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The Middle Passage - part 2

60 second histories

This video covers:  The journey from Africa across the Atlantic and the apalling conditions suffered by the slaves onboard ship

We lived like that for a week before we set sail, chained to the deck, no room to move. There was a bucket for the toilet, which I could just about reach but some weren’t so lucky and had to lie in their own waste. It was so hot and the air was bad. But the worst was yet to come; when we set sail the swaying of the ship made many of us seasick and the smell just got worse. But whilst at sea we were at least taken up on deck most days, into the fresh air and made to walk around. We were at sea for about twenty days when sickness struck, dysentery. Men lay in their own filth and died chained together. We were forced to carry the dead up on deck and throw them overboard; sharks followed the ship and tore into the bodies as soon as they hit the sea. But they stopped using slaves to move the dead after a group of men jumped over board. It seems they’d rather have died than remain a slave.
Eras: 
British Empire
Topics: 
Trade
Slavery
Character: 
African slave
Key words: 
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