The Period of Time and Travel
The middle passage was the journey between Africa and America, mostly on slave ships. It is more than a journey it was a period of time, which the slaves went through physical, mental, and emotional torture. During slavery, the African Americans were not considered to be human, they were treated like farm animals. The author of Middle Passage, Charles Johnson, wrote this book to show the imagery of what the slaves went through, the rumors that were around during slavery and transformation.
The slaves who were put on the ships going to America had no idea what was going to happen to them. Some of the Africans never made it; they died from disease, illness, starvation, death, dirty living conditions, and suicide. Charles Johnson shows imagery, but more than any other author has ever written. The slaves were kept in units that were made of many rows of wooden shelves. They were kept very tightly packed, laying on their left side in a spooning fashion so as not to put stress or pressure on their hearts. The Africans were chained down as well. Johnson described them trying to commit suicide because they had no idea what the Americans had in store for them. The slaves would jump overboard because they thought their life was horrible. They were starved, lived in filthy living conditions and they knew they might never see freedom again.
If you have never been hungry, you cannot know
the either/or agony created by a single sorghum
biscuit-either your brother gets it or you do.
And if you do eat it, you know in your bones you have
stolen the food straight from his mouth, there being
so little for either of you (Johnson 47).
This comes to show how the slaves felt day after day. Never feeling satisfied could drive a person insane. Today, humans say "I am starving" but really they have no idea how it feels. Johnson shows the moral dilemma these Africans went through.
Just like present day, some things never...
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