Slave Trade In The Middle Passage By Olaudah Equiano

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The middle passage was a sea journey by slave ships from West Africa to the West Indies and Americas from 1601-1857 (University). The first successful African author, Olaudah Equiano (Donaldson) portrays the vivid details and personalizes these destructive forces of slave trading during the middle passage. In his narrative, Equiano influenced British abolitionists, as well as European slave masters, and convicted them of their wrongdoing. Slave trading during the middle passage was the most destructive thing to happen within the African culture because of the harsh physical and psychological effects, inhumane treatment, and dehumanization of slaves. Equiano’s enslavement lasted from 1756 – 1766. The number of Africans enslaved and traded varies from source to source, but a good estimate of slaves taken across the Atlantic was around sixty million. Of this number, only 16% survived (Donaldson). Although there were many African’s on the journey, there were many different artifacts from different African cultures. Some of the artifacts came from Nigeria, Sengal, Congo, Liberia, and Angolia (On the Water). This suggests that there were likely people from many African countries (Smithsonian). Equiano’s account of the middle passage started when he was kidnapped and enslaved at the age of eleven years old. Equiano survived the ten years of cruel enslavement and bought his freedom with the help of his last master Robert King. He then went on to write his narrative of the
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