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10 shocking facts about slavery that everyone should know

November 08, 2018 at 05:00 pm | History

Farida Dawkins

Farida Dawkins | Contributor

November 08, 2018 at 05:00 pm | History

Image of the Saturnalia Festival…Face2Face Africa

Slave masters and slaves swapped roles

As far back as the ancient Roman days, slavery existed and followed the same trend as the transatlantic slave trade.

Slaves were the property of their masters and subject to capital punishment, severe house chores and farm work as well as sexual exploitation.

Slaves from Africa were mostly from Northern Africa, specifically Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. A few Egyptian slaves also existed in ancient Rome.

During the Saturnalia festival, slaves took the role of their masters who in turn, assumed the role of their slaves. This meant that slaves enjoyed all the privileges that came naturally to their masters. They wore their masters’ clothes, lived in their masters’ houses and ate food fit for a slave master or royal.

In turn, masters wore slave clothes, ate slave food, performed all the domestic and farm work that was given to the slaves and lived in the quarters.

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