Also, this document is important in the study of history because it shows first hand the experience of slavery and how terrible it was. It helps us learn about the hardships that some slaves had to go through when they didn’t deserve it and it helps people learn that slavery was a dehumanizing act and that no one should ever go through that again. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano was written in 1789 about his experiences as a slave. Olaudah Equiano was born in Nigeria on 1945 and was kidnapped at the age 11.
Slavery in America was considered to be one of the most devastating acts in history. African American people were torn from their homelands and sold at auction to the highest bidder. Men, women, and children were forced into slavery or born into it, experiencing harsh conditions such as abuse, neglect, and even death. This experience though did not always happen, some slaves were treated fairly and were never punished by their owner’s. Events such like this were recalled by two former slaves by the names of Aunt Harriet Smith and Charlie Smith.
Europeans and Africans were close neighbors and allies, until the Europeans got lazy and greedy and jumped to the conclusion that if they to their loyal neighbors into slavery then all of their problems would be solved. In the mid- 15th century the Africans and Europeans broke their alliance as the Africans had been betrayed for money and labor. The Europeans got very greedy and sold their neighbors for a large amount of money, or used them for personal labor. During the middle passage the Africans were beaten and starved to death. The journey through the middle passage and the slave trade experience caused physical,emotional, and social pain among the captured Africans who were separated from family, treated with mounds of disrespect, and forced to make life changing delicious that could lead to brutal punishments.
According to the article, “Suicide, Slavery, And Memory in North America,” it deeply explains the torturous lives of the slaves. The article displays the horrific stories of slaves in 1800’s. Basically the slaves committed suicide while traveling in ships/vessels to America. They revolted against the captains & enforcers, and literally drown themselves to death in the sea.
The first author that I chose to analyze is Olaudah Equiano. He wrote narratives about his experiences on the slave ship as well his experiences as a slave. He writes in first person narratives to describe his terrible memories as a slave. In his narrative, he states, “The stench of the hold, while we were on the coast, was so intolerably loathsome, that it was dangerous to remain there for any time.” This sentence is describing the harsh conditions on the boat from Africa to America.
This was the corruption of the white men of that time who were afraid of the truth surfacing and everyone finding out the truth about slavery. Equiano was able to share a little detail about how slaves were treated by saying that “[he] was first transported to Barbados and then Virginia, where he was purchased by a local planter,” (512). This action shows the reader that the slaves were treated as a form of property that was sold for labor. Equiano was never given the chance to gain the same freedom as a white man, he had to work for money. He goes on to say "I was now exceedingly miserable, and thought myself worse off than any of the rest of my companions ...
Slaves were given harsh treatment and this is arguably the biggest injustice in slavery. With whippings and other ways of torture slaves were treated like animals on a leech so it was probably horrible to go through. On the website "The Brutality of Slavery. " Mises Institute it states “2-8-09: Jenny and Eugene were whipped.5-13-09: Mrs.Byrd whips the nurse.6-10-09: Eugene (a child) was whipped for running away and had the bit put on him.11-30-09: Jenny and Eugene were whipped.12-16-09: Eugene was whipped for doing nothing yesterday.4-17-10: Byrd helped to investigate slaves tried for “High Treason”; two were hanged.7-1-10: The Negro woman ran away again with the bit in her mouth.7-15-10: My wife, against my will, caused little Jenny to be burned with a hot iron.8-22-10: I had a severe quarrel with little Jenny and beat her too much for which I was sorry.1-22-11: A slave “pretends to be sick.”
African Americans were treated very cruel as slaves during the 1800’s. The cruelty of the slaves’ punishments depended usually on their location, the conditions, and the time. The Slaves were mostly whipped, executed, and raped. They weren’t allowed to learn to read and write. The whites kept them from having religious gatherings, and made them feel useless without their owners.
In the novel the Lord of the Flies, William Golding captures the real image of human cruelty in their violent behaviors. The most prominent piece of cruelty is when the boys viciously attack Simon mistaking him as the beast; killing him with no mercy. After going to look for the beast on the island Simon returns back to the beach crawling on his hands and knees deliriously into a group of Jack’s clan. When the boys start attacking simon aka their godly figure they start chanting “‘Kill the Beast! Cut His throat!
In the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass uses descriptive detail and pathos to delineate the evil and harsh realities of slavery and to illustrate why it should be abolished. In the very beginning of his story, Douglass precedes to give the readers a very harsh image of what he encounters. Douglass wanted people to know that even at a very young age, slaves witnessed and endured horrible actions. Douglass’s overseer was a very cruel man and when Douglass was just a child he witnessed him traumatically beat a relative. Douglass said, “I have often been awakened at the dawn of the day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered in blood”(15).
Many of the sailors were accurately portrayed by their actions, by throwing slaves into the ocean, flogging, beaten, tortured, and other forms of cruel punishment. “Alexander Falconbridge was a surgeon on slave ships in the 18th century. An abolitionist and governor himself is guilty of all the violent attacks towards slaves. A disgraces to human nature, and profound language were brutal examples sailors often used towards slaves.” ( First Hand; Accounts Study).
Equiano described the horrors of a slave ship based on his firsthand experience. He describes what it was like to be thrown onto a ship, the indescribable smell of being crammed on the deck with so many other slaves, and the floggings he and the other slaves received for not eating. The slaves were so tightly packed together the air was dangerous to breath, and many of the slaves became sick and died from it, while others suffocated to death. Men were pushed to the brink of starvation, tried to steal food, and were severely flogged for it. Others tried to jump overboard and drown rather than accept their life of misery.
The color of their skin? Before reading the book Kindred, the Slave Diary, and watching the movie Roots I would have told you it must have been pretty tough being a slave but now with the knowledge I have and the brutality I witnessed I would tell you that I have no idea how miserable it must have been but that my heart breaks for all of those who suffered and still are suffering from slavery. I cannot tell anyone that I know exactly what it feels like to be treated in such a disgraceful manner but through Kunta Kinte, Anita Ross, Harriet Jacobs and Dana I get a glimpse of the ongoing pain and suffering they endured as well as all the others slaves. Determination and a willingness to fight against all odds are what lead Kunta Kinte, Anita Ross, Harriet Jacobs and Dana to
In 1845, Frederick Douglass reveals his experience as a slave in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. Slaveholders laid a cover of mental darkness over the slaves for centuries. The slaves were taunted physically, socially, and intellectually. Slaves were beaten savagely during this peculiar time.
It was a time where Europeans saw their race as superior, slavery was based on race, and Europeans found the American continent where they started growing crops for profit and power. Europe used slaves through The Triangular Trade to gain power by making the slaves work on plantations, loading the exotic plantation products that slaves worked on in the ships empty holds and shipped to Europe to be sold, and supplying Africans to plantations in the Western Hemisphere until it was made illegal. Europe used slaves to work on plantations. They had to do endless work, without any breaks or weekends, and they worked up to 18 hours a day on plantations.