In the three packets we read Zinn, Mannix and Cowely, Takkaki they all refer to the Middle Passage and the brutality of enslavement. Specifically my interests were how the slaves white and black were treated. The women were treated with no respect at all. They were beaten and raped for no legitimate reason by their masters. “Beatings and whippings were common. Servant women were raped. One observer testified: I have seen an Overseer beat a Servant with a cane about the head till the blood has followed, for a fault that is not worth the speaking of.... The Maryland court records showed many servant suicides. In 1671, Governor Berkeley of Virginia reported that in previous years four of five servants died of disease after their arrival. Many were poor children, gathered up by the hundreds on the streets of English cities and sent to Virginia to work”(44 Zinn). In class as we watched the movie clip from Amistad it brought such a reality to my mind of how cruel and despicable the people were. It makes me cringe when I see the people beating, raping, and taking away these people’s freedom. During the Middle Passage men were ripped from their families and women were prey for the sailors and no slaves wanted to be alive on these ships. “The many acts of violence they have committed by murdering whole crews and destroying ships when they had it in their power to do so have made these rigors wholly chargeable on their own bloody and malicious disposition which calls for the same confinement as if they were wolves or wild boars. For wolves or wild boars a modern reader might substitue men who would rather die than be enslaved” (Cowely 89). The slaves were treated so horribly they got on the ship shackled by their ankles and wrists, they had to sleep on the wood unplanned floors, elbows were skinned to the bare bones, and occasionally they were fed. The repulsive men who put these poor African American men and women in such pain deserve to be put in the same situation. In class while we were simulating the Middle Passage being in close quarters and head to head next to each other was an interesting experience. This experiment could have been very affective if everyone had been more open-minded and if we really had taken it seriously. TO feel the immense amount of pain and the disgust these people went through is so unbearable. The fact that we were lying closely together bugged me but, I don’t think I could stand it being naked my flesh stuck to two other people packed in like sardines is unimaginable. Enslavement was a part of history that I find imorrorally and ethically wrong if I could of changed it I would have.
Takakki A Diferent Mirror