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Why not Ghana as well?

If Britain is to pay reparations for the African slave trade, why not Ghana as well? As a rather witty Ashanti chum of mine once remarked “my ancestors were deeply affected by the slave trade; but fortunately they got out and into the gold trade before the Royal Navy collapsed the market.”

– Perry de Havilland, commenting on Britain shouldn’t pay reparations for slavery (£) by Michael Deacon.

Yes, I am quoting myself, but seriously, the African slave trade was only possible because Africans were deeply involved capturing Africans from different tribes.

18 comments to Why not Ghana as well?

  • Mark


    Stop this before you even dare of dreaming about getting self righteous with us!!

    Ghana in this case but it could be any of dozens of African shiteholes.

    If I may, a few typos: “the African slave trade IS only possible because Africans ARE deeply involved”

  • Reparations are all very well, but will they shut up about it after they get them? Hell, the grievance-mongers will consider it an admission of guilt and insist on more. Never pay the Danegeld!

  • bobby b

    Best reparations we could do would be to coax them out from the Democrat plantation that keeps them down as useful tokens.

  • Fraser Orr

    I think we should send the Royal Navy to block the slave trade. And I think all good thinking Americans, white, black and all shades in between, should fight to free the slaves from the American slave holders, even if it meant a lot of brave people have to die in the process. If only we could find decent people to take such actions to stand up against the terrible scourge of slavery.

    I’m sure all those liberated by such actions, along with their descendants, would be very grateful that so many were so willing to risk life and limb for their freedom.

  • SteveD

    ‘If Britain is to pay reparations for the African slave trade, why not Ghana as well?’

    Why should anyone pay reparations?

  • Why should anyone pay reparations?

    Indeed, the whole notion is absurd, so anyone demanding I pay reparations because my Norman ancestors conquered this place can fuck right off 😀

  • Quentin

    The whole reparations thing is a shakedown.

  • John

    Lucky it’s never going to happen.


    The National Legal and Policy Center some years ago examined slave reparations activism and found one proponent calling for the federal government “to pay $500,000 to every slave descendant,” which would total “more than $15 trillion and require a surtax of roughly $50,000 on each non-African American man, woman and child in this country (the median family income is not even that high).”

    Another estimate from a 1990s Harper’s magazine article calculated that reparations would cost $97 trillion – based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, plus 6% compounded interest.

  • Paul Marks

    The slave trade in Africa goes back thousands of years – tribes raiding each other. And slaves were taken from Europe to North Africa and the Middle East from the 7th century AD to the 19th century – more than a thousand years of Europeans being enslaved.

    Vast numbers of Africans were also taken to the Middle East, over many centuries, as slaves – but after a major slave revolt in what is now southern Iraq (quite early in Islamic history) it became the normal practice to castrate male black slaves, and if female black slaves had babies (after being raped) to smash the babies brains out as soon as they were born – but smashing them against the stone floor, or the wall.

    This is why one does not see many black people in such countries as Syria or Turkey.

    As for “Reparations” – this would seem to be people who NEVER WERE SLAVES demanding money from people who NEVER OWNED SLAVES.

    How about something more modern? Over the last 60 years a certain population group (pinkish grey in skin tone) in the United States has had a lot of its members murdered (or been the victims of other crimes) by members of another population group in the United States (far more so than the other way round) – so much so that many of this pinkish grey population group have left various American cities.

    Any “Reparations” for what has been happening to this pinkish grey population group?

    “Why should I pay Reparations for things that I have NOT DONE – that have been done, over the last 60 years, by other people who just happen to share my dark skin tone?”

    Exactly. You should NOT.

  • Fred Z

    Would this be a good time to remind everybody that the peaceful wonderful American “Indians” were slavers? Cannibals too.

    And they are still parasites, judging by their demands for reparations.

  • Why not Ghana as well?

    Why not Ghana instead?

    Every African slave that was bought was sold – that is (to the best of my knowledge and belief), there is no historical record of an English-speaking slave trader enslaving an African in Africa and no reason to believe it ever happened. The enslavement was done in Africa by Africans, who then killed them as a murder spectacle (Dahomey), gouged their eyes out and used them as singers (the Bemba tribe), ate them (numerous cannibal tribes), inflicted injuries resembling being clawed like a lion on them for fun (mid-19th-century king of Bunyoro), imposed ceremonies of submissiveness on them more extreme than those of the ante-bellum south (Botswana) and so on and on.

    Being sold to a white English-speaking trader and transported to a white English-speaking colony was one of the other options. A slave so transported faced the danger and confinement of the ocean voyage – as a slave not so transported faced the dangers I have mentioned above. If they survived the ocean voyage, then, in the 18th and early 19th centuries, they could not expect to be freed after a period of service but would very probably remain a slave all their life – as was the case for those who remained in Africa earlier and in that period and afterwards up until the British empire imposed effective rule (and only as, if and where the Empire did – Africans who owned slaves managed to evade the Empire’s law at times).

    I think the chance of being freed, though low, was higher in the old south than in Africa. Where the chance of escaping was higher is more debatable. In Africa, a runaway slave could hope to reach his tribe. In the old south, a runaway could hope to reach the north. But on Jamaica, a runaway had to seek out (or stumble across) the secret highland villages created by earlier escapees, and likewise in Surinam the inland jungle communities of escaped blacks were the places of refuge – if an escaped slave could find them. Some colonial locales were too small or well-cleared to offer practicable locations for such ‘safe’ villages.

    FWIW, the surviving transported slaves in the old south could expect to enjoy a markedly higher standard of living than the surviving left-in-Africa slaves. We all know that freedom must be chosen if circumstances separate the normally-united values of freedom and prosperity, so I do not claim this is worth that much.

