The Narrative Of The Life Of Olaudah Equiano

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Humans possessing ownership of other human beings? Sounds like a line your parents would throw at you in the midst of a heated argument, doesn’t it? One line of defense every parent uses is the “You’re my kid, therefore I own you and can tell you what to do.” And us kids think that statement is pretty unfair, considering that we are our own person and should be able to whatever we so please. It’s a long shot, but that’s one way we can somewhat relate to slaves in the past; even though, the situations we endure today can’t compare to the ones that were endured during the long years of slavery in Americas past. People of today are exceptionally lucky that one of the only forms of slavery we experience comes from our parents, because the trials …show more content…
During this time, slave traders would kidnap blacks from their homes in Africa to use them for the slave trade. “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” remarks, “Slave traders kidnapped him and his sister from their home in West Africa and transported them to the African coast. During this six or seven month journey, Equiano was separated from his sister and held at a series of way stations.” Occurrences like this were far from unique. Rebecca Newland, a Library of Congress Teacher in Residence, regards the story of Solomon Northup in the new movie 12 Years a Slave, “His account is a powerful one: A free African American, Northup was kidnapped in 1841 and taken from New York to Washington, D.C., then to New Orleans, where he was sold into twelve years of slavery.” Kidnappings such as these were very common occurrences during this time. Many families were kidnapped and separated to be sent to North America to unwillingly live a life as a slave. Even though this was a very traumatic experience for slaves, this was just the beginning to a horrific …show more content…
Stanley Kutler in his article, “Middle Passage” states, “The Middle Passage may have served to enrich many Europeans and Americans, but the enslaved Africans suffered extraordinary atrocities and inhuman conditions during these voyages. Estimates for the total number of Africans imported to the New World by the slave trade range from 25 million to 50 million; of these, perhaps as many as half died at sea during the Middle Passage experience.” So many of these people died during the journey because of the horrible living conditions they had to endure. Throughout the long journey, slaves were held under deck, where it was extremely crowded. Of course since the area was small but held a lot of passengers, the heat in their living quarters was terrible. In his story, “The Interesting Narrative of The Life of Olaudah Equiano” Olaudah Equiano explains, “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.” Obviously, the living conditions on the ships through the Middle Passage were extremely unsanitary. Whether or not it was purposeful, this process quickly eliminated the weak, whom wouldn’t have been able to make it very far after they were sold. Another source titled “Horror Ships” published by Sunday News reports, “Firsthand accounts

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