Summary The African Slave Trade – Term Paper Example
Summary the African slave trade Inhuman and untold sufferings characterized African slave trade, where the enslaved Africans had to undergo various stages prior reaching their final destination. These stages entailed purchase and stowing of the slaves on the African coast, middle passage and final phase, which was to sell the enslaved Africans to their potential buyers on the West Indies. Purchasing normally used to take three months upon the arrival of the ship on the African coast. There was no day that passed without buying of slaves until the ships would have enough (Falconbridge). Mainly, buying of the slaves entailed a meticulous evolution of the slaves’ health to ascertain that they were healthy and devoid of any physical defects. This was to ensure they were valuable once they reach their destination, besides shunning numerous death cases while on the way due to harsh conditions they did experience. Sometimes when the slaves failed to measure up to the standards of the potential buyers, the native traders would get infuriated, beat and even kill them by beheading, though the captains used to condemn these acts (Falconbridge). Afterwards, buyers stowed human cargo via chaining the slaves into pairs prior compelling them to enter into the partitioned compartments under their ships.
Middle passage period mainly comprised of intolerable and harsh conditions, which resulted to the slaves’ health deterioration, to the extent of some dying (Falconbridge). For illustration, the compartments could not allow erect human posture besides having poor ventilation and extremely hot compartments. Besides, slaves used to have their recourse where they were due to the place’s compact condition. This is because moving was a problem besides yielding to more bruises on their bodies. Boiled beans acted as their main food; meant to make them survive and reach their destination while strong. Sometimes the slaves would opt to decline taking food but captains were so inhuman to the extent of scorching their lips with hot coal. Hence, compel them to eat and arrive while still strong (Falconbridge).
Upon arriving on the West Indies coast, buying and selling of slaves was a rushing affair because of high demand. This heightened to the mischief of the captains who then used to direct surgeons to put oakum in the slaves’ anuses, besides ordering them sit down while negotiating with the potential buyers or masters. These actions were to ensure that, the slaves did not exhibit their weaknesses while in the market. Hence, disinterest potential buyers; though, with time, buyers were capable of unveiling these mischievous actions but exceedingly late for refunding.
Falconbridge, Alexander. Alexander Falconbridges Account of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. n.d. Web. 22nd September 2012.