuals advance in life and others lag behind. Some prosperous and others indigent. An individual becomes the ruler and a nation becomes subjugated. Some are white skinned and others get tanned or even become black…” hence the sudden emergence of a barbaric civilization which rid man of love, generosity, cooperation and equality, and consequently treats man with hatred, malice, dissention, degraded man and kept him continually under unnecessary subjugation of slavery.
Slavery, as we know it to be is definitely an act or system by which man mercilessly and greedily takes undue advantage of the misfortunes that unfortunately befall fellow man. No wonder this is actually what ‘David Diop’, a Senegalese celebrated poet meant when he described the colonial masters who subjected Africa to slavery as “Vultures” in one of his poems, protesting against the evils of colonialism and slavery. He also made this clear in another poem “Africa” where he clearly exposes the conditions of mindless subjugation to which the African Blacks were put by the greedy white colonialists.
In addition, Africa, as far back as 17th Century and other nations of the world were unfortunately held by incontinental fatigue and slumbered deep, only to wake up and received a deadly blow on their faces from the cruel hands of slavery. Africa for instance, in both Anglophone and Francophone West-Africa, was colonized and subjected into slavery by the white British and French invaders respectively. They came not only to colonize Africa but also tortured, oppressed, exploited her citizens and greedily carted away a large amount of her human and material resources to develop their own countries.
During which this process of selfish and malicious machinations by the white colonialists were at work, many of the great and courageous African Nationalists arise from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, Liberia, Cameroun, and South-Africa e.t.c. They effortlessly confronted their white masters and fought against this act of barbarism. These people heroically never lost their breath until they were able to bring a dramatic stop into slavery which gave birth to the slave abolition of 1916. Those who were earlier on put under severe colonial control, guardianship, and seen as properties of the white marauders, who were unable to own a property, land or house of their own even in their own Mother-Land were finally let loose to take their destiny into their own hands.
Furthermore, many of the African Nationalists who gallantly fought against slavery, fought both in silence and in echoes. They did this successfully by the mighty power of their tongues and pens, especially those who were writers and poets among them. Never will history forget the brave hearts of Jomo Kenyata of Kenya, Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Prof. Chinua Achebe and Prof. Wole Shoyinka of Nigeria among others. The renown Senegalese poet, David Diop, Benibengor Bay of Ghana, Crispin Dempster, a Liberian writer, Mbella Sonne Dipoko from Cameroun and Denis Brutus, Arthur Nortje, Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali and the ‘Madiba’ Dr. Nelson Mandela of South-Africa will forever remain in the good and memorable pages of history for what they have done to denounce slavery and colonialism.
Profoundly, many of these people in their works and poetry collections expose the evil nature of those who introduced slavery and slavery itself. They also out-rightly denounced slavery which tries to deny the humanity of Africans. For example, ‘David Diop’ who wrote “Africa” and “Vultures” and ‘Mbella’s “Our History” and “Pain” all captured the dehumanizing treatments meted out to the Africans during the slave trade of the colonial era. Infact, the situation was so critical in South-Africa where Apartheid system of rule was unjustly imposed upon the blacks to reduce them to animal level and inflicted mental, physical and psychological pains on their body and spirits. Denis, Arthur and Mtshali respectively exposed this act in their poems. For instance, ‘Denis’ in “Sometimes They Squat on the Floor” sympathetically described the physical conditions of the black innocent prisoners during that time. ‘Arthur and Mtshali’ also projected this in the following poems “Bitter Fragments” and “Nightfall In Soweto”.
Slavery, which had brought untold doom upon man in the past although is actually formally abolished but in reality, slavery still lingers, even in this our modern society and people wallow in it, where their freedom, honour and dignity are still being carelessly trampled upon. This is what made the late Pa Obafemi Awolowo to lament that “Society no longer can continue to live half-slave, half-free…”. Therefore, today, people are still living in the advance form of slavery, both locally and internationally, because people’s rights and freedom are always stylishly and forcefully taken away from them by those who claim to have power over them, and also claimed to be the super-power of the world. They have achieved this by every means especially America and other Western Nations who subject the weak ones to unnecessary mental, physical and psychological slavery through their military might and electronic media machines. For example, all the inhuman U.S foreign policies and mass murder committed in Africa and the Middle-East.
Finally, slavery in all its ramifications, physical, mental, psychological and economic slavery is an act of inhumanity against man by fellow man which attempts to graps away the freedom and honour of man, and then put his life at stake. ‘Williams Shakespeare’ was right when he said “Mine honour is my life; both grow in one, take honour away from me, and my life is done”. The late Frederic Douglass, a Black-American unrepentant human right activist finally hit the nail on the head by saying that “No man cannot be truly free, whose liberty is dependent upon the thought, feeling, and action of others and who has himself no means in his hands for guarding, protecting, defending and maintaining that liberty. The law on the side of freedom is of great advantage only where there is (absolute) power to make that law respected”.
Therefore, our responsibility now is to see that this act of barbarism and inhumanity against man is finally checked, so as to make this world a peaceful paradise. Infact, we should never stop to always register our songs into their ears, minds and their entire system that African Blacks and Man in general have got dignity, honour and nobility. Today, I am still hoping and still believing that...with our brother, Barak Obama, as the number one man in the world, the future is very bright for humanity. That our time has come to share and grow. That Africans Blacks and Colored human race are a people and nations no longer wanted in the gallows.