2.7 – The Middle Passage and Atlantic Slave Trade

Readings

Olaudah Equiano’s account of the Middle Passage (excerpts)

Understanding Slavery: First-hand accounts 

The Zong Massacre

Christopher Hooper’s essay summarizing aspects of the Middle Passage

donald-wright-slavery-in-africa(second half)

You are welcome to conduct additional research to answer the discussion questions.

Discussion questions

What were conditions for slaves like during the Middle Passage?

What were some of the various ways captured Africans responded to their enslavement during the voyage to the Americas?

How did the Zong massacre reflect slave traders’ attitudes toward the humanity of slaves?

Which of the sources you read for today do you believe is the most effective in illuminating the brutality of slavery and the slave trade?

What role did African societies play in facilitating the slave trade?

Optional essay question for extra credit (see syllabus for details):

What are the most important factors that made the transAtlantic African slave trade such an enduring and profitable institution?
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