28 Pages

The Rape of Africa

The following chapter from Du Bois’s 1947 work The World and Africa narrates the basic history of European and African affairs going back to the Renaissance and ending in the twentieth century. Du Bois outlines at length the consequences of the “rape” of Africa and the history of the slave and ivory trade, as well as other examples of colonial exploitation. He concludes that there can be no meaningful understanding of contemporary Africa without a clear comprehension of its history.

Nothing which has happened to man in modern times has been more significant than the buying and selling of human beings out of Africa into America from 1441 to 1870. Of its worldwide meaning and effect, this chapter seeks to tell.