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Am I Screaming and Do Not Know It?

You may have seen the photo. It struck me as disturbing straight off. This was not
due to any obvious violence depicted, but due to violence implied, barely kept in
check. Even if I did not know the story behind the image the body language of
those depicted in it was arresting as, indeed, the background story was that of two
Malawian youths who’d been arrested and were now in a jeep either being taken to
or from court. They looked cramped within the vehicle, two slender youths sitting
kitty-corner to one another. Their knees were almost touching but they appeared
awkward, afraid to let that touch happen. One, with a short-cropped afro was
looking down; the other, in a shirt of light cloth emphasizing the slightness of his
arms, was half-turning to gaze out at the scene behind him but it was as if he was
compelled to do so while instinctively wondering if that was against his best
interests. A shouting, gesticulating crowd could be seen all around them, a crowd
of other Africans leering with anger and derision, a crowd on the verge of some sort
of mad frenzy.

Do sharks circle in such a way? Do packs of wild hungry jackals?

I think not. I think that the human face caught in myriad degrees of hatred
provokes a visceral fear as no other species quite can. Throughout history this has
been captured by artists, photographers and documentary filmmakers. Mob scenes
from Christ’s journey through Golgotha are conjured or, perhaps, a mass of white
southerners either at a lynching or during the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
However, in this instance, I can envision Oscar Wilde being laughed at and spit upon
while pushed through those who came to the courtroom to gloat over his downfall,
his conviction of gross indecency. Did the faces of those who witnessed witches
burned at the stake sell meat pies to the rabble, shout and hurl phlegm with much
the same delight? Since there were more of them than the ones being roasted were
they a majority of moral order, the crème de la crème of role models for civilized
society to emulate?

Yes, you will note I am casting a cold eye in an attempt not to see red. I will also go
for broke and attempt a more distant and anthropological tone on what seems
unreasonable, extreme, if not downright inhumane and heinous. What biochemical
reaction is suffused through mobs as they form? What hormonal spark ignites
neurons as synapses are jumped in the network of ganglia excreting rage from
glands? Is it pituitary, a bile duct issuance meeting adrenal imbalance? Can such
phenomenon be siphoned from the veins, put under a lab’s microscope and seen on
a slide? If so, is there a way to create an inoculation against prejudice or would
such synthesis be eugenic tampering?

I’ve pondered similar notions in regards to war, wondering why a non-lethal form of
laughing gas couldn’t be released from bombs as opposed to destruction. Let
soldiers from both sides drop their weapons and clutch their sides guffawing in
absolute gladness. Let translating peacemakers in protective suits come out to lead
the soldiers to tents filled with refreshments so the soldiers may see one another
face to face and have a chance to discuss what their oh-so-wise leaders want them
to risk dying for.

Of course such scenarios are wishful thinking at its most delusional best.

Instead, the photograph of the two African youths huddled in their van reappears,
the shred of a Technicolor shroud on my inner vision. Those two youths are named
Tionge Chimbalanga Kachepa, who identifies as a woman, and Steven Monjeza Soko. They live in
Malawi. They were arrested in 2009, accused of holding a traditional engagement ceremony attended
by friends and family that was subsequently reported and sensationalized in the Malawian media.
They were charged under Sections 153 and 156 of the Malawian penal code for "unnatural offences"
and "indecent practices between males”. While under arrest they were subjected to forced anal
examinations to “confirm” the offence of sodomy. The idea that an anal exam to prove said sodomy
ever occurred unless the two were witnessed having anal sex and were examined right afterwards,
strikes me as a perverse science of criminology run amok. Moreover, if a proctologist is doing the
exam is he too at risk for coming under suspicion of fantasized sodomy, for why on earth would he
have willingly chosen to specialize in such a field of medicine? Yes, consider the source. Just how far
do the authorities of Malawi take their cause for justice against sodomy? Are they bloodhounds
sniffing down the trails of suspected sodomites with a passion which might give one pause as to what
sparked the fire of their own underlying interest? Why are they so concerned with rectal orifices as to
order them penetrated? Furthermore, while they are busy giving such concentrated attention to the
crime of sodomy who is working on solving crimes such as robbery, arson, murder and rape?

