Different debates have been advanced in an effort to explain racial thinking and racialism in general. Among these is the impact that the slave trade had on the commencement and advancement of racial thinking. Racialism is seen as the division of colour among the people of the world. It is also viewed as an identifier of cultural and social differences. Others view race as a creation of the human mind that developed in the post slavery era in an attempt to explain the social differences that arose in the society at this time. Race may not be real but racial thinking is, and it affects the way people relate towards each other, how some are perceived by others, and even government policies in some cases. People who are seen as members of certain races are accorded more privileges than others. Until only recently, in countries like South Africa, there were schools for blacks and schools for whites, different residential places for whites and blacks and jobs for black people and white people. Slavery abolition is seen as the starting point and a major contributor to racial thinking.
2.0 The Slave Trade
Slave trade is defined as acts that involve capturing, buying, using and disposal of a person with the intention of reducing them to a slave. It also entails acts intended at capturing an individual with the aim of selling them or exchanging them, trading in them and transporting them. Article four of ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ says that no person should be held as a slave and that slavery should be discouraged in all its forms (Bales, 1999). This and many other regulations outlaw slavery in today’s world. However, overall, slavery is practiced today, just as it was practiced in the past. The only difference is that today, it is less evident and it is practiced secretly. Examples of slavery today include forced household labour and other forms of labour, forced prostitution and so on (Bales, 1999). Slave trade has been around since the 15th century. Portuguese started the transatlantic slave trade in 1519 and it ended in 1867. Many Africans are estimated to have been transported from Africa to the Caribbean and America to work for European settlers’ plantations, mines and estates. Britain’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade was between the years of 1660 and 1807. In Britain, the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act of 1807 marked the beginning of the process to end slave trade. Ships that had already left shore for more slaves by this time were allowed a further year to complete trading in slaves. In North America and the Caribbean, slave trade was abolished in 1834. Former slaves were however required to work for their masters for a further 6 years as apprentices. The Bahamas and Antigua later passed laws abolishing this apprentice clause. Other colonies, owing to public pressure also abolished this clause in 1838. Slave trade in other parts of the world did not last much longer after these dates (Ray, 1989). It ended paving way for a much greater evil, racial divisions. 2.1 Argument for and against slavery 2.1.1 Advantages of Slavery Slavery fuelled the slave trade that in turn led to further development of international trade. When the slave trade came to an end in the mid of the 18th century, it was replaced by trade in other wares and in Agricultural products. Africans had become accustomed to goods from the western world. As such, they yearned for such goods that they were used to buying through