Christopher Columbus arrived on the island of Jamaica on May 5, 1494. The Jamaican Tanos people went from sixty thousand to zero in fifty years. To replace the Tanos, Spaniards brought slaves from Africa. Because of a lack of perceived riches, the Spaniards were gone a 150 years after arriving.
The first Europeans to connect with West African coastal people were Portuguese traders. As the fifteenth century ended, Spanish, Dutch, British, and French had all established a presence in West Africa. The Berlin Conference on the Congo in 1884-85 created an all-out European scramble to claim and colonize West African land and peoples.
Well it is Columbus Day again. Isn’t that somewhat hard to believe? After all, if anyone of any consequence—person or group—thought the actions of Columbus were worth a damn, retailers would have had their promotions out a month ago. When I was in…
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