This professor at the history and archeology department of the University of Abomey-Calavi (Benin) declared on July 25: “When we talk about the slave trade, people only accuse whites. But they came (to Africa) as buyers and we [Africans] were sellers.”
He assured viewers that the sale of slaves was not only an isolated
phenomenon, since “the king himself sold them”. Abiola Félix Iroko
detailed these transactions: “King Adandozan sold the mother of his
consanguineous brother (Prince Gakpe) who later became Guézo”. As the Salon Beige website pointed out, he was the ninth king of Abomey between 1797 and 1818.
This historian – holder of a doctorate in letters and human sciences
from the University of Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne – did not mince his
words: “There are no buyers without sellers, we (Africans) were
In his book, La côte des esclaves et la traite atlantique : les faits et le jugement de l’histoire,
the eminent historian firmly dismissed “the rhetoric of the supporters
of the thesis of reparations” in no uncertain terms. “The Africans
haggled for almost half a millennium with slave traders over the price
of their kin they were selling. They still want to continue today to
haggle with the descendants [of slave traders] over the market value of
the blacks that their ancestors sold to the detriment of the development
of their own regions,” wrote the historian (pp. 148-149).
History is messy. And people looking for one group/race to be angels without stain are generally in for a bad surprise.