Regarding the treatment of women amongst sub-Saharan Africans Chaillu writes (pg. 333):
Polygamy exists everywhere. A man’s great ambition is to have a great many wives. These cultivate the ground for him, and it is, in fact, their duty to feed him. He does not interfere with their labours on the soil. They are responsible for his daily food. The man buys his wife of her father for a sum agreed on, often when she is but a child. She becomes his wife sometimes at the age of five, and sometimes still younger. Often the young child is placed under care of the future husband’s chief wife, a privileged personage, who superintends her husband’s affairs, shares his secrets, rules his other wives, and to intrigue with whom is a special and greater offence than adultery with the others. A man’s claims on his father-in-law for help in trade, or in a palaver, are rigidly respected, and this gives additional value to a great number of wives. I have found that the wives rarely disagree among themselves. Early marriage and hard treatment makes many of the women childless; and greegrees, which are believed to cure sterility, are in great demand all over the country. Children, whether male or female, are thought a great blessing, not only to the father, but to his village, whose consequence is increased by every birth. They know very little of the right care of children, and a great proportion of the infants die.
Men marry at every opportunity, and at all ages up to seventy or eighty. As long as he can buy wives, this is his great ambition. Obedience is the wife’s first duty, and it is enforced without mercy. Such a whip as is figured below is an important instrument found in every house. It is made of the hide of the hippopotamus or manatee, and is a barbarous weapon, as hard and heavy as iron. This is laid on with no light hand, the worthy husband crying out, “Rascal, do you think I paid my slaves for you for nothing?” The wives are more harshly treated than the slaves – a stroke of the whip often leaves a life-long mark; and I saw very few women in all my travels who had not some such marks on their persons.
Much has been said and written about the misogynist lyrics often found in rap. Some even claim that rap has its origins in Africa and, therefore, that the misogyny might also have its origins in Africa. If black American mistreatment of women is rooted in their African origins, then perhaps it is time for black Americans to strive to grow out of their African culture rather than reaffirming their connections to it. Since we see similar abuse of the fairer sex among Africans almost everywhere they dwell, it is not unreasonable to suspect that more is at work here than mere culture. If so, then it is not possible for blacks to, en masse, divorce themselves from these behaviors. Either way, it is imperative that non-blacks (and enlightened black women) do whatever they must to protect themselves from this kind of behavior.