Intriguing and shameful ways Africans were renamed after their capture by slave traders

August 10, 2018 at 01:30 pm | History

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

August 10, 2018 at 01:30 pm | History

New First Names

When on the ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean, slaves were identified by branding, numbers or letters after being put into groups. After a while, the system became confusing especially during the trade when ships arrived at their destinations. Enslavers, therefore, solved this problem by giving surviving slaves names. Slaves were given simple Christain names.  They were given old Christian names less used or names that were given to pet animals. In other parts of the world, slaves were also given Christian names that had been shortened and were easier to pronounce and to remember. Examples of such names include Tom, Jerry, Joe, Jada, Sam, Chris, Zion, Kate, Mimi etc. Aside from Christian names, they were often given names of weather, stars, grains or planets. Example Wheatley, Rice, Venus.

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