The Middle Passage is in reference to the excessive involuntary movement across the Atlantic Ocean from Africa to the Americas that brought African people into slavery via trade ship, better known as the Atlantic Slave Trade. This was done by way of a three legged triangular trade path that the ships used to take things like knives, guns, ammunition, cloth that was made from cotton, different tools, and brass from Europe to Africa. These same ships delivered African people that were used for laboring the Americas and the West Indies as slaves along with raw material items that were produced on the plantations such as sugar, cotton, rice, tobacco, and rum back to Europe. “From Africa they took the slaves to the West Indies to exchange for sugar or molasses, also known as sugar syrup which they then took home to distill into rum” (Clark Hine, Hine, Harrold, P.28). On these ships, the slaves were tightly packed in and transported across the Atlantic Ocean, mostly to the sugar plantations. This was usually about a two to three month journey. “The larger ships usually reached the Caribbean in 40 days, but some voyages took six months” (Clark Hine, Hine, Harrold Pg.30). Throughout this time, the people who were enslaved were laid down on the floor of the ship and chained in rows for the entire length of the voyage. Using chain links, they kept the men slaves chained to each other by the pair in order to avoid possible rebellion and boarded away from women and children. (Clark
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The conditions on the Middle Passage were horrible. The space allotted to each slave was often too small to move the shoulders and the neck and legs were chained down. Many slaves died on the voyage and never made it out of the hull of the slave ships.
The Middle Passage (or Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) was a voyage that took slaves from Africa to the Americas via tightly packed ships. The trade started around the early 1500s, and by 1654 about 8,000-10,000 slaves were being imported from Africa to the Americas every year. This number continued to grow, and by 1750 that figure had climbed to about 60,000-70,000 slaves a year. Because of the lack of necessary documents, it is hard to tell the exact number of Africans taken from their homeland. But based on available clues and data, an estimated 9-15 million were taken on the Middle Passage, and of that about 3-5 million died. While the whole idea seems sick and wrong, many intelligent people and ideas went in to making the slave trade
One of the most interesting arguments that modern apologists makes for the practice of race-based slavery in the Americas is the fact that slavery existed in Africa during that time period and that Africans were complicit in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. What is fascinating about Olaudah Equiano's discussion of the Middle Passage is that, as a man who had been enslaved in Africa prior to being shipped as a slave to the Americas, he was in a unique position to describe slavery in Africa with his introduction to European-influenced slavery in North America. His perception was that the immense brutality of the Middle Passage foreshadowed the dehumanization of slaves in the Americas, which was more inhumane than the treatment he had received as a slave while in Africa. Furthermore, he did not suggest that this brutality was linked to the race of the traders, though that seemed to have been his initial impression, but to the nature of the Trans-Atlantic trade. Therefore, Equiano's writings suggest that shipping Africans across the ocean for slavery was part of the dehumanizing process that helped fuel the practice of slavery in America.
African Americans were plantation workers and were taken as slaves. As they were taken they had to go through the Middle Passage and sold at an auction. The Middle Passage is when slaves were being forced to go from Africa to the west Indies, and then being sold. The trip there was very harsh and unsanitary.
The Middle Passage brought Europe sugar, ivory, and gold from the Gold Coast in a relationship called the South Atlantic System; unfortunately, having more sugar necessitated the import of slaves to Europe, where conditions were brutal.
The Middle Passage was a triangular route that was frequently used by many European nations who engaged in the Atlantic slave trade of millions of Africans. One such African slave was a man by the name of Olaudah Equiano, who 's autobiography spoke of the mortality rate on slave ships, what he and his fellow slaves thought of their European captors, and what their captors thought of them.
The first experience displayed was being shackled. It was described that “the men negroes, are immediately fastened together, two by two, by hand-cuffs on their wrist, and by irons riveted on their legs. They are then sent down between the decks, and placed in an apartment partitioned off for that purpose.” (Document C) They were forced and confined under
The “Triangular Trade” was the trade between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. They traded crops, goods, and slaves. The transportation of slaves from Africa to the New World is what has been labeled as the “Middle Passage.” Many accounts have been documented about this transportation, in the eyes of historians, crew members of the actual ships, and even slaves who went through this voyage themselves. All of them have a different way of describing how the Middle Passage was truly experienced. However, when looking at them in a general sense, a very clear conclusion can be made: slaves were kept in a horrific environment, which often affected the crew on board, but the only reason the slaves were kept alive was because the white crews saw them as monetary beings rather than human beings.
This is what slavery was all about throughout history not mattering where we were to be found. Although there really is a difference. Enslaved on a slave-ship is much more extreme. The horrible sleeping conditions, the claustrophobic space, beatings of the slaves for no reason, mal-nutrition. These are the devastating conditions that slaves on a slave ship endured each day of the passage.
Berlin stated, “More than any other single migration the Middle Passage has come to epitomize the experience of people of African descent throughout the Atlantic world.” Before Africans were stolen from their country, White people were trading gold and spices until they saw the value in Black people. “The transatlantic slave trade had its beginning in the middle of the fifteenth century when Portuguese ships sailed down the West African coast. The intention was to trade for gold and spices, but the voyagers found another even more valuable commodity—human beings.” The voyagers realized that Black people could help maintain the White peoples’ plantation and the voyagers made money selling the Black people to plantation owners in North America. Berlin said, “Over time, the trade in men and women supplanted other commerce, and the slaves’ destination changed from Europe to the Americas, where plantations growing commodities for the international market initiated the massive transfer of African peoples.”
The trade of Africans was part of Triangular trade, from Europe to Africa, Africa to the Americas, and the Americas back to Europe. The journey from Africa across the Atlantic was known as the Middle Passage. For many months, enslaved Africans were treated terribly on the voyage. Slaves were packed on top of each other into the bottom of the ship. African men wore iron chains around their wrists and legs and had little room to move. The chains and cuffs prevented revolts and escapes. Revolting slaves would be shot or drowned. Women and children were sometimes
Fire. The next leg of the journey, also known as the "Central Passage", carried the ships that were now filled with the slaughter of African slaves west of the New World. There, slaves would be traded for US goods such as sugar, tobacco and cotton, which would then be returned to Eastern Europe. The slaves participate in a "branch" of this triangle, the Middle Passage, though it was by far the worst. More than 20 million African slaves have been stolen from their homes over the next 100 years and fewer than 10 million have arrived in the New World.
Middle Passage was made to talk about the subjects people do not like to talk about or do not hear enough of. The middle passage was the travel from Africa to the United States was like for enslaved persons. This poem describes voyages of slave traders bringing Africans across the Atlantic Ocean. It is impossible not to think Hayden’s ambition of telling this story as an epic thrill for him. But telling the story of slave rebellions, and the story of America’s complicity in the business of slavery, the horror of the passage. Hayden takes samples of other people work and plops it perfectly into this story of slavery and the Middle Passage. Hayden mingles the voices of multiple speakers uses various personae to depict in the Symbolist