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Slave Market

60 second histories

This video covers:  A description of the slave market in the Americas and how the slaves were prepared for sale to make them look healthier and more attractive to prospective buyers

Sixty days it took to sail across the Atlantic Ocean. I was so relieved when we were finally released off the ship, it was a hot, sticky day but at least the air was fresh. We were herded into slave pens and given extra food and cleaned up. Because I hadn’t been ill on the ship, I was still quite fit so I was ready to be sold straight away. Just before the slave auction they smothered me in oil, which caused my skin to shine, and made me look healthy and attractive for the buyers. Some of the other slaves had sores on their bodies from lying on the wooden decks for so long, so tar was rubbed into the sores to cover them up. One poor slave who had been ill with diarrhoea had rope shoved up his bottom to stop the filth running out. I was sold quickly and branded on my shoulder with a hot iron; the initials of my new master now scarred me for life. The searing pain was unbearable.
British Empire
African slave
Key words: 
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