The Life of a Slave

The Life of a Slave

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My name is Shaniqua and I am a sixteen-year-old girl from Mali, Africa. Everyone was nice back in my village. I lived at home with my mother, father, and my younger brother, Jamal. Life back home was great. I would help my mother around the house and take care of my little brother Jamal. Jamal and I would help mama clean and cook. I would also help my mother make clothes to sell at the market. On certain days I would go to the market to sell the clothes my mother and I made. My mother and I would take turns going to the market. Sometimes in the summer I would go to the river with my best friend.
I’m the type of person that would help someone if they were in trouble. I always treated people fair. I was very happy at home. The village that I lived in was always busy; people always had something to do. There was never a dull moment in my village. We all got along in the village.
It was a nice summer day so my friend and I decided to take a walk to the river and cool off. As we approached the river some strange looking men popped out from behind the bushes and grabbed us. I had never seen someone like that before; they were pale and white. They had yellow hair and blue eyes. The men shackled us to one another and forced us to walk to where there were many other Africans in a cage. I was crying and screaming but they didn’t care. I tried to get away and they hit me with a whip so hard across my back that it bled. I had no chouse but to follow them to the coast. As I was walking I saw people from my village being whipped and beaten. They were getting whipped so bad chunks of their skin were falling on the floor. There was blood gushing from their open flesh. People are screaming for help but there’s no one to help them. Some man that was shackled tried to escape, he failed. The white men killed him.
As we got to the coast there were huge wooden boats waiting for us. They shoved us into the boat, then they through us into some place below decks. We are so close together we can hardly move. I see people getting thrown off the ship left and right.

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I wonder what’s happening to the people that are getting thrown off the ship. It smells really bad in here. People are still getting beat. Some people want to jump off the ship to end this nightmare. It truly is a living hell. These white people aren’t men there devils. Some one is really sick I can hear her screaming, but I can’t see her. It’s very cold and dark down here. The air is thick with the smell of urine, vomit, and tears. I have been whipped several times and my back is full of blood. I can’t wait until this trip from hell is over. I wonder what’s going to happen to me when I get to land.
I wonder if I’ll ever see my family again. This cannot get any worse, I hope.
Once I arrive I am literally thrown off the ship and beaten for trying to escape. I don’t know where my family is. I have called out to my mother and father but no one responded. I am searching for them and for my little brother Jamal. I hope there all right. I hope there alive. I wonder how Jamal is dealing with all of this. I don’t think I will ever see my family again.
I landed in West Virginia. The white men start filling my wounds with hot tar. Then the white men took me to an auction. I am forced to strip off all of my clothes so that the white men could examine me. They are touching me and it is really uncomfortable. Some short white man named John White bought me for $250. The white man took me to his plantation. My job is a house servant. My owner beats me if I spill a drop of anything on his floor. My owner also rapes me sometimes. My back is full of scars and open wounds. I have been a slave here for two years and I’m tired of it. I wish I could just get away from this hellhole. My owner is a real ass. I think I will try escaping. It’s better to die trying then die from being beaten.
To night I will try escaping. I have already packed some food and clothes for my journey. I am so scared, what if I get caught. If I do get caught I will probably be hung. I am making my way through the swamps and crossing the rivers to get to a house. I heard from an other slave that some people from the Underground Railroad would leave the up stairs light on for me as a clue. I found the house and they fed me and gave me a clue as to where to go next. I have to find a covered wagon in the forest that will take me to Michigan. The people from the Underground Railroad have been helping me get to freedom. I don’t even remember what it feels like to be free. I am now half way to Michigan and I am beginning to feel sick. I think I caught some thing back when we stopped at a pond to drink. I don’t think I will make it to freedom. It was just the flu. I’m in Michigan, now I need to cross the border to Canada. If I make it to Canada I will be free.
I have been running from bounty hunters for a long time now. Today a bounty hunter found me and sent me back to my master in West Virginia. When I arrived my master beat me until I passed out. Then the next day I was hung in the middle of town, as a warning to the next slaves that try to escape.


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