Varieties of slavery in Africa

   The use of Africans as slaves began long ago. During the Middle Ages, Arab traders bought captives from African chiefs and sold them for a profit in the Middle East. At one of the Middle Eastern slave markets, a picture of the 1200's shows a merchant with his human wares, while the price is weighed out in a scale. In the 1700's the slave trade continued to begin in African villages. A French engraving shows a group of slaves at the start of a long journey that would take them, most probably, across the Atlantic.
   The distaste for slavery was growing, however. Slavery had slowly been dying out in Europe, and in the 1770"s it was abolished in Great Britain. Yet, despite petitions for freedom, emancipation in North and South America had to wait until the Iate1800's.