Marcus Rediker The Slave Ship

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The Slave Ship, by Marcus Rediker was wrote in 2007 about the cruel and brutal actions the slaves endured on their journey across the Atlantic Ocean. He states, “this has been a painful book to write, if I have done any justice to the subject, it will be a painful book to read.” Marcus Rediker accomplished exactly that. This book was not only compelling but emotional, heartbreaking, and makes a reader think, how could someone be so cruel to another living being. Within the first couple pages, the book brought me to tears. He mainly focused on the 1700’s when Britain controlled most of the slave trade throughout the world. During the book, Rediker informs the reader about the tortured slaves as they were shipped from West Africa to the new world. Marcus Rediker, a professor at the University of Pittsburg, taught history and starting researching the slave trade by…show more content…
Many slaves being shipped to America had been betrayed by their own race, kidnapped and sold into slavery. The conditions on the ship were horrendous and each man was chained to an area and given about six feet long by fifteen inches wide. The boats were extremely packed with close corners and no bathroom, and women or children got even less space than the men. Many a times, the crew tried to justify the chaining by stating the it was a form of protection to avoid an uprising. In one of the examples Rediker gave, the slave ship, with Captain Tomba, who was known for brutal beatings including whipping, handing out cruel punishments to scare the other slaves into not acting out. He selected three less valuable slaves, killed one, and forced the others to eat his heart. Many of the ships were followed by, what Marcus called them, “greedy robbers.” Human waste and bodies were thrown off often enough to constantly have sharks following the ship, greedily waiting for the next over
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