In Uganda the furor over sex between men escalated to the point where a bill was introduced to
Parliament in the fall of 2009 which would impose life imprisonment on gays with the death penalty
added under certain circumstances. This bill would also penalize anyone, including family, aware of
another’s homosexuality who does not report that homosexual to the police.

One of the most vocal supporters of this bill has been a pastor named Martin Ssempa, a man so
incensed by homosexuality that he has shown gay porn to his parishioners on at least two occasions.
Again, consider the source. How much footage did he watch before deciding on which films to show?
It has been reported by BoxTurtleBulletin.com that so fervent was his disgust while viewing these
films that he exclaimed “Look, they are eating each others’ rectums! They are eating each others’
penises!” It would not be surprising if such sentiments came from an adolescent school boy trying to
evoke an “ew” reaction from a female classmate, but from an adult male with any sort of grasp on the
intricacies and broad range of theology? It is not hard to imagine that his zealousness rivals that of
snake-handling preachers on the Bible belt circuit. (Such a comparison is not entirely far-fetched
since Mr. Ssempa was a teenage break-dancing champion in East Africa. When his brother and sister
died of AIDS in 1990 Mr. Ssempa blamed their deaths on promiscuity and feared that his lifestyle
would also lead to his death due to AIDS. Mr. Ssempa then gave up his dream of being a celebrity by
traveling the country with a drama group that performed in schools trying to educate students about
AIDS.)

Unfortunately there have been no reports to my knowledge of the title of the film Martin Ssempa
showed to his congregation or its exact contents. For all anyone knows it could have been a film
which Mr. Ssempa himself paid actors to perform in. It is also worth noting that Pastor Ssempa has
not presented heterosexual porn videos; films which of course often show similar activity such as
fellatio or anal stimulation and which some people might also be offended by, especially in a church
setting. Yet perhaps one day such activity will also become part of a moral campaign to legislate
against un-desirables.

Another disturbing detail about Pastor Ssempa is that, according to his own website, he has spent
nearly two decades on the frontline of Uganda’s highly touted successful AIDS prevention response in
shaping Uganda's national AIDS policy. Apparently this policy involved Ssempa opposing a condom-
inclusive approach to AIDS prevention (notably burning a case of condoms in the name of Jesus), and
supports abstinence-plus-fidelity education in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This anti-condom stance
has been attributed to Ugandan AIDS programs fear of losing their funding. The United States is the
single largest donor to AIDS prevention in Uganda and much of the aid is dispensed through religious-
based groups. However, as Frontline reporter Danielee Anastasion wrote in 2007,"In the first two
years since the U.S.-funded focus on abstinence Uganda's rate of HIV infection has nearly doubled."

In a Wikipedia entry I come across words attributed to Pastor Martin Niemoller about the
inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen
targets, group after group. These words are: “And then they came for me and by that time no one
was left to speak up.” Lastly, for the record, pornographic films are no more documentaries than
Roadrunner, Wylie Coyote cartoons. To use them as propaganda and promote the idea that all
individuals of any sexual orientation live in orgiastic fashion twenty-four-seven is illusory at best and,
at worst, a way to stir up prejudice the way Pastor Martin Ssempa has. No, the diversity of sexual
activity between consenting adults is not restricted to orientation, nor does it mean all acts of the
Karma Sutra are utilized by everyone either, so why is there a prevailing assumption in South Africa
that equates homosexuality with sodomy as opposed to someone who is gay yet also happens not to
engage in anal sex?

But of course those seeking to stir up hate seize upon the graphic, the black and white, black as a
bruise, black as pooled blood, white as a scar. The knowledge that anyone’s sexual orientation is just
one component woven into the fabric of anyone’s abilities, interests and contributions to existence, is
not knowledge that those like Mr. Ssempa may care about or be able to recognize. Such recognition
would go against the soapboxes of hatred they stand upon, basking in the faith that what they spew is
for the good of the whole. What would happen to the adulatory validation others give them should
anyone entertain the possibility that they may very well not only be wrong, but megalomaniacal and
just plain mad?

