The Injustice Upon African Americans Slaves

1200 words - 5 pages

Slavery was a practice throughout the American colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, and through slavery, African-American slaves helped build the economic foundation of which America stands upon today, but this development only occurred with the sacrifice of the blood, sweat, and tears from the slaves that had been pushed into exhaustion by the slave masters. A narrative noting a lifetime of this history was the book The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African written by Olaudah Equiano. Equiano was a prominent African involved in the British movement for the abolition of the slave trade. He was captured and enslaved as a child in his home town of Essaka in what is now known as south eastern Nigeria, later he was shipped to the West Indies, he then moved to England, and eventually purchased his freedom (Equiano). Olaudah Equiano, with many other millions of slaves, faced many hardships and was treated with inconceivable injustices by white slave masters and because of the severity of these cruel and barbarous occurrences, history will never forget these events.

Equiano’s first major event marked in his life was when he and his sister were kidnapped from their country with the kidnapper’s intent of selling them as slaves. This was not an uncommon event for the children knew to be on the lookout for a “kidnapper, that might come upon us; for they sometimes took those opportunities of our parents' absence to attack and carry off as many as they could seize” (Equiano 128). Equiano and the populace of his country all lived with the fear of a child being taken from their home to never find their friends and family ever again. The kidnappings that occurred in Africa were wrong and nothing can justify the stealing of a child from their family. This was not something the thieves themselves had to experience and if they had, they would not have put anyone through similar trials. Equiano’s next event in his life was a rite of passage for the transitions of free Africans to the slaves of the English and Europeans, the middle passage.

The middle passage was the stage of the triangular trade in which millions of people from Africa were shipped to the New World as part of the Atlantic slave trade. (Klein 18) Equiano was transported through this middle passage, and he notes this in his slave narrative. He describes the horror of the thousands of slaves being chained together with their looks of despair and sorrow. The slaves upon these ships were considered money making cargo and not considered anything more than that. They were abused in such a fashion that many cannot fathom treating a person today. Equiano, after noticing the experiencing this described in his narrative that “I no longer doubted of my fate; and, quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted” (Equiano 149). The ship that the slaves were stuffed into and transported was a form of cruelty that no...

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