African Slaves Were Not ‘Immigrants’: Reminders from the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Previous Article
Awake (Spoken Word)
Comments (9)
  1. Angela says:

    Black people were not immigrants……Obama should have been called out…..He was wrong…. But the main thing is that our children Black or biracial know how strong and resourceful our ancestors were who were enslaved… They must be taught to not be ashamed out this truth….

  2. Mezzula5 says:

    “From the start, Africans were brought here in chains against their will, and then toiled under the whip. They also built America…”
    (Obama – 12/15/2015 naturalization ceremony in Washington, D.C.)


  3. Curtis Marshall says:

    Mezzula5 I disagree. American slave were not voluntary immigrants or involuntary immigrants. They were stolen Africans who were forced to be slaves. Both Obama and Ben Carson were wrong for equating immigrants to American slaves. We are so quick to critique conservatives when they make these types of statements but so slow to do this with liberals. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

  4. Curtis Marshall says:

    Obama made a similar statement about american slaves being immigrants, but nobody called him out on it. However when a conservative says it it’s a problem. We can’t just call out racism on the right, we have to also call it out on the left.

  5. Mezzula5 says:

    “Mozambique was a Portuguese colony, overseas province and later a member state of Portugal. It gained independence from Portugal in 1975.” (History of Mozambique – Wikipedia)
    Gained independence from colonization only 42 years ago? (something’s amiss…)


    1. If this comment is in relation to what I said regarding slavery in Mozambique, Wikipedia might not be the best resource. Try academic journals and search for the Chikunda tribe. You may want also to look at the collapse of prazo system in Mozambique. There’s no relationship whatsoever between Chikunda slavery and end of colonization in Mozambique. I hope that clarifies what you considered ​amiss in my account.

      1. Mezzula5 says:

        Thanks for the clarification. And thanks for ignoring my unwarranted attempt at sarcasm. It was in bad taste. My apology is offered.


  6. There’s no clear cut definition of an immigrant beyond an individual who moves from one nation to another. Sociologist have been debating on the aspect of volition for many decades. And I believe, it’s rather not appropriate for us as believers to fan hatred, division or character assassination based on highly subjective issues.

    I believe as Christians we’re not called to be a reflection of the world’s rage but a glimpse of the peace that emanates from Christ. After all, one of the beatitudes exhorts us to be peacemakers by reminding us it’s a character of the blessed. We’re agents of peace and not warmongers. But sadly, the Christian body has drank galloons of the divisive media’s charades. And we’re paying for that. And if we’re not careful, so will our children.

    Here’s the thing. It’s a fact that Africans were kidnapped, bundled, striped naked, and shipped to the new world. Because they belonged to a different tribe and because they belonged to a different race. I am Chikunda, and my ancestors were slaves not in the US but in their own backyard in Mozambique, less than 100 years ago.

    Understanding that even in that sad state, my ancestors had aspirations that kept them going gives me hope. It’s my heritage and I’m proud of it. They suffered so that I can learn what resilience mean. I think work by Holocaust survivor, Victor Frankly illuminates that better.

    How then can we be better citizens in a divisive world? That is the call of the gospel.

  7. Mezzula5 says:

    Some people are saying Obama made a similar statement as Carson. But that theory proves to be false when you look at the actual context and content of the two statements. Context is very important. And we must be aware of false equivalence when it is perpetuated on the internet.

    On December 16, 2015 then President Obama welcomed new Americans at a naturalization ceremony in Washington, D.C.. The audience was mainly immigrants and the topic was focused on immigration in America. Secretary Carson, however, made his botched immigration comment during his very first HUD speech. The topic should have been about his vision and plans for the housing agency (why was he even talking about immigrants or slave ships)?

    Furthermore Obama, like the author of this article, mentioned the fact that slavery was non volitional.
    The author says:
    “The main difference between the two groups is volition. Whatever their specific circumstances, an immigrant chooses to leave one country and go to another. Slaves didn’t have a choice they had chains…”
    Obama says:
    “Certainly it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily.”
    (And consider his audience: speaking to immigrants becoming new citizens)
    Carson says:
    “There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships…”
    (His audience: senior staff of the Housing and Urban Development agency)

    It is a false equivalence to conflate Secretary Carson’s HUD comment with Obama’s statement at the naturalization ceremony.

    Here’s an Obama White House archived link to the naturalization ceremony:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *