Transatlantic Slave Racism And Slavery

1479 Words 6 Pages
Beginning in the 15th century, the slave trade was a dehumanizing and absolutely immoral system that was founded on racism and greed. Human beings were traded, shipped, and sold like inanimate objects with the sole intention of gleaning the highest profits for traders. Because of their race, the Africans that were traded were looked at as less than human, and the slave trade helped fuel the fire of racism so that these attitudes continued for years after the trade was first started. The transatlantic slave trade was the introduction of institutionalized racism towards African Americans in the western hemisphere, and through every stage of the process, Africans were mentally and physically abused. The slave trade first began in 1442 when the captains of a Portuguese ship captured twelve Africans off the coast of Africa. The prisoners were brought back to Lisbon to become the slaves of Prince Henry the Navigator (Meltzer). After this first incident, the slave …show more content…
If the weather was clear, slaves were brought on deck. Men were kept in chains, but women and children were allowed to roam. Sailors would often have the slaves dance to give them exercise and to try a lessen the slaves’ state of depression. Slaves were forced to sing and jump in their irons until their ankles bled (Mannix). To control the slaves, sailors often used iron muzzles and whippings (“The African Slave Trade”). Sailors had to clean out the room where the slaves were held, and they often did a poor job. Some only cleaned the chamber once a week, while others never cleaned it once during the entire voyage (Mannix). Slaves had to be monitored at all times to keep them from committing suicide, because they believed that when they died, they would return to their home country. Unsurprisingly, many slaves went insane, and some had to be chained to the deck or thrown overboard

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