Over 100,000,000 murdered in the crossing
Also known as Maafa ("the massive disaster") Kiswahili term for "Disaster" or "Terrible Occurrence". I will not qualify the word Holocaust by adding BLACK to it as if to differentiate the phrase from the Holocaust of the European Jew, or that of the American and Eastern Indian, Asian or anyone else who was brutalized, terrorized, and murdered by those who believed a lie. All incidents were and are horrific and all should go down in the annals of history as a anathema, never to be forgotten lest they be repeated!
"The middle leg or passage in the journey from Africa to one's final destination in the New World took 50 days or more. Our people were forced to live like animals, caged in spaces so tight that they could barely move. Africans suffered unimaginable horrors amidst rats, vomit, excrement, disease, sickness and death, as the middle passage brought millions of Africans to the West Indies, North America, South America, and the countries of Europe. Above is a diagram of a middle passage slave ship, showing the appalling conditions of transportation. [Identity and Difference 323]."
This was a disaster to our people, mind, body and spirit. Never in our lives had treatment such as this.
Slave captains shared two schools of thought.
- Tight packers herded as many Africans as possible, arguing that the net receipts from sales of slaves would offset the number who died on board.
- Loose packers preferred to give their captives "breathing room," thinking that more people would survive the journey under less crowded conditions.
Slavers used the 16-inch formula when packing their vessels, allowing only 2' of head room:
A man had 6' length & 16 inches width; and a woman had 5'10" length & 16" width, hence the name 16-inch formula.
I. History of Slavery and Diaspora – Reference Slavery and the Triangle trade (from Europe to Africa to the Americas)
B. The Triangle Trade:
1. Route: from England, with merchandise such as weapons, ammunition, metal, liquor, trinkets, and cloth, to the west Coast of Africa. From Africa, with human cargo to either West Indies or English colonies and loaded with agricultural products such as sugar and Rum sent back to England.
2. "Middle Passage" -was the middle leg or passage in the journey from Africa to one's final destination in a New World.
3. This trade is a source of wealth to tribal chiefs, to the shipping business, to plantation owners in the South of U.S., and to merchants and shipbuilders in the North.
4. An estimated 8 to 15 million Africans reached the Americas from the 16th through the 19th century, with a peak of about 6 million arriving in the 18th century alone. Replaced by Indentured Labor in the 19th century.
Our precious ancestor's
Diaspora: A scattering of peoples. The word "Diaspora" may also be derived from the Greek verb speiro (to sow) and the preposition dia (over). When applied to humans, the ancient Greeks thought of diaspora as migration and colonization. By contrast, for Jews, Africans, Palestinians and Armenians the expression acquired a more sinister and brutal meaning. Diaspora signified a collective trauma, a banishment, where one dreamed of home but lived in exile.
Other peoples abroad who have also maintained strong identities have, in recent years, defined themselves as diasporas, though they were neither active agents of colonization nor passive victims of its persecution.
All diasporic communities settled outside their natal (or imagined natal) territories, acknowledge that "the old country"--a notion often buried deep in language, religion, custom or folklore--always has some claim on their loyalty and emotion. (Robert Cohen ix).
According to Mr. Cohen there are five kinds of Diasporas:
1. Victim (e.g. Hebrews/Jews, Africans, Armenians).
2. Labor (Indian, Chinese).
3. Trade (Chinese and Lebanese).
4. Imperial (The British).
5. Cultural Diaspora (The Caribbean).
The Kingdom shall reign for ever and ever!
"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
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Contrary to popular belief we were not happy in our enslavement. Here is a picture of one of the many revolts of enslaved Africans.
Reference: Cohen, Robin. Global Diaspora: An Introduction.