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 process of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a maniac and unsafe affair. Nevertheless, as the demand for slaves grew for the Europeans, African chiefs would organize raids to take people from other societies and frequently launch wars to capture victims for slave trade. People taken right out of their homes, fields, and villages; people’s lives changed instantly. In the book The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Olaudah shows just how frightening, awful, and changing this experience really is for the good and the bad. The book begins with Equiano explaining the history of the place that he was born which is Eboe, a kingdom of Benin, located in Guinea.
Narrative of Olaudah Equiano As a Slave The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, The African Written by Himself is an autobiography featured in, The Norton Anthology of African American Literature Third Edition Volume I edited by Henry Louis Gates,Jr. And Valerie A. Smith. Slavery is defined as a conditioned compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom. Equiano was captured and sold into slavery at the age of eleven years old. Usually, in history when you read about slavery you think about the harsh conditions that African Americans endured.
Rediker shows us that the trauma millions faced on the voyage from Africa to the Americas was in service of something of indescribable magnitude. The slave ship built the Western world. In his novel The Slave Ship, Marcus Rediker asserts that the slave ship not only imported African slaves but also carried with it class systems, race, and capitalism; these monumental institutions were birthed on the ship and made possible by unimaginable violence. Class systems on the slave ship were the byproduct of differences in power and condition. Unlike in our current class system, those in the middle saw little to no benefits of being superior to those under them.
I chose this book because during this time slavery was still around but the practice of bringing slaves from Africa to America didn’t exist anymore, so the only way to get slaves was from children of current slaves. Or in this case kidnapping free African Americans. In the book, “12 Years a Slave” takes place in the pre-Civil War United States era in upstate New York, where a man named Solomon Northup was born free and his family resided. The story takes place in the early 1840’s where Northup had a normal life, was married, and worked as both a laborer and a violinist. His love for instruments seemed to land him in slavery, since he was offered work in the circus playing fiddle
The first reading from this semester that shows that the blacks had their identities stolen from them through the slave trade was the Saltwater Slavery book written by Stephanie Smallwood. In the book Smallwood demonstrates the African slaves perspective through the Atlantic slave trade where she wrote about the slaves and their lives in the New World. In this part of the book Smallwood demonstrated how these Africans had no identity in the Americas, the slaves lost everything from their past and had no way of getting back to it. With their ancestors long gone and unreachable these African slaves also where unable to raise children of their own in the new world. Smallwood also shows to the readers that these African slaves where robbed of their identity not only from their old homes back in Africa but
Frederick Douglass wrote his narrative as a freeman, therefore, he is able to reflect on his life as a slave and decode the cryptic artifice of his former slave owners. Douglass lived a harsh life in the south before he made his valiant escape to the north, in order to evade further physical and mental torture. Therefore, Douglass is able to understand what it is like to be an invisible entity with a lack of identity, on physical earth. Metaphors are like string that Douglass uses to weave together a cohesive argument to support the eradication of slavery. As Douglass reminisces on his life he states that he “was made to drink the bitterest dregs of slavery...” (Douglass) Slavery, in this instance, is taken out of its literal context and liquefied in order to emphasize that it was hard for Douglass to swallow and digest the painful sorrow that it caused thousands of African Americans.
The Enslaved blacks used non-violent schemes as an oppression of vengeance towards their slave masters for the torturing and abuse they dwelled upon the Enslaved blacks over the two hundred year slavery period. Non-violent modes of rebellion showed that the Enslaved blacks finally believed in acts of bravery. This act of bravery would have allowed other slaves to stand up for their right to freedom, even if the Enslaved blacks were striving towards a crisis one’s body can never imagine
Slavery was practiced throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and African-American slaves helped build the economic foundations of the new nation. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 brought the importance of slavery to the South’s economy. By the 19th century, the abolition movement in the North would provoke a great debate over slavery that would tear the nation apart; and later lead to the Civil War. In the early 17th century, European settlers in North America turned to African slaves as a cheaper, as a cheaper source of labor. Many historians believe that slavery started in North American colonies in 1619.
While I was at the Underground Railroad Museum and Freedom Center I experienced a lot of different things. First off, I experienced sadness, seeing what these people had to go through I put myself in their shoes. I tried to fathom how it would feel to experience slavery, but I obviously couldn’t even begin to grasp it. These were people who were striped of everything. They were taken from their homelands and forced on these slave ships.