Rough Ride In Olaudah Equiano

761 Words 4 Pages
The Rough Ride Over
(An exposition of the ride to the Americas coming from The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano.) In the late seventeenth century, slave trade was introduced to the Americas to help work the large plantations that scattered the east coast. Slaves were used for many tasks: clearing fields, planting, caring for, and harvesting crops, daily chores around the estate, and even caring for their owners. Should a serf ever step out of line, they were met with a whipping, burning, cutting off of appendages, starvation or death. Stephanie Yuhl states, “…a terrified slave being sold on the auction block, to the crack of the auctioneer 's whip,” describing their physical and mental state at being captives. Despite these
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As many slaves as possible were put onto a ship to increase its profit once they landed on shore. The Encyclopedia of The New American Nation, states, “Hence a large statistical sample of over 310,000 Africans imported into colonial and early national North America…” (Chambers). He also states that this is over a period of about 10 years. That means nearly thirty-one thousand slaves were forced over to America each year. Olaudah remembers through his narrative, “The closeness of the place, and the heat of the climate, added to the number in the ship, which was so crowded that each had scarcely room to turn himself, almost suffocated us.” These conditions would’ve been horrendous to live in, especially for the few months that they had to traverse over the …show more content…
Many slaves were captured, and the men that took them, had no consideration for family ties or personal issues. In the background of Olaudah’s autobiography it says, “During this six- or seven-month journey, Equiano was separated from is sister and held at a series of way stations.” Being an eleven year old boy, and having his entire family ripped away from him at once, took a deep emotional toll on Olaudah, he even said, “Every circumstance I met with, served only to render my state more painful, and heightened my apprehension, and my opinion of the cruelty of the whites.” To white owners, the fear of rebellion was so high, they created slave codes, to give a governing rule over this race of people. “Enslaved Blacks were not allowed to own property, as they were considered property. To have ownership of something, even their own name, would be empowering, and the plantation owners were adamant about suppressing any feelings of self-esteem,” (Bunn). Technically, slaves weren’t anything but property, and this took a deep emotional toll on all of

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