5 little-known black female slave traders who changed the course of history

September 09, 2019 at 02:00 pm | History, Women

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

September 09, 2019 at 02:00 pm | History, Women

Signares, French-Senegalese women who became rich, powerful and unstoppable in places like Goree Island and the city of St Louis on N’Dar island in Senegal. Pic Credit: saintlouisdusenegal.com

Whenever slave masters or slave traders are mentioned, the images of men usually come to mind.

History books mainly reflect the involvement of men while brushing aside the involvement of women in upholding the institution. During the slave trade, about two million Africans were uprooted from their homes.

Through their harrowing experiences on the ships, many of these enslaved Africans even died before reaching their new homes. For the many who survived, it was the beginning of sleepless nights, several hours of work on plantations on empty stomachs and the constant reminder that in their new lives they were nothing but a commodity to their owners.

Most of these owners were thought to be mostly wealthy, white individuals but historical accounts have shown that black people were also involved in the sale and ownership of slaves. What has become more surprising is the fact that black women were also active participants in the selling and buying of slaves.

Hitherto, these women were seen as passive people, who were just looking on as their men wreaked havoc. But recent writings and documentaries have sought to reverse these thoughts. Just as the men who owned the enslaved, these women built up their own plantations and others inherited estates from deceased husbands.

Below are some of the biggest black female slave owners who are not widely discussed but changed the course of history:

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