Slavery Routes

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Slavery Routes: Beyond the Desert
Beyond the Desert
Season 1  |  Episode 1  |  The History Channel  |  July 7, 2018

This is the story of a world where territories and own frontiers were built by the slave trade. A world where violence, subjugation and profit imposed their routes. The history of slavery did not begin in the cotton fields. It is a much older tragedy that has been going on since the dawn of humanity. From the 7th century on, and for over 1200 years, Africa was the epicentre of a gigantic traffic of human beings traversing the entire globe: Nubian, Fulani, Mandinka, Songhai, Susu, Akan, Yoruba, Igbo, Kongo, Yao and Somali. Over 20 million Africans were deported, sold and enslaved. This criminal system thrived, laying the foundations of empires around the world. Its scale was such that for a long time, it has been impossible to relate it comprehensively. And yet, it raises a fundamental question: how did Africa end up at the heart of the slavery routes?

This is the story of a world where territories and own frontiers were built by the slave trade. A world where violence, subjugation and profit imposed their routes. The history of slavery did not begin in the cotton fields. It is a much older tragedy that has been going on since the dawn of humanity. From the 7th century on, and for over 1200 years, Africa was the epicentre of a gigantic traffic of human beings traversing the entire globe: Nubian, Fulani, Mandinka, Songhai, Susu, Akan, Yoruba, Igbo, Kongo, Yao and Somali. Over 20 million Africans were deported, sold and enslaved. This criminal system thrived, laying the foundations of empires around the world. Its scale was such that for a long time, it has been impossible to relate it comprehensively. And yet, it raises a fundamental question: how did Africa end up at the heart of the slavery routes?

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