By James Chege
Maryknoll Institute of African Studies
Public Lectures Held at MIASMU
The sixth week of the semester program was buzzing with activities as two public lectures were held.
|Students taking notes during Professor Aseka’s lecture.|
|Professor Klein stresses a point during his lecture.|
The lecture covered the origin of slavery in Africa and touched on forms of indigenous slavery in West Africa as well as in East Africa. Very few of the participants were aware of the extent of slavery on the North coast of Kenya centering on a settlement called Witu. He highlighted fundamental differences such as the West African slaves’ rights to make money through trading unlike their East African counterparts who did not enjoy such privileges. Professor Klein spoke of the role of Islam in slavery and how it was used as justification to enslave “pagans” by some of the more prominent Islamic slave traders. Other justifications used were racism and gender. At the end of the lecture some thought provoking discussions ensued with particular reference to contemporary forms of slavery in the Middle East.