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The Loss Of Self During The Atlantic Slave Trade

728 words - 3 pages

During the Atlantic slave trade many different things were taking place; monarchies where becoming insanely wealthy, free labor was becoming a necessity and free African people were dehumanized and were forced to be slaves. From the capture of the African people and past their sale to their first owners in America they were constantly degraded and treated like cattle. On African soil; on transportation vassals; and on American soil; free people were brutalized and many became salves. Slave traders and “owners” used many different tactics to make their captives become salves. The process of becoming a slave is directly linked to the loss or weakening of oneself in a multifaceted way; these ...view middle of the document...

Weather the captive could understand the language or not they knew the value of their lives was being determined. That is an action that transforms a persons idea of self-worth and that would permanently devastate anyone no matter how mentally strong they try to be.
No matter how devastating the first to legs of the this journey seem to have been for these prisoners experiences only get worse from here. After being sold a series of different things happened. Males and females had their heads shaved, their chests branded and they were forced to wear their nakedness. The Europeans loading slave ships stripped the captives of the garments in which these men and women found pride; cloth that may have looked like that they may have been sold for. Brantz Mayer, in Captain Canot, says, “… as they touch the deck, they are stripped, so that women as well as men go out of Africa as they came in to it – naked”. He writes these major exploitive gestures off as “securing cleanliness and health”. Even if he genuinely saw these actions as...

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