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Middle Passage

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The Geography of Africa
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From Africa To Slavery

Crossing Over

From Africa to the New World

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           Imagine being in the safety of your home in bed sound asleep when all of a sudden a hand goes over your mouth and when your eyes come into focus you realize you are no longer home in bed asleep.You are now in a cold and dark cage with shackles around your wrists and ankles. Imagine not seeing your family ever again and imagine being shipped off on a ship with thousands of other people that look like you but you have never seen before in your life. Imagaine people of another color spitting on you, speaking harshly in another language that you have never heard before. Also imagine these people forcing you to work and do work that you wouldn't ordinarily do.

   This is exactly what some africans went through. Americans traveled over to Africa and stole Africans from their homes. They took them away from their families. They took them away from their life.

 

 

 

About 15 million africans were tranported to America between 1540 and 1850. Out of all these slaves only half of them actually survived. The trip over had a lot to do with this. Africans suffered from diseases such as smallpox and dysentery. Most of the time they commited suicide by throwing themselves overboard or refusing to eat.

Before they were shipped out on the boat and after they were kidnapped they were imprisoned in cages or what some refer to as baraccons for weeks at a time until their captures decided that there was enough to fill the ships. Most of the time ships were build to hold as certain number of people but were exceeded by the slave captains. For example if a ship was built to hold 441 people slave captains would pack 600 on board. So that means that africans had very little room or none at all to move around. Seeing that therer were no bathroom breaks slaves often relieved themselves right were they lay. This is how a lot of diseases came about.

Although it was the slave captains intention on getting as many healthy slaves to shore as possible the diseases and the suicide attempts made this very difficult.

Once on shore slaves were auctioned off immediately. Once on plantation they were put to work immediately. There were sugar plantations and there were cotton plantations along with many others. The work required on sugar plantations were strenous and sometimes refered to as backbreaking. The extreme labour conditions also kept africans form living long lives. Many times Africans didn't make it past ten years.

 

Full view of slave ship
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www.asis.com/sfhs/women/crossing.html

Top view of slave ship
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www.asis.com/sfths/women/crossing.html