the subject of African slavery


captives loaded for passage to america

The Arabs were the earliest non-Africans to buy African slaves. In the early 1500s, Portugal and Spain began to send African-born slaves to their colonies in the New World, and in the following century England, France, and the Netherlands entered the trade, as eventually did the United States. Rum and guns were among the items most frequently traded for slaves.

Prof. Sensbaugh is an expert on the subject of African slavery; for this moving address he researched in the archives of Lehigh University . He began by asking us to imagine what it was like to have been born on the sea from Guinea in a horrifying place deep down in the bowels of a slave ship; all around you are chained, beaten, raped, regularly humiliated for amusement (forced to dance on the deck of the ship, whipped), your culture stripped from you as you lost name, family, all connection with your memories, place of birth. Women were driven even worse than men because forced tChristian religion enabled women to join communities, extract some order from a hideously shattering experience, begin to regain some balance in their minds. They formed religious communities of women under the cover of Christianity and created lateral familieso breed children by their captors.

slaves being inspected for sale
 slave captives awaiting passage