African Slaves During The Middle Passage

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While many slaves succumbed to the violence and terror during the Middle Passage, not all individuals survived these conditions. Out of desperation, many Africans preferred to die, as they lost their will to live. Personal narratives after narrative fully describe the putrid holds and atrocious conditions below the ship. It is apparent the captain of the ship was wholly responsible for the transportation and profit of the “cargo.” The over-packing of African slaves increased, as the demand for labor in the Americas increased. The enslaved Africans were at the mercy of the ship’s captain and the crew. Unfortunately, those would seek immediate economic wealth are often shortsighted and do not consider the long-term effects. Driven by greed, European traders did not improve horrifying conditions, in which the African slaves endured. In addition, the physical structure of the ship played a fundamental role in the deterioration of the physical health of the African slaves. If European traders transported fewer slaves, maybe more slaves could have survived the long journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Thus, ensuring the sale and delivery of a healthy slave. Due to cramped living conditions, poor hygiene, and a shortage of food, sickness and disease circulated below the decks of the slave ships. One of the most significant physical health problems was malnutrition. The quantity and quality of food were both inadequate, as the ship crews did not want to squander the resources to
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