Islam's Black Slaves by Ronald Segal
The Other Black Diaspora

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Synopsis

A pioneering history of the Eastern slave trade

In this groundbreaking work intended as a companion volume to The Black Diaspora, Ronald Segal tells the fascinating and horrifying story of the Islamic slave trade. Documenting a centuries-old institution that still survives today, Islam's Black Slaves outlines the differences between the trades in the East and West. Slaves in Islam, for example, were kept mainly in the service sector as cooks, porters, soldiers, and concubines, and while the Atlantic trade valued men over women, the Eastern trade preferred women, in numbers as high as two to one. Tracing slavery through history, from Islam's inception in the seventh century, across China, India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, Spain, and the Sudan and Morocco, which still have active markets, Segal reveals for the first time the extent of the trade and the sheer number of slaves-as many as twelve million-bought and sold in the course of the subsequent centuries. In an illuminating conclusion, Segal addresses the popularity of Islam in African American communities. Islam's Black Slaves is a pioneering account of this often unacknowledged tradition and a riveting cross-cultural commentary.
 

About Ronald Segal

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Founding editor of the Penguin African Library, South African-born Ronald Segal is the author of fourteen books, including The Crisis of India, The Race War, The Americans, and The Black Diaspora (FSG, 1995). He lives in Surrey, England.
 
Published March 7, 2001 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 480 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Travel. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In a volume designed to complement his history of blacks outside Africa, The Black Diaspora (1995), Segal examines the lesser-known story of the black slave trade in the Islamic world.

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The Guardian

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Islam's Black Slaves: A History of Africa's Other Black Diaspora Ronald Segal 241pp, Atlantic Books, £20.

Apr 06 2002 | Read Full Review of Islam's Black Slaves: The Oth...

Project MUSE

What Segal fails to recognize is the incredibly controversial nature of Crone's 1987 book Meccan Trade and Islam and the fact that her conclusions are still hotly contested by most other scholars of the early Islamic period.

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