Would you like it you were beaten, raped, and treated like property? Most likely not but this is only a little of what the slaves had to endure. Slaves were transported to America from the West coast of Africa after being captured and sold to slavers, or men in the business of buying and selling slaves. The slaves were transported to American by the "middle passage." The middle passage was an especially cruel trip during which the slaves were crowded into ships and chained to the hold of the ship for months at a time. Many slaves died during the journey due to the unsanitary conditions aboard the ship, diseases such as scurvy, starvation or malnutrition, suffocation, and general homesickness. Captains were afraid that slaves would up rise against the crew, so they often separated slaves from the same tribes and punished them for talking or singing on the ship.
On reaching America, the majority of slaves were sold on board ship at plantation wharfs of prospective buyers. Most slaves arrived in the colonies during the summer months. Many slaves had been farmers in Africa, they brought their knowledge of rice production to the South, as well as some native vegetables such as okra and the art of weaving baskets. These farmers became field slaves with the primary task of raising a profitable crop of tobacco. During planting and harvesting times, artisans and house slaves worked in the fields, too. Most women were field hands, although some performed weaving, sewing, and child care. Slaves also didn’t get the best diet it consisted of corn and fatty meat. Slave women and men were usually mistreated but women more so than men, Slave masters would even let their young son practice sexual intercourse with the slave women. This and other forms of mistreatment led to rebellions. One of the more popular rebellions was that of Nat Turner. “On that evening, Turner and six other men met in the woods. At 2:00 a.m., they went to the home of Turner’s master. They killed his...
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