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What was The horrific slave journey that took place between Africa and The New World was known as: ?
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what is the name of the journey that the slaves took across the atlantic?
what was the name of the journey that the slaves traveled from africa to the west indies?
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The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
It was known as Apartheid. When all races were separated from each other.
*** Multiple Articles ***
? g95 6/8 p. 3 Sold into Slavery
? g95 6/8 pp. 4-6 Millions Become Slaves
? g95 6/8 pp. 7-8 How Could They Do It?
*** g95 6/8 p. 3 Sold into Slavery ***
Sold into Slavery
By Awake! correspondent in Africa
OLAUDAH EQUIANO was born in 1745 in what is now eastern Nigeria. Life in his village was typical of the times. Families worked together to cultivate corn, cotton, yams, and beans. Men herded cattle and goats. Women spun and wove cotton.
Equiano?s father was a distinguished clan elder and judge in the community. It was a position that Equiano was in line to inherit one day. That never happened. Equiano, when a boy, was kidnapped and sold into slavery.
Sold from trader to trader, he did not meet Europeans until he reached the coast. Years later, he described his impressions: ?The first object which saluted my eyes when I arrived on the coast was the sea, and a slave ship which was then riding at anchor and waiting for its cargo. These filled me with astonishment, which was soon converted into terror when I was carried on board. I was immediately handled and tossed up to see if I were sound by some of the crew, and I was now persuaded that I had gotten into a world of bad spirits and that they were going to kill me.?
Looking about him, Equiano saw ?a multitude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow.? Overwhelmed, he fainted. Fellow Africans revived him and tried to comfort him. Equiano says: ?I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men.?
Equiano was shipped to Barbados, then to Virginia, and later to England. Purchased by a ship?s captain, he traveled widely. He learned to read and write, eventually bought his freedom, and played a leading role in the movement to abolish slavery in Britain. In 1789 he published the story of his life, one of the few accounts (and possibly the best) written about the slave trade by an African victim of it.
Millions of other Africans were not so fortunate. Torn from their homes and families, they were shipped across the Atlantic in conditions of great cruelty. They, along with the children they bore, were bought and sold like cattle and forced to toil without pay to increase the wealth of strangers. Most had no rights and could be punished, abused, or even killed at the whim of their owners. For most of those oppressed, the only deliverance from slavery was death.
*** g95 6/8 pp. 4-6 Millions Become Slaves ***
Millions Become Slaves
BY THE time Olaudah Equiano was born, ships from Europe had carried African slaves across the Atlantic Ocean for two and a half centuries. But slavery was much older than that. The enslavement of humans, usually as a result of warfare, had been widely practiced throughout the world from ancient times.
In Africa too, slavery flourished long before ships from Europe arrived. States The New Encyclop?dia Britannica: ?Slaves have been owned in black Africa throughout recorded history. .?.?. Slavery was practiced everywhere even before the rise of Islām, and black slaves exported from Africa were widely traded throughout the Islāmic world.?
What made the transatlantic slave trade different was its scale and duration. According to the best estimates, the number of slaves that crossed the Atlantic Ocean from the 16th to the 19th century was between 10?million and 12?million.
The Triangular Route
Soon after the voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1492, European colonists established mining operations and sugar plantations in the Americas. In addition to enslaving the local people, Europeans began to import slaves from Africa. The shipping of slaves across the Atlantic began as a trickle in the mid-1500?s, but by Equiano?s day, in the mid-1700?s, it had become a flood?about 60,000 captives each year.
Ships from Europe generally followed a triangular route. First they traveled south from Europe to Africa. Next they sailed the middle passage (the middle link in the triangle) to the Americas. Finally they sailed back to Europe.
At each point of the triangle, captains traded. Ships set out from European ports heavily laden with goods?textiles, iron, guns, and alcohol. Upon reaching the western coast of Africa, captains exchanged these wares for slaves supplied by African dealers. The slaves were crammed into the ships, which then set sail for the Americas. In the Americas, the captains sold the slaves and then loaded goods produced by slave labor?sugar, rum, molasses, tobacco, rice, and, from the 1780?s, cotton. The ships then sailed back to Europe, the final leg of the journey.
For the European and African traders, as well as for colonists in the Americas, the trade in what they called live cargo meant business, a means to make money. For those who were enslaved?husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters?the trade meant brutality and horror.
Where did the slaves come from? Some were kidnapped, as was Olaudah Equiano, but most were captured in wars fought between African states. The suppliers were African. Historian Philip Curtin, a specialist on the slave trade, writes: ?Europeans soon learned that Africa was far too dangerous to their own health to make direct slave raiding possible. Enslavement came to be a function performed by Africans alone .?.?. The stream of people fed into the slave trade at its point of origin were mainly captives.?
The Middle Passage
The journey to the Americas was a terrifying experience. Marched to the coast fettered in groups, Africans languished, sometimes for months, in stone forts or in smaller wooden compounds. By the time a slaving ship arrived bound for the Americas, the captives were often already in poor health from the abuse they had suffered. But worse was to come.
After being dragged aboard ship, stripped naked, and examined by the ship?s surgeon or captain, the men were shackled and taken below deck. Shipmasters packed as many slaves as possible into the hold to maximize their profit. Women and children were given greater freedom of movement, though this also exposed them to sexual abuse from the crew.
The atmosphere of the hold was foul, putrid. Equiano describes his impressions: ?The closeness of the place and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us. This produced copious perspirations, so that the air soon became unfit for respiration from a variety of loathsome smells, and brought on a sickness among the slaves, of which many died .?.?. The shrieks of the women and the groans of the dying rendered the whole a scene of horror almost inconceivable.? Captives had to endure such conditions throughout the crossing, which took about two months, sometimes longer.
