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What Was Life Like for Slaves Aboard a Slave Ship?

Beyond the deplorable conditions on slave ships, where crowded people were chained together and communicable diseases spread like wildfire, consider how children viewed their future.

Beyond the trauma they endured, being pulled from their homes and placed on ships sailing to distant lands, they did not understand what they observed on the ships.

Olaudah Equiano, a young boy from the African interior who had never-before seen a ship, thought he was brought on board to be eaten by the white men. Why would he think such a thing? Because:

When I looked round the ship too and saw a large furnace of copper boiling, and a multitude of black people of every description chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow, I no longer doubted my fate and quite overpowered with horror and anguish, I fell motionless on the deck and fainted...I asked if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces and long hair?

Imagine Olaudah - who was the son of an African chief - as he observed his predicament onboard a slave ship. Putting words in his mouth, describe how he must have felt.


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