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African Grand-motherof Anaka, born abt 1720
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Mary Lee Brady, Ph.D.

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African-American Mother of Anaka, born abt 1740

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the beginning of the enslavement of Anaka in Virginia there was likely a grandmother born in Africa and around 10 to 15 years of age captured, marched to a slave castle, categorized and classified, sold and shipped in a slave ship via the infamous middle passage from Africa to America, ... where she was examined and classified by a buyer such as one of the Adkins brothers.  We do not know for certain, but have reasons to believe she likely originated in the Gambia region under British control.

                        Slavery in Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The British slave trade and traders were well organized with tightly licensed ships accessing and departing royally regulated ports for slave purchases and imports in the colonies as taxable properties.  The trade was never open to anyone and everyone with a ship or even money.  The aristocrats on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean monitored and managed who was licensed-contracted to operate their slave castles, with named traders coming and going not unlike those engaged in buying and selling other commodities. There were no strangers in and out of castles anywhere, flags clearly displaying who was in charge.

                                        James Island (The Gambia)

The grandmother of Anaka is a mystery woman but obviously must have existed somewhere in Africa.  Like many other thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of African-Americans and brethren in the Caribbean and Europe, ... we have gone to Goree Island in Senegal, El Mina and Cape Coast in modern Ghana where evidence of the slave trade is self-evident for all to view and believe it did exist.

But, our challenge to the many slave descendents that visit the places their ancestors suffered in is to remember who and how it was overcome: 

"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?  A reed shaken with the wind?  But went ye out for to see?  A man clothed in soft raiment (expensive clothing). Behold they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.  But what ye out for to see?  A prophet?  Yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet." [Matthew 11]  

Not surprisingly, most religious scholars at the major institutions in America, Asia and Europe whose ancestral kin were actively involved in horrors of the slave trade, ... tend to avoid any courses on the subjects or results that are so self evident.

At least ten generations of potential believers in Christ were utterly denied and lost to HIS cause.

The lost opportunity costs of slavery can only be measured in the context of theologies that claim to have Christian missions.  The religious faiths that make no such claim did not perceive anything important was lost to humanity by the slave trade, ... the Holocaust of European Jewry made them realize differently.  

African studies are not pursued by every person of African heritage because most have neither the beliefs or interests relative to caring about responsibilities to carry the good news to those who would receive it, ... such as millions of mothers, fathers and children in Ghana some of whom are likely related to many souls in America. The links below offer some further insight as to what we go to see in Africa.

The Kingdom of Portugal in the era of Prince Henry the Navigator and Pope Martin V (image on left) of the Roman Catholic Empire established the early trade in gold and slaves from West Africa, and by 1481 Portugal moved forcefully with an armada of ships, brick masons, carpenters and soldiers to build a slave castle at El Mina (The Mine) from which they profited greatly. 

In due course of human greed, it was taken from Portugal by the equally ambitious and more greedy hard-working Dutch (Christians and Jews) who made slave trading their cash cow for over two centuries.

                                        Elmina Slave Castle

The French built their slave castles in Senegal and adjacent African coastlines. 

                                        French Slave Castles

The British Empire built a string of slave castles in West Africa that far surpassed activities of any other European power.

                                        British Slave Castles

We have no illusions about our African ancestors. They were caught and shackled like animals before being enslaved in a land where the White population proclaimed life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for themselves while deliberately denying it to millions in their midst ... including sexually enslaved mothers of their children.  Indeed, like any other long-lasting matter, slavery could not have grown without a lot of sexual intercourse between men and women, Black, White and Mulatto.  

                      Virginia Historical Collections

The Growth of Slavery in North America

At times the cruelty seemed almost casual. A Virginia slave-owner's journal entry for April 17, 1709 reads:

"Anaka was whipped yesterday for stealing the rum and filling the bottle up with water. I said my prayers and I danced my dance. Eugene was whipped again for pissing in bed and Jenny for concealing it."

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