    As per Fraser Orr (April 2, 2022 at 3:38 am), during the 19th century, the English-speaking peoples freed the slaves they themselves owned, at some cost to themselves, then compelled the other cultures of the world to do so, also at some cost to themselves. The African and Arab cultures were particularly unwilling to do so and continued the practise into the 20th century – indeed, it is not extinct yet.

    So it seems a fair question: why not Ghana instead? Why not all the supplying areas of Africa instead – which is very near asking why not all of Africa instead? Fifteen years ago, a BBC documentary put the question (much less directly) to Africans while filming in Africa and was bluntly told:

    As we see it, their ancestors were just the losers; they would have sold ours if some battle had gone the other way. [Quoted from memory]

    That’s their reply to, “Why not Ghana as well (instead)?”

  • TDK

    …but there are at least two narratives that suffice to explain this away.

    The first is the “Roots” narrative. If you recall in the series the whites go into the jungle (with black assistants) and capture Kounte Kinte. If you want to promote this then emphasise the central role of whites and minimise role of the assistance.

    The second is the “but in Africa people were enslaved only if they were criminals and were released after they had served their punishment” narrative.

    Please ignore the central fact that both relay upon the denial of agency or gross stupidity of the blacks who worked with the whites. Racism of low expectations is completely acceptable. Just as crime is never the fault of criminals, blacks enslaving other blacks is never the fault of those actors.

  • staghounds

    Any American who talks about reparations should have to do it in the cemetery at Andersonville.

  • If you recall in the series the whites go into the jungle (with black assistants) and capture Kounte Kinte. (TDK, April 3, 2022 at 10:45 am)

    It has been pointed out that Alex Hayley’s ‘family memoir’ had a suspicious similarity to a work of avowed fiction written by someone else a couple of years earlier and offered for publication – a sort of inverse Da Vinci Code. However I’ve a notion that – as TDK’s phrasing implies – the book did not start with something as ridiculous as the progenitor being captured by English-speaking whites roaming the African bush; it was the TV series that added that particular absurdity.

    The second is the “but in Africa people were enslaved only if they were criminals and were released after they had served their punishment” narrative.

    I’d never heard this particular – and particularly insolent – narrative. It makes the 1619 project look like small beer. (Indeed, its instant and incredible falsity manages to eclipse the ante-bellum / Confederate narrative about how slavery was in the slaves’ best interests.) You can confidently deduce an utter indifference to plausibility, let alone fact, in anyone who gives it the time of day.

  • Paul Marks

    Niall – only a couple of decades ago it was openly discussed in the British media (including the BBC) that “Roots” was in fact plagiarism – based on the novel “The African” by a WHITE novelist.

    Today the BBC, and so on, would never tell such a truth – it would be denounced as RACISM.

    Freedom of Speech has died in less than a generation here in Britain.

    And the fact that culture can change so much (from a free culture to a culture dominated by Frankfurt School doctrines) leads me to doubt that cultures are fixed or determined by ethnic status.

    Hence, for example, my opposition to people who think that Russians are inherently evil – born that way.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Britain, and Europe, and North America, should pay “reparations” because they have money. We are rich, therefore evil. Hope that clears things up for you!
    Q. When will Ghana give up reparation demands?
    A. Never ghana happen!!!

  • TDK

    it was the TV series that added that particular absurdity

    TBH I never read the book. I assume most people who know of Roots know it thru the TV series.

  • TBH I never read the book. (TDK, April 4, 2022 at 2:49 pm)

    Join the club. I saw some of the series but, after it became likely that it was indeed an inverse-Da-Vinci-Code ripoff of someone else’s work of fiction, I lost interest in reading the book. In 1978, Haley paid Harold Courlander (author of the book ‘The African’) and his publisher $650,000 as out-of-court settlement of the lawsuit over Haley’s plagiarism of the novel – which put paid to any idea that Roots was other than a mere work of fiction, though the usual suspects kept that rather quiet.

    Paul Marks (April 3, 2022 at 5:52 pm) says the BBC was OK about discussing the plagiarism as recently two decades ago but would refuse the least discussion of it now. Paul may be right – and I note the fact that the BBC would mention it as recently as two decades ago would in itself have been an argument for the plagiarism case, if needed.

    HOWEVER, only two years ago the BBC did allow a Nigerian-descended journalist to report that ‘My Nigerian great-grandfather sold slaves’. She mentions that her grandfather resisted (at times successfully) British colonial attempts to free his slaves, and that his fellow Africans (except maybe the slaves) were much impressed by him for this. And she answers the “Why not Ghana” question by telling the reader not to judge her grandfather by the standards of our time instead of his. It was a very unusual thing for the BBC to do – but the page is still there on their site, for those who can find it.

    (Did anyone ever read Hayley’s book – or the avowedly-fictional manuscript that it plagiarised? If so, do they recall what claim it made about Kinte’s account to his descendants of his capture?)

    A real account of capture is in Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘Barracoon’, written in 1931 after she spent three months interviewing Cudjo (Kossula) Lewis, one of the last ever slaves shipped into the US (illegally, in 1859, by an Alabama captain who bet he could evade the British blockade and bring back a cargo of slaves, and won his bet). ‘Barracoon’ couldn’t get published when she wrote it because the black literary community didn’t like that it revealed the wholly African role in enslaving, assembling and selling. ‘Barracoon’ therefore languished in a vault for 87 years before being published in 2018. (For anyone interested, the final part of this article contains a lengthy extract.) The above links virtue-signal the publisher’s Trump Derangement Syndrome – yet the company did publish the manuscript, a sort-of exception to the ‘could say it then, can’t say it now’ rule.