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Atonement and ForgivenessA New Model for Black Reparations$
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Roy Brooks

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520239418

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520239418.001.0001

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Opposing Arguments

Opposing Arguments

(p.180) Chapter 6 Opposing Arguments
Atonement and Forgiveness

Roy L. Brooks

University of California Press

Slavery has a long existence in Western civilization. The year Brazil nurtured its last slave from ancient Mesopotamia to 1888, practically every Western society condoned slavery, and many, including the pacifist Quakers, practiced it. Human beings were used as a form of currency, even to retire debts or as items of barter. The wide acceptance of slavery in ancient times does not validate or even explain the singular evil of slavery in the Americas. This brand of human bondage introduced by Portugal was unprecedented. The trans-Atlantic slave trade extremely diminished human life compared to what existed virtually anywhere on the continent before, as Basil Davidson points out. This difference in the quality of slavery applies with equal force to Africa prior to transatlantic slavery. Racial, or color-conscious, slavery appeared in direct response to the unique demands of the plantation system in the Americas.

Keywords:   Western civilization, Brazil, Mesopotamia, Quakers, Basil Davidson

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