what I believe could be next to loss of life and treatment of African slaves, but the loss of a possible developing culture as the greatest crime. Africa was a developing nation, the forging of metals, development of laws in societies, all could be said to parallel early European history. Slavery was not uncommom in Europe but was used internally to develope that contenant. Then if left to their own devices could not Africa have not emulated England, France, or Portugal albit at a later date using their internal work force much as European countries did? The depopulation of the African Contenent destoryed any chance for a developing culture to survive. For this I blame the Portuguese. Subjecated peoples still have a chance to develope cultures, decimated ones don't.
The churches involvement in slavery dates back to the 6th century, as Justin stated in his post the church had been using slave labor to work their lands to suport them, this is how christanity was able to do its work, turning pagans into devout followers through gains made by the blood of slaves.
Or do we all suffer the sins of our fathers for if not for toil of slaves would their have been the monies to be invested in such engineering advances as the cotton gin as mentioned in "Black Cargos". If not for the monetary success of individuals using slave labor when would this country have had its industrial revolution.
In conclusion greed, religious expansion, capiitolism can be said as culprits to the advent to West Africas darkest era but to me the loss of 'what could have been' is the greatest crime of all.
Black Cargos - Manix
The Diligent - Harms