Segal here provides the fascinating and horrifying story of the Islamic slave trade, a centuries-old institution that still survives. Islam's Black Slaves also traces the business of slavery—and its repercussions—from Islam's inception in the seventh century onward. Slavery's history in China, India, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, and Spain is thus also considered—as well as its ongoing presence in Sudan and Mauritania.
The book reveals for the first time the numbers involved in this trade and explores the differences between traffic in the East and the West. Segal also examines the continued denial of even the existence of this sector of the black diaspora, although it can be found today in significant numbers. In an illuminating conclusion, he addresses the appeal of Islam to African-American communities, as well as the perplexing refusal of Black Muslim leaders to acknowledge black slavery and oppression in present-day Mauritania and Sudan.