“Each day the traders are kidnapping our people - children of this country, sons of our nobles and vassals, even people of our own family. This corruption and depravity are so widespread that our land is entirely depopulated. We need in this kingdom only priests and schoolteachers, and no merchandise, unless it is wine and flour for Mass. It is our wish that this Kingdom not be a place for the trade or transport of slaves…Many of our subjects eagerly lust after Portuguese merchandise that your subjects have brought into our domains. To satisfy this inordinate appetite, they seize many of our black free subjects…. They sell them. After having taken these prisoners [to the coast] secretly or at night….. As soon as the captives are in the hands of white men they are branded with a red-hot iron”
— Mvemba a Nzinga or Nzinga Mbemba also known as King Afonso I. He was the King of the Kongo Kingdom 1509 to late 1542 /1543. In 1526 Afonso wrote two letters concerning the slave trade to the king of Portugal mploring him to put a stop to the practice (quote from the book: King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa)
Worth noting; you’ll note the reported kidnapping and theft of peoples, and not the selling that i spend 10 minutes a week dealing with from White people looking to minimize the horror of American chattel slavery.
“Meanwhile, I’m trying. God knows.
But mother unearthed each small
bloodmain under her gauzed wrists.
She fought a strange compulsion
to press her mouth against her
right pulse, taste the throbbing
veiny eels her crooked lovers forsook
drink from blind lakes of their leaving,
undo their digging”
— Airea D. Matthews, from “Sexton Texts During Polar Vortex,” published in Four Way Review