Ships of slaves- the middle passages

2 February 2018

The ships of slaves-The Middle Passages documentary, reinforced chapter 2 in our textbook. The documentary appropriately identified The Middle Passage; the black holocaust. The similarities are apparent. The documentary started by retelling the story of the Portuguese prince, Henry the Navigator, and how he acquired 12 slaves which started the initiation of the middle passage. I enjoyed how music, dance, poetry, and storytelling all were fused together to portray a powerful message.The universal theme and ending message that grabbed from the documentary was in order for us to regress forward as a culture, to understand who and what we are, it is important to understand where we came from and what we have had to endure.

It truly awakened my senses. The sound of metal on metal resulting from the toiling of the shackles unloving hugging the limbs of the slaves is what resonates to me from watching the documentary. Two very distinct contrasts of sounds were presented in this documentary that echoed in my head.

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One is the sound of happiness and strength, it is the sound of beautiful African people dancing and moving. Free birds expressive in the wind with their bodies. Why do they dance? They dance because they have happiness from within that cannot be broken. They dance for their ancestors and they dance for their family legacy.

They dance to release strength and power that’s natural from their cultural beginning. Brown bodies with elegant curves dance in the darkness. In contrast, heard the sound of hate the sound of hurt and pain.I heard the sound of feet tired of walking to a place of unknown for unknown reasons. Raw feet heard, bleeding pain of misery and peeling away slowly the happiness from walking bare foot on the ground that once supported them. The walk heard was slow and dark as if every step was a decision to be obedient or break free. I heard the metal clattering together and heard years and years of pain to come.

Those were the sounds that I gathered. Family and family bonds are part of the rich history of African culture.The Europeans wanted to civilize the African people who were already more civilized than the others. They resided in peaceful villages and were hunted like animals. The trade was used to distinguish classes. What makes one person greater or lesser than another? Who is granted the right to make that decision? As was mentioned in the documentary, I think of the humiliation the women oaken as slaves had to endure or attempt to combat. They must have felt worthless in a different unimaginable way as their bodies were taken.

They must have felt deep sorrow as their children were left alone to wander about the forest. They must have felt their femininity diminish as they were forced to live in filth the horrible conditions naked with no dignity. I cannot even fathom. It was the training and natural blood of the Africans that enabled the majority to overcome the obstacles as much as they could. They were trained to survive, endure, to develop strength from within, and warfare to protect their African heritage.

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