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AfriGeneas Africa Research Forum

Slavery in South Africa

"Slavery has for a long time been a forgotten part of South African history even though:

* There were more slaves than burghers in the Cape Colony for most of the 18th century.

* The economy of the Cape Colony depended to a large extent on slave labour.

* Many South Africans of all races are descendents of slaves.

* Slaves built many buildings that still exist today. Slaves played an important role in the development of South African culture.

Slaves played an important role in South African history. Yet we learn about governors and explorers, but little about the ordinary people who helped build South Africa under very poor conditions. We experience the legacy of slavery everyday: in culture, in politics, and in family histories. It is therefore time to recognise the history of slavery at the Cape.

There is another reason why we should remember the history of slavery. This website focuses on slave history of the Cape Colony between 1658 and 1838. In some places in the world, there are still people who are enslaved or treated like slaves. Learning about slavery past helps us to become aware of people who are still suffering in similar circumstances today.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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