The history of slavery is a very touchy subject for most Americans living here in the United States. It is also a very sore subject for most African Americans to discuss. We have all learned and heard of the unspeakable horrors that took place during slavery. It is enough to make anyone hurt and upset regardless of your skin color. If you ever seen a photo of a slave ship and how African slaves were bound and chained, it most likely broke your heart. No doubt the voyage was long and painful. Many of us would not be able to survive anything remotely close to what those slaves went through. It is mind boggling to think of all the African slaves that did survive such a difficult and inhumane voyage.
Imagine yourself on that slave ship bound so tightly that you could not move or even go to the rest room. Eating a proper meal was out of the question. Most slaves were fed once a day and you know what that meal consisted of? Slops and scraps. Yes, these slaves were fed like they were pigs or animals. As far as a bath, that generally involved being doused with a bucket of cold sea water. Those who had deep wounds from the slave chains cutting into their skin no doubt felt the stinging pain from the salt in the sea water.
The slaves who finally made it onto land were quickly sold and auctioned off. The slaves who did not survive the voyage were unchained and tossed into the sea en route. How sad. Husbands, wives, children, sisters and brothers were often torn apart at these slave auctions. Never mind their pleading and begging. Their