The lives of African Americans were originally shaped through their experiences with dehumanization, maltreatment, injustice, and exploitations; throughout their entire lives, force played a huge role – by migrating from their homeland, Africa (for instance, in the Middle Passage), to be forced to work long and brutal hours in a foreign country. However, the slaves were slowly able to define themselves by adapting to the environment, which led them to resist the unpleasant system.
There were around eleven million African Americans forcibly transported to America with horrible conditions that resembled the way animals, such as cattle, would have been treated. As shown in Thomas Clarkson’s sketch of The History of the Rise, Progress and Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-trade, the slaves would have pint-sized space between them. Their human bodies had to discharge fluids and waste in the tiny areas, resulting in “nightmarish weeks and sometimes months locked in the holds of [a] stinking slave ship”. The slaves were treated with no respect; they were “stripped naked and bereft of their every belonging”. A European doctor claimed to have been “overcome by the heat, stench, and foul air that [he] nearly fainted” (Textbook 94).
The women and men were separated while being shipped off, where the women were sold “locally and across the Sahara as agricultural workers” and “European planters paid more for men” (Textbook 94). The gender roles dictated the slaves’ pay even though both males and females needed to complete slave labor and have their freedom taken away: sexual imbalance expresses the unjust and inhumane treatment – as if they were meat being sold at a market (men are the rare meats and woman are the cons...
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...to form identities for themselves, and it sparked after the Middle Passage, when their survival signified the determination of [the slaves] not to be dehumanized by dehumanizing circumstances”. The African Americans began to adapt and earn their “rightful place as a people among peoples”. Some slaves in Jamaica repelled against death threats and established Maroon communities for the “runaway slaves”; a few of the slaves began to learn the language and run off to the colonial villages as a freed slave. The others who stayed in slavery began to work at a slower pace than usual and used their Sunday’s as a restful day off. Soon later, the Stono Rebellion (1739) was the slave’s revolution where Spanish Florida’s Catholic governor granted them freedom. Furthermore, when Spain and England were in battle, seventy-five of the Africans revolted and killed numerous white men.
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