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CANCELED: Turbulent Water Ways
February 23 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
This is a workshop exploring the conditions on slave ships during the Middle Passage, which was the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. The Middle Passage supplied the New World with its major workforce and brought enormous profits to international slave traders. However, it also exacted a terrible price in physical and emotional anguish for the uprooted Africans.
From about 1518 to the mid-19th century, millions of African men, women, and children made the 21-to-90-day voyage aboard grossly overcrowded sailing ships. They were exposed to almost continuous dangers, including raids at port by hostile tribes, epidemics, attack by pirates or enemy ships, and bad weather. Male slaves were kept constantly shackled to each other or to the deck to prevent mutiny, as reported in 55 detailed accounts recorded between 1699 and 1845. So that the largest possible cargo might be carried, the captives were wedged below decks, chained to low-lying platforms stacked in tiers, with an average individual space allotment that was 6 feet long, 16 inches wide, and perhaps 3 feet high (183 by 41 by 91 cm). Unable to stand erect or turn over, many slaves died in this position.
This is part of the EAMC Virtual Programs for Black History Month, presented in partnership by the Enslaved African Memorial Committee and Teaneck Public Library.