Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

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The English and Europeans believed that Africa was nothing more than a “dark” place. It was filled with mysterious people and even more mystifying ways of life held by the people. They thought everyone was beneath them, and they were extremely closed-minded to any possibility that the Africans were equals. In actuality the African society was a well developed and fully functioning continent. There was royalty, agriculture, metropolis areas, and many other similar aspects to other European countries. Ayuba Suleiman Diallo’s story of his life in slavery held true to all of the stereotypes held against African’s during this time period. The constant theme throughout the excerpt is this “animal-like” quality that the English and Europeans believed the Africans had. Everyone perceived them not as humans, but as property and money. The first display of this in Diallo’s story was when he was captured. The people who stole him shaved his head and beard to make him look more as a common slave. In Diallo’s culture this was the equivalence to a slap in the face. It is not like he is a pet that needed to be groomed; he was a human and his captors treated him like he was nothing. Another instance where he was treated inhumanly was after he was sold into slavery in Maryland. While praying in the forest, a young white male threw dirt in Diallo’s face making fun of his spiritual ways. In any society a religion is sacred. This complete disregard for a person’s way of worship is the exact thing that happened to all slaves. The interesting part to this specific slave is that the people who took him were completely off in their first impression of Diallo. Diallo came from an upper class of family. His parents were Muslim merchants and he was educated to be one as well. If he lived in America or Europe and was a different skin color he would be a respected citizen. This vast difference in the way these people thought about him and the way he actually was shows...
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