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In discussion of the Atlantic slave exchange, the expression “Middle Passage” regularly emerges. The Middle Passage was the course of sea voyages of Africans taken from their Native land to the shores of the Caribbean and America, where they were constantly bound to a presence of institutional subjection. The adventure was a standout amongst the most terrible parts of the ethically regrettable arrangement of bondage. One can’t, specify the Middle Passage without inspiring the dislikes of firmly stuffed men, ladies, and children bonded together, to shield them from revolting, or from choosing the self-destructive destiny of bouncing over the edge.
The picture painted of the Middle Passage depends on a bunch of distributed reports, including abolitionist productions, and also records of the adventure composed by vessel crewmembers and Africans transported as slaves, for example, Olaudah Equiano who was sold into slavery when he was 11 years old, later found his freedom. By the end of the middle passage 9-12 million Africans were taken from their homelands only to become forced laborers in the Americas (Smallwood & Elliot). An estimate of 4 million slaves died before making it to the Americas, The Middle Passage was a triangular exchange course between Africa, the New World, and Europe. This entry started in Europe, where ships were stacked with products and sent to Africa, where they were exchanged for African slaves. The slaves were taken to the New World and exchanged for crude materials which were then sent back to Europe.
The African slaves were either hijacked or purchased they had not chosen the New World to be possessed by colonists. While roughly 15% of the African slaves kicked the bucket on the boats among the voyage to the New World, more passed on in Africa before achieving the boats, a consequence of the way toward catching and taking the slaves to the boats. It is assessed that roughly 2 million Africans kicked the bucket because of the Middle Passage. My name is Ruth and I’m here to tell you about my survival of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
The slave trade started in 1502 until about 1888 (Smallwood & Elliot). Between the years 1502-1620 some of us slaves were transported to the Spanish colonies and completely cut off of our native land. I was captured by a group of white men, that I assumed it to be because I could tell by the way they talked that they were white males. I was taken away from my family and my land not knowing if I would ever see my loved ones again or better yet, not knowing if I would see myself again. Me and a couple more slave of my skin tone were chained together, not being able to run for help, nor scream because nobody was listening out for our cries, nobody cared. It was almost like being in woods out in the country yelling to the top of our lungs, and the only help you would get is your echo. We were put on this ship that we thought would take us to our destiny but instead, we were put on the ship to be beaten, sold, or worse thrown away to sharks, all I could think about at that moment was my life being over. I’m not sure what these men are capable of and I don’t even understand their language to even ask them what’s going on.
As I take a look around the ship I see men, women, and children being held captive and sleeping on top of one another. I close my eyes to block out the pain but I couldn’t run away from the sorrow and hopelessness. Opening my eyes I see babies dying, women getting raped, children starving and some being beaten to death. Several months after being on the ship, crossing the Atlantic Ocean was an experience of extreme temperatures, harsh weather, filthy living conditions and even worse, contagious diseases from open wounds and vomiting, The smell was past unbearable (Battle, n. d. ).
The months have gone by and I’ve seen slaves die but I’m still here on this ship. As I cry out loud to let out all the frustrations that are built up inside, I start to grasp for air. Struggling to take in each breath of air because of the unbearable smell that’s roaming on the ship. I don’t want to be here any longer I should just die and it all be over. Praying for my death is better than being in this hell hole and I would no longer have to deal with the sound of death, and rape, death is my only way out. Months and days have gone by and I have come to the point to where enough is enough. I try starving myself but that didn’t work.
Trying everything possible to kill myself and not once did I succeed to death but one day something changed. On this day I felt the ship come to a stop. Thinking everything is over, no more crying, listening to all the scared noises, and no more smelling the unbearable stench. I was wrong about thinking hell is over but right about not smelling the stench any longer. I started thinking, where am I and what possible events are in store for my life now. I have survived the trade but I am not myself any longer and still I continue to pray.
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