The African Slave Trade

The slave trade is sometimes called the ‘Maafa’ by African and African-American scholars, meaning ‘holocaust’ or ‘great disaster’ in Swahili.

More than 11 million Africans were subjected to the horrors of slavery, and millions more died in the Middle Passage – the terrible journey between Africa and the New World.

The Middle Passage took up to 6 months in conditions pictured below.

PLAN SHOWING THE STOWAGE OF 130 ADDITIONAL SLAVES ROUND THE WING OR SIDES OF THE LOWER DECK BY MEANS OF PLATFORMS OR SHELVES

IN THE MANNER OF GALLERIES IN A CHURCH, THE SLAVES STOWED ON THE SHELVES AND BELOW THEM HAVE ONLY AHEIGHT OF 2 FEET 7 INCHES BETWEEN THE BEAMS AND FAR LESS UNDER THE BEAMS

Africans from many regions on the continent were brought to the ports on the West coast of Africa, were enslaved, and sent to the New World and Europe.

The
‘Triangular Trade’
involved:

Manufactured goods from Europe, like guns, cloth, and salt, which were traded for slaves.

The shipping of slaves to the Americas.

The products of slavery, like cotton, sugar, and rum, were brought back to Europe.

Familiarize yourself with these routes of the slave trade.

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