It was so-called because it was the middle section of the trade route taken by many of the ships.
Some of their life experiences were described as entries in the voluminous commercial papers of those involved in the slave system and are remembered mainly by the way their lives were recorded by their captors and tormentors.
As a result, their stories have remained largely hidden behind the statistics—their monetary value, their gender and age distributions, their physical condition, their health and death, and their tragic numbers.
Yet we know a great deal about those who suffered upon Atlantic slave vessels and their transfer from shore to ship, their incarceration—often for months at a time—in the floating prisons on the African coast, and their daily regime in the ships during what must have seemed an interminable crossing.
For week after miserable week, African captives were effectively lost at sea. They were stranded, they knew not where, and were subject to a shipboard regime designed to keep them Ships of slaves the middle passages and alive until the ship made landfall in the Americas.
These weeks at sea were defined by fetid holds tight-packed with people, high levels of nausea and sickness, and random and often cavalier acts of brutality, and in the case of one out of every ten slave ships, outbursts of resistance and violence.
Slave ships were a stew of human misery and terror. These were the defining experiences of all Africans crossing the Atlantic —for those eleven million who survived to landfall, and the million and more who did not survive.
The most famous description of the Middle Passage is that of Olaudah Equiano.
Doubts persist about his place of birth, but his account, perhaps the memory of his African parents repeated to their son, is the closest we have to a graphic first-hand re-creation of life in the slave holds.
Despite the odds, enslaved Africans regularly tried to free themselves from the slave ship and crew. Shipboard revolts were common, especially while the ships were anchored on the coast of Africa, though few succeeded.
Over time, ship builders and captains designed and organized the sailing vessels to deal with possible African resistance. The captain and crew were constantly alert for signs of revolt.
When a mutiny erupted, the crew used extreme violence to suppress African captives. Those who rebelled were savagely punished by the crew, and ringleaders were usually killed in front of the other Africans, then cast overboard to the sharks. Ironically, the loss of Africans to revolt, punishment, torture, or illness could be compensated by the Western European insurance companies invested in the Atlantic trade.
For four centuries, European and American governments created and enforced laws that established that enslaved African people were the legal property of their owners. African captives greatly outnumbered the slave ship crew. Therefore, slave traders devised severe regimes to maintain control.
Without the use of chains and manacles, guns and a draconian regime, the handful of sailors would have faced far more challenges from their captives.
Slave ship captains and crew developed their own distinctive routines: When weather permitted, the crewmen brought batches of chained African men on deck for exercise. Women and children were often allowed a degree of mobility compared to the bonded men.
Without any legal protection, however, African women and children were without defense against crewmen who regularly abused and raped them during the voyage to the Americas. Some individuals resisted the horrors of the Middle Passage the only way they could, through starvation and suicide.
The true death rate for Africans transported to the Americas was much higher than the approximately one million that died during the Middle Passage.The Middle Passage was a series of routes which slave ships used to transport slaves from West Africa to the Americas. Slave Ship Diagram.
Slave Ships and the Middle Passage. Contributed by Brendan Wolfe. The slave ship was the means by which nearly million enslaved Africans were transported from Africa to the Americas between and Leaving from its home port in Europe, a typical ship made its first passage to the west coast of Africa, trading goods for a full cargo of slaves—people who had been .
The Middle Passage was the stage of the triangular trade in which millions of Africans were shipped to the New World as part of the Atlantic slave trade. Dec 11, · Title: Ships of Slaves: The Middle Passage (TV Movie ) / Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site?
Use the HTML below/10(15). The Middle Passage was the part of the Atlantic slave trade where African enslaved people were brought to the Americas on slave ships. Millions of African people were shipped to .
The Middle Passage was the crossing from Africa to the Americas, which the ships made carrying their ‘cargo’ of slaves. It was so-called because it was the middle section of the trade route taken by many of the ships.