In the appallingly unhygienic conditions, disease flourished. Epidemics of dysentery and smallpox were frequent. Mortality was high. Records suggest that until the 1750?s, 1 in 5 Africans on board ship died. The dead were thrown overboard.
Arrival in the Americas
When the slave ships neared the Americas, the crew prepared the Africans for sale. They loosed the captives from their chains, fattened them up, and rubbed them with palm oil to make them look healthy and to disguise sores and wounds.
The captains usually sold their captives by auction, but sometimes they organized a ?scramble,? which required buyers to pay a fixed price beforehand. Equiano writes: ?On a signal given, (as the beat of a drum) the buyers rush at once into the yard where the slaves are confined, and make choice of that parcel they like best. The noise and clamour with which this is attended and the eagerness visible in the countenances of the buyers serve not a little to increase the apprehensions of the terrified Africans.?
Equiano adds: ?In this manner, without scruple, are relations and friends separated, most of them never to see each other again.? For families that had somehow managed to stay together through the living nightmare of the previous months, this was a particularly bitter blow.
The Work and the Whip
African slaves worked on plantations to produce coffee, rice, tobacco, cotton, and especially sugar. Others labored at mining operations. Some worked as carpenters, metalworkers, watchmakers, gunsmiths, and sailors. Still others were domestic workers?servants, nurses, dressmakers, and cooks. Slaves cleared land, constructed roads and buildings, and dug canals.
Yet, despite the work that they did, slaves were regarded as property, and by law a master had absolute rights over his property. Slavery, however, did not survive merely by the denial of rights and freedoms. It survived by the lash. The authority of owners and their supervisors depended on their ability to inflict pain. And they inflicted plenty of that.
To discourage rebellion and to keep their slaves in check, owners administered degrading physical punishment for even minor offenses. Equiano writes: ?It was very common [in the West Indies] for the slaves to be branded with the initial letters of their master?s name, and a load of heavy iron hooks hung about their necks. Indeed on the most trifling occasions they were loaded with chains, and often instruments of torture were added. The iron muzzle, thumbscrews, etc. .?.?. were sometimes applied for the slightest faults. I have seen a negro beaten till some of his bones were broken for even letting a pot boil over.?
Sometimes the slaves chose to revolt. Most revolts, though, were unsuccessful and were punished with ruthless ferocity.
The main European nations directly involved in the transatlantic trade were Britain, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.
[Picture on page 5]
The dead were thrown overboard
[Picture on page 5]
As many slaves as possible were packed into the hold
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / The New York Public Library / Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
*** g95 6/8 pp. 7-8 How Could They Do It? ***
How Could They Do It?
HOW did people justify the slave trade? Historians point out that until the 18th century, few questioned the morality of slavery. The book The Rise and Fall of Black Slavery observes: ?At the time when Columbus stumbled on the West Indies, neither the church nor the writings it accepted had given future settlers an indication that their use of forced labour could be considered immoral, though isolated churchmen had hinted at misgivings. .?.?. There was no suggestion that the institution of slavery, entwined as it was with the whole of European society, should be challenged.?
After the transatlantic trade was in full swing, many clergymen used religious arguments to support slavery. The book American Slavery states: ?Protestant ministers [in America] played a leading role in the defense of slavery .?.?. Probably the most widespread and effective religious argument was the simple suggestion that slavery was part of God?s plan to expose a hitherto heathen people to the blessings of Christianity.?
But the often cruel and vicious treatment meted out to slaves required more justification than the pretense of offering ?the blessings of Christianity.? So colonial masters as well as writers and philosophers in Europe told themselves that blacks were not the same as whites. Edward Long, a planter who was to write History of Jamaica, observed: ?When we reflect on the nature of these men, and their dissimilarity to the rest of mankind, must we not conclude that they are of a different species?? The consequences of such thinking were expressed by a governor of Martinique: ?I have reached the stage of believing firmly that one must treat the Negroes as one treats beasts.?
Eventually economic self-interest and humanitarian concerns worked to end the transatlantic slave trade. From the beginning African people resisted their enslavement, and by the late 18th century, rebellions were common. Fearful owners found their situation increasingly precarious. They also came to question whether, instead of supporting slaves, it might be cheaper to buy labor when it was needed.
At the same time, moral, religious, and humanitarian arguments against slavery found growing support in Europe and the Americas. Abolition movements became strong. Despite the legal abolition of the slave trade in many countries from the year 1807 onward, the effects of slavery remained.
A television series, The Africans: A Triple Heritage, poignantly gave voice to the sons and daughters of Africa: ?Long before slave days, we lived in .?.?. Africa. And then strangers came and took some of us away. Today, we are scattered so widely that the sun never sets on the descendants of Africa.? The presence of millions of people of African descent in North and South America, the Caribbean, and Europe is an obvious result of the slave trade.
People still debate the question of who bears the blame for the transatlantic slave trade. Basil Davidson, a specialist in African history, writes in his book The African Slave Trade: ?Africa and Europe were jointly involved.?
?Let Your Kingdom Come?
There is something to be learned?something that concerns human rulership. The wise man wrote: ?I considered all the oppressive deeds which were done under the sun,?and lo! the tears of the oppressed, and they have no comforter, and on the side of their oppressors is power.??Ecclesiastes 4:1, Rotherham.
Sadly, those words, written long before the African slave trade began, continue to ring true today. The oppressed and the oppressors are still with us, and in some lands so are the slaves and their masters. Christians know that soon, by means of God?s Kingdom government, Jehovah ?will deliver the poor one crying for help, also the afflicted one and whoever has no helper.? (Psalm 72:12) For that reason and others, they continue to pray to God: ?Let your kingdom come.??Matthew 6:10.
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