“Master … eated me when I was meat”
This introductory chapter briefly explores the transatlantic origins of black consumption, tracing it back to the first contact between European colonizers and coastal Africans. By the early twentieth century, Europeans had admitted to and documented a connection between European global expansion and a sexual/libidinal appetite for African flesh. One such document is a cartoon published in the French journal Le Rire in 1911 which demonstrated the European hunger for conquest sometimes coincided with a homosexual hunger for African flesh. This cartoon depicts the widespread belief of that time in Western and Central Africa that Europeans were cannibals. Groups such as the Igbo, Bakongo, Fanti, and Guinea all thought of European interlopers as cannibals. The chapter also analyses why and how the bodies of black American slaves became so delectable, so erotically appetizing, to a nation and white populace that denied and despised their humanity.
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