Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Slavery- Notes

Africans were captured on the interior and forced to walk up to 1,000 miles, shackled around the neck, under "whip and gun". Two out of five died along the way.

Once on the coast, they were shoved into pens often along with Africans from other tribes. They were kept in cases until they were sold.

Once sold, they were packed into slave ships in spaces not much larger than coffins. They were chained together in the dark. They were forced to lie in their own excrement. Under these conditions, one in three died along the way.

Africans sold on the auction block once they reached their destination.

Life in Slavery
Many did resist but it was dangerous...threat of physical punishment or death

More common- subtle forms of resistance such as work slow-downs, sabotage

Methods used to "dehumanize" slaves were many. They included psychological and physical means.

-would not allow marriage
-separation of family members
-forbid religion/language/customs
-forbid slaves from learning to read and write
-division of slaves into field hands and house servants
(Field hands would work up to 15 hours a day)
(Life-span for a field hand would range from 28-36 years old)
-physical punishment (whip, burn, mutilate, kill)
-poor living conditions/poor sanitation/disease

Slave Memories:
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/memories/index_flash.html


More stories:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/slideshows/escape_slides.htm

It is estimated that Africa lost 50 million Africans to death and slavery by 1800.
* Slavery did exist in Africa but it was different from slavery in "The New World". Slaves in Africa more like serfs in Europe...they had some rights such as the right to marry, own property, earn freedom



What have we inherited from slavery?
-the idea that it is appropriate, even "natural" for whites to be on the top and blacks on the bottom

Activity:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/plantation.htm


Interactive Letter:
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/write_letter.htm


Interactive Activity:
http://pathways.thinkport.org/following/

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