Art of the Quarter

This quarter history focuses on slavery which is just a portion of history.

As African kingdoms begin to rise and fall on the continent, outsiders begin to creep in with eyes on the treasures throughout the land.

In 1200, Mali Empire rises under Sunjata Keita and after 1250 expands to the Atlantic coast.

In 1324, Mansa Musa, emperor of Mali, pilgrimages to Mecca.

In 1413, Portuguese voyagers landed on the African Coast.

By 1444, the first African captives were sold in Europe.

Toby Green in Fistful of Shells wrote that medieval Europeans named African regions based on “commodities on offer for exchange…Ivory Coast, Grain Coast (modern Liberia) and the Slave Coast (between modern Benin and southwestern Nigeria).” Green said it became a continent thought of in terms of what could be extracted or consumed. Europeans were not the only ones who thought of the continent in that way, because trade routes to the middle east existed before the Europeans came.