TEXTURED READING - Slavery in Africa - 1 TEXTURED READING...

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1 TEXTURED READING FOR LESSON 1 - AFRICAN CULTURE Additional Materials to Introduce the lesson on the Origin of African Slavery: 1. Documentary DVD – “ The Middle Passage” – Steven Speilberg 2. Slavery in Africa as Reflected in the Work of Olaudah Equiano 3. Possible Movies - Amistad ; Twelve Years of slavery Introduction to the Activity: For many years prior to the Emancipation Proclamation, millions of people from West Africa were enslaved and brought to America to be sold. Slavery existed throughout the United States, including places such as New York and New Jersey. Though it was later contained in the American South, and finally eradicated after the Civil War, hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans lived for multiple generations in our country. West Africans who were captured and sold into American slavery underwent a profound change of life, a voyage that would alter their lives forever. In many cultures, such life changing experiences are called "rites of passage." Ask your students how they think the West Africans felt about being sold into slavery. How would their lives have changed? What emotions might they have experienced? Explain to your students that they will now examine slavery through the eyes of the slaves themselves. At the end of the activity ( Film viewing or Reading the given text) Ask your students how the story thus far is a rite of passage. What sort of mental and physical voyage do the slave have undergone? How has their life changed? Olaudah Equiano The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African . Written by Himself. Vol. I. London: Author, [1789]. Introduction The institution of slavery is as old as civilization. Many nations and empires were built by the muscles of slaves. But what kinds of people were enslaved, and why? In ancient civilizations, slaves were usually war captives. The victors in battle might enslave the losers rather than killing them. Over time, people have found other reasons to justify slavery. Slaves were usually considered somehow different than their owners. They might belong to a different race, religion, nationality, or ethnic background. By focusing on such differences, slave owners felt they could deny basic human rights to their slaves. And despite many efforts to end slavery, it still exists today. Some 27 million people worldwide are enslaved or work as forced laborers. That's more people than at any other point in the history of the world.
2 The first Africans, twenty in number, landed at the port Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. They were brought to the colony as indentured servants. To meet the growing demand for labor, Virginia instituted slavery in 1671. From that time 'til slavery's abolition in 1865, millions of African slaves were shipped to North America. White fortunes were made, banks and businesses founded, towns and cities built, and independence gained in the two hundred fifty years slavery existed. This was no coincidence. The unpaid labor of slaves wove through every aspect of American life.

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