Islam's Black Slaves: The Other Black Diaspora
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
, 2001 - History
- 273 pages
A pioneering history of the Eastern slave trade
In this groundbreaking work intended as a companion volume to The Black Diaspora, Ronald Segal tells the fascinating and horrifying story of the Islamic slave trade. Documenting a centuries-old institution that still survives today, Islam's Black Slaves outlines the differences between the trades in the East and West. Slaves in Islam, for example, were kept mainly in the service sector as cooks, porters, soldiers, and concubines, and while the Atlantic trade valued men over women, the Eastern trade preferred women, in numbers as high as two to one. Tracing slavery through history, from Islam's inception in the seventh century, across China, India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Spain, and the Sudan and Morocco, which still have active markets, Segal reveals for the first time the extent of the trade and the sheer number of slaves-as many as twelve million-bought and sold in the course of the subsequent centuries. In an illuminating conclusion, Segal addresses the popularity of Islam in African American communities. Islam's Black Slaves is a pioneering account of this often unacknowledged tradition and a riveting cross-cultural commentary.