This preview has intentionally blurred parts. Sign up to view the full document

View Full Document

Unformatted Document Excerpt

AFAM 101 Midterm Study Guide Hine Ch. 2 Questions (2 and 3): Think about Olaudah Equianos experience as a young boy captured by traders and brought to a slave ship. What new and strange things did he encounter? How did he explain these things to himself? What kept him from descending into utter despair? New and strange things from his experience: Olaudah Equiano is a former slave who wrote a book providing a vivid account of a West Africans capture, sale to traders, and voyage to the Americas in 1755. African slave raiders captured the boy when he was 10 years old and forced him to march along with other captives to the Niger River or one of its tributaries, where they traded him to the coast and sold him to European slave traders whose ships sailed to the West Indies. His experience at the coastal salve factory convinced him he had entered a sort of hell, peopled by evil spirits. He talks about the stench caused by forcing so many people to live in close confinement making him sick to his stomach and emotionally agitated. His African and European captors try to calm him with liquor, but because hes not associated with alcohol (thats shitty) he becomes disoriented and more convinced of his impending doom. He refuses to eat and is therefore whipped. Then he witnesses the flogging (the act of methodically beating or whipping the human body) of a white crewman. The white guy dies and the sailors throw his body into the sea just as they disposed of dead Africans. During the time the ship is in port awaiting a full cargo of slaves, the boy Equiano is giving an account about spends much time on deck. After putting to sea, however, he usually remains below deck with the other slaves where each had scarcely room to turn himself. There, the smells of unwashed bodies and of toilet tubs, into which the children often fell and were almost suffocated, create a loathsome atmosphere. The darkness, the chafing of chains on human flesh, the shrieks and groans of sick and disoriented people provide a scene of horror almost inconceivable. He goes on to talk about nets on deck to prevent them from jumping overboard, being forced to dance and sing, and how the traders separated the people who spoke the same language to prevent rebellion. He manages to find adults, however, who speak his language and they explain to him the purpose of the voyage is to go to the white peoples country to work for them rather than to be eaten by them. Equiano wrote in his narrative that slaves working inside the slaveholders' homes in Virginia were treated cruelly. They suffered punishments such as an "iron muzzle, used around the mouths to keep house slaves quiet, leaving them barely able to speak or eat. Equiano conveyed the fear and amazement he experienced in his new environment. He thought that the eyes of portraits followed him wherever he went, and that a clock could tell his master about anything Equiano would do wrong. In fact, Equiano was so shocked by this culture that he tried Equiano would do wrong.... View Full Document

End of Preview

Sign up now to access the rest of the document