Make no mistake, as is the case in Iraq and Iran, the African persecution of LGBT individuals is but
one more example of genocide-in-action. With the exception of South Africa, where same-sex
marriage is legal, the anti-gay rhetoric, hostility and actions against gays stems from the colonialism
of Africa and Draconian sodomy laws dating back to at least 1778; laws which applied to
heterosexuals as well. Those who support severe penalties against gays claim that colonialism is what
brought homosexuality to Africa in the first place, and that this “scourge” is augmented by tourism in
the present. Much of this sentiment is fueled by pastors of both Christian and Muslim backgrounds
but who originally brought such branches of religion to Africa along with, of course, the slave trade?

I do a quick Internet search on this subject and come across two articles worth noting. One entitled
“The Christianization of Slaves in the West Indies” by Jeffrey K. Padgett, begins with the following:
“After the horrendous sea voyage from Africa, slaves were separated and placed on plantations in the
West Indies. These slaves, already disoriented, were now forced into a brutal life of labor and
surveillance. Day after day, the Africans cultivated crops, tended to animals, and served their
"owners" in any way possible. Sixteen to eighteen hours of work was the norm on most West Indian
plantations, and during the season of sugarcane harvest, most slaves only got four hours of sleep.”
The article then explains that “Before the establishment of Christianity in the West Indies, slaves
looked to their own system of belief, brought from their individual African tribal communities. The
African religions were religions of spirit, not of doctrine. At the same time, most African religions
believed in the existence of one supreme god. This belief, shared with Christianity, made it easier for
Africans to understand the Christian religion. African religious beliefs held that spirits of ancestors and
natural phenomena immediately affected people’s lives. Their religion saw man himself as, essentially,
a spirit. Death rites were important to ascertain that the spirit of the departed remained benign rather
than hostile to those left behind. However, African religions did not offer an idea of heaven, and this
too attracted many slaves towards Christianity. For many, heaven promised a reward for suffering in
the physical world.”

Yes, who would not want a life free of suffering after grueling hours of work on little sleep? Certainly,
after that, how could Christianity not sound appealing?

In an article called “The Origins of The African Slave Trade” Piero Scaruffi writes: “In 1820 the king of
the African kingdom of Ashanti inquired why the Christians did not want to trade slaves with him
anymore, since they worshipped the same god as the Muslims and the Muslims were continuing the
trade like before.” Mr. Scaruffi goes on to explain that “there are thousands of records of Muslim slave
transactions prepared by Harvard University. What these records show is that the modern slave trade
flourished in the early middle ages, as early as 869, especially between Muslim traders and western
African kingdoms.” Apparently “Muslims were selling goods to the African kingdoms and the African
kingdoms were paying with their own people. In most instances, no violence was necessary to obtain
those slaves.” Still I can scarcely take consolation in the words no violence was necessary when the
article concludes with: “To this day, too many Africans, Arabs and Europeans believe that the African
slave trade was an USA aberration, not their own invention. By the time the slave trade was abolished
in the West, there were many more slaves in Africa (black slaves of black owners) than in the
Americas.” (To recognize that human trafficking is yet a problem in both Arab and African countries
now, generations later, as HumanTrafficking.org reports, is certainly not knowledge one can take
comfort from either.)

As a point of fact I do not know either Mr. Padgett or Mr. Scaruffi and hence am not entirely
comfortable quoting them, though of course they may be very nice men. The truth is I never heard of
either of them before attempting to write this essay, and no copyright dates or information is given at
the end of their articles as to what qualifies them to write about the African Slave Trade. With this
discomfort in mind I do another Internet search and find nothing conclusive about Jeffrey K. Padgett
under author whereas I do learn (ashamed by my own ignorance) that Piero Scaruffi is an Italian poet,
historian and scientist. As a point of fact anyone could accuse me of using their quotes in a context to
support my own homosexual agenda but in my own defense I can only respond that I quote them in
hopes of making life better, even bearable, for others, and this is quite different than say, taking
words from any religious doctrine and using those words to do harm. Furthermore I am not claiming
that religion is necessarily the problem. One only has to take a cursory view on the atheistic ethics of
Stalinism to see how purges can occur under any belief system. It is extremism from any camp
which, in the long run, may pose a danger to others not of that camp.

I also quote the words of Mr. Padgett and Mr. Scaruffi to try and understand where homophobia (or
homo-hatred to be more precise) in Africa comes from because, to paraphrase the poet and
philosopher George Santayana, Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Moreover, the idea that homosexuality did not exist in Africa until the Europeans came is also a
sketchy concept. As the researcher and freelance writer of contemporary Zimbabwean politics
Blessing-Miles Tende writes in a March 2010 issue of The Guardian, “late 19th-century records on
Africa and African oral history show that homosexual practices existed in pre-colonial Africa. One case
in point is the Azande people in the north-east of modern-day Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC), where it was acceptable for kings, princes, and soldiers to take male lovers.” Allusions to this
history were reiterated by Janet Otieno who, writing for the online African Review, states that “pre-
colonial African ethnic groups ascribed tribal classifications to gay people. Certain tribes in pre-colonial
Burkina Faso and South Africa regarded lesbians as astrologers and traditional healers, while a
number of tribal groups in Cameroon and Gabon believed homosexuality had a medicinal effect.

The Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his lover Smenkhkare were also documented as male couple in
history. Their homosexuality does not seem to have bothered Akhenaten’s contemporaries, but his
challenge to the clergy brought his downfall.”

(No, I don’t get out much. I don’t personally know Mr. Tende or Ms. Otieno either.)

I looked for some sources which might explain why Africans view homosexuality as
an un-African western import and came across a story on the background for
Uganda’s Martyr’s Day, a national holiday. The holiday commemorates the death of several
Anglican and Catholic missionaries ordered by the Bugandan King Mwanga II, who felt that foreign
religious influences posed a threat to his kingdom. One take on the story is that King Mwanga II killed
the martyrs because they refused his homosexual advances. Still, this is just another smoke and
mirrors game from opposing factions in history’s propaganda machine for no one knows how much of
that part of the story is true, or how much of it was reinforced by the British colonial government, a
government which wanted to discredit the king since the executions he ordered prompted Britain to
invade Uganda and turn it into a British colony.

I’m still trying to figure out why, if Uganda is so opposed to western influence, then why did these
Anglican and Catholic missionaries have a Martyr’s Day created for them which is still practiced, and
why persecute LGBT Ugandans during this holiday if in fact King Mwanga was gay himself ? Or do
Ugandans feel it was the missionaries who were gay and that the holiday was imposed on them by
British rule. This is one more riddle within a conundrum which I fear there is no hope of getting to the
bottom of for the enlightenment of anybody.

Interesting, I started this essay with a focus on Malawi and the preceding paragraphs touched on
LGBT persecution in Zimbabwe and Uganda. The truth is that there are at least 37 African countries
which have laws against sodomy. The truth is that from reading articles put out by both the
Associated Press and the BBC, among others, I have learned that there have been corrective rapes
against lesbians in Zimbabwe, sometimes by relatives of the victims, done in an attempt to make
them heterosexual. Gay men have also been forced into having sex with women in hopes of the same
cure. Of course the situation has not been helped by the President of Zimbabwe describing gay men
as “worse than dogs and pigs”, and enacting a statute that makes simply touching between men a
criminal offense.

I have learned that when gay men attempted to flee to Gambia that the President there, Yahya
Jammeh, threatened to “cut off their heads.”

I have learned that men have been raped by other men in the Congo and that these men are then
considered pariahs as if the ones who raped them were somehow more masculine though they
themselves engaged in gay sex, albeit as an act of power.

I have learned about the LGBT Nigerians who have been burned out of their homes, chased down,
beaten and stoned.

I have read about how the police do nothing or partake in the actions of the mobs.

I have also recently learned of one particularly horrific crime in Senegal, the case of Madieye Diallo
whose body was yanked from his grave, spit upon, dragged through the street and dumped in front of
the home of his aging parents. This scene from 2009 was filmed by a cell phone and sold on the
market.

To have a moral compass on what is occurring in our lifetimes is to feel the needle of that compass
shiver and flinch, but that needle must somehow remain tungsten-strong and razor sharp in order to
mirror back the ugliness of those who engage in such brutality, and those who fan its flames, from
Beanie Man, Buju Banton and other Jamaican singers who call for the murder of gays in their songs;
to the Iraqi militias who torture their victims by using a strong glue called “hum”, a glue which seals
up the anuses of their victims before these victims are given a drink which causes diarrhea. Again,
videos of this form of torture have been distributed on cell phones, and one wonders how manly this
militia must be, braving an accusation of sodomy while touching another man’s anus with glue.

Against the order of nature. Abomination. Consider the source. The terminology which is used to
justify violence and murder against LGBT individuals is demonstrated by the actions of those who
persecute. Those who persecute are the abominations made flesh. They are the living definition of
against the order of nature, so consider the source of them. What are they trying to hide, covet, and
get away with? What in their own lives are they trying to deflect attention away from by turning
others into scapegoats?

I ask these questions as if these questions could be machetes, ammunition put into the hands of their
victims, tools with which to defend themselves, tools to dig up the dirt on their persecutors, but what
other evidence is needed than that which has already been documented? If there is ever to be a
South African or Iran, Iraqi version of “Judgment at Nuremburg”, what witnesses will be left to testify
against these current crimes against humanity? The Hitlers and Idi Amins of the world are alive and
well and using the same tactics they always have: find a target, demonize a target, and use the
terror of that target to keep others silent. Somewhere, in regards to the victims, is there not more
than one voice saying deep within: somebody, anyone, do something, save them?

This is the modern-day plight of Antigone delivered computer to computer and blog after blog across
the stratosphere. These news items could be updated events written down as fact in the Bible or the
Koran, stoning after stoning, pogrom after pogrom. What racks, what iron maidens for those
considered heretics today? What corrective rapes? What glue called “hum”? Furthermore, what
better future for everyone, what curbing the spread of AIDS, what lifting from poverty, from hunger,
from sexual trafficking, what chance for peace founded in intelligence, can come from any of this?

As I write this essay in April of 2010, Steven and Tionge, the two Malawian youths from the photo
mentioned in paragraph one, have not yet been able to defend their case. They are now considered
prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International. It has been reported that Steven is gravely ill and
not receiving medication or proper treatment. “He has been held on remand in an overcrowded,
squalid cell for over three months, without proper food, sanitation or medical care,” London-based
human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell of OutRage, has reported.

I see Steven and Tionge’s faces in a photograph, the cramped van, the body language of bodies afraid
to touch, the body language of those viewed just as bodies but not as humans, nor even as spiritual
beings having a human experience.

Are their monsters among you, Steven and Tionge? Barbarians at the gate? Are those same
monsters and barbarians among the rest of us also, depending on who gets to decide whose sexual
orientation, whose ethnicity, whose political leanings, etc. etc. in the swirling zeitgeist of history, this
time around, is wrong, wrong, wrong?

Ssh.
Listen closely. You are as nature made you, heartbeat by heartbeat. Believe nothing else that the
butchers of bloodlust desire you to hear.

Postscript: This essay was not written in a state of white lightning heat so much as a state of white
heat compressed. The subject matter seemed enormous, unreasonable, overwhelmingly disturbing.
My sense of futility about it, about what, if anything, I could do, was equally extreme. After all, aside
from being a human with a conscience, I have no journalistic credentials. Still, day after day as
words for this essay took shape in my consciousness, historical atrocities seemed to rise from the core
to prolong procrastination.

I kept thinking of the gay poet, Lorca, and his death in 1936 allegedly from a bullet shot up his
rectum by the Spanish Nationalist militia under the dictatorship of Franco. I also found the insistence
of Joan Didion’s book, “Salvador”, entering as some Cassandra-like refrain, her descriptions of victims
found with crosses carved in their foreheads, the male victims castrated, their penises shoved in their
mouths. Is the waking nightmare going on not only in Africa, but so many parts of the globe, endemic
to humans as a species? Indeed, has it always been? What other anthropological conclusion can
there be?

The part which the Fundamentalist Right of the American Evangelical movement played in the making
of the Ugandan “Kill Gays” bill is a fact which I also neglected to mention, perhaps because others
have reported on it extensively, their voices factually authoritative from delving through massive
concrete data. Religious propagandists from organizations such as Exodus International, individuals
such as Don Schmierer, Lou Engle and Scott Lively, were among the key players from this soil who
went to Africa to sow their seeds of hate, though later when the African flames of homophobia seemed
to be uncontrollably rising, Exodus made a statement opposing the criminalization of homosexuality.

Yes, when I first wrote this essay time was of the essence, time was of a desperation which fueled my
need to write about the case of Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, but unfortunately this
urgency created sins of omission in describing the wide varieties of influences which went into
establishing their circumstance. But perhaps such omissions are commonplace for anyone attempting
to come to grips with the myriad strands which weave the backdrops of prejudice boiling over the
tipping point into murderous scenarios.

On May 20, declaring that he wanted to protect the public “from people like you,” Judge Nyakwawa
Usiwa-Usiwa of Blantyre Magistrates Court sentenced Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga,
20, to 14 years in prison with hard labor, the maximum sentence under Malawi law, after having found
them found guilty of gross indecency and unnatural acts.

“I sentence you to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour each. That’s the maximum under the penal
code,” magistrate Nyakwawa Usiwa Usiwa told the two men in a courtroom in the capital Blantyre. “I
will give you a scaring sentence so that the public be protected from people like you and so that we
are not tempted to emulate this horrendous example,” the judge added. “Malawi is not ready to see
its sons getting married to its sons.”

The BBC reported that Monjeza broke down in tears when he heard the sentence, while Chimbalanga
remained calm.

As they were escorted away under heavy police guard, hundreds of onlookers outside the court
shouted abuse at them. One woman reportedly yelled, “Malawi should never allow homosexuality at
any cost.”

The couple’s lawyer said that they would appeal the verdict to High Court and after an international
outcry against the injustice, on May 29, 2010, Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, were
released from prison. As stated by BoxTurtleBulletin.com: Following a visit from U.N. General
Secretary Ban Ki-moon, Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika announced the pardon of Steven
Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga.

“I have decided that with effect from today, they are pardoned and they will be released,” President
Mutharika told a battery of reporters after meeting U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon.

“These boys committed a crime against our culture, our religion and our laws,” said the Malawi
President. “However, as the head of state I hereby pardon them and therefore ask for their immediate
release with no conditions. I have done this on humanitarian grounds but this does not mean that I
support this.”

However, these were the humanitarian grounds under which Steven and Tiwonge were released:
Patricia Kaliati, Malawi’s Minister of Gender and Children, said the release did not mean they could
continue their relationship. “It doesn’t mean that now they are free people, they can keep doing
whatever you keep doing,” she said. Ms Kaliati said they could be rearrested if they “continue doing
that”. The couple’s lawyer, Mauya Msuks confirmed the threat: “The pardon only applies to the
offence under which they were convicted. If, for example, they go back and the state is of the view
that they have recommitted the offence, the pardon will not apply.”

It was under such circumstances that Steven Monjeza, upon his release, turned his back on Tiwonge
Chimbalanga. Steven claimed that he’d never been in love with Tiwonge, that he’d been found drunk
in his home by others at the time of their engagement ceremony, a ceremony which he later went on
to describe as a “drinking orgy”. In an even more Kafkaesque twist to this case, by claiming he never
loved Tiwonge, a claim most likely made to avoid being re-arrested for homosexuality, a judiciary
spokesman, James Chigona, stated: “if there are witnesses that can testify that Steven lied under
oath in court, it can constitute an offence of perjury.” Later still it was reported by a tabloid that
Steven was again engaged to be married, this time to a woman described as the “village prostitute”.
“I respect his
Apparently Tiwonge, for now, has only said one tactful thing on the entire business:
decision to marry a woman. He has a right to make that decision but I am also free to marry.”

Cry the beloved country: to avoid further persecution in a world where increasing anti-immigration
policies thwart asylum at every turn, what are the wisest, safest things Steven and Tiwonge can do or
say?
Sources listed for Jeffrey K. Padgett article:

Bisnauth, D.A. History of Religions in the Caribbean. Kingston. Kingston Pub. Ltd. 1989.

Gordon, Shirley. God Almighty Make Me Free. Bloomington. Indiana University Press. 1979.

Ligon, Richard. A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbados. 1673.

Caldecott, Alfred. The Church in the West Indies. New York. Young&Co. 1898.

Walker, F. The Call of the West Indies. London. Cargate Press. 1933.)

Required reading from Mr. Scaruffi:

Bernard Lewis, "Race and Slavery in the Middle East"

The role of Islam in African slavery

African history and the Slave Trade

Negro slave owners

Alexandre Popovic: La revolte des esclaves en Iraq au IIIe/IXe siecle, 1976