The Honorable Balanta People, Fought Against Slavery

Not all Africans participated in slave trades. In fact, the Balanta of West Africa were known for fighting those who attempted to subjugate them and others. Tracing their beginnings from the Nile Valley, the Balanta are estimated to have migrated to areas of modern-day Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau, circa 1200 CE. Deeply rooted egalitarian values, sustained by enduring social and governance structures, were apparently at the core of their relentless fight against subordination. Consequently, the kidnapping and murderous brutality that sustained the Atlantic and other slave trades were not tolerated in Balanta territory.

The legacy of Balantas being ethical defenders of freedom persisted well into the 21st century. Amicar Cabral, leader of the 1960’s Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde fight against Portuguese colonial rule, acknowledged Balanta farmers for being among the first to join the revolutionary gorilla war because of “their decentralized and egalitarian social organization.”

Click here to learn more about the honorable Balanta, Africans steeped in cultural values that prohibited selling fellow Africans into slavery. Gain access to a fuller history of how Africans protected each other from the destructive schemes of invaders.

Bonus: Click here to access The Balanta B’urassa History and Genealogy Society in America that helps connect Balanta descendants in the U. S. and elsewhere, to their history and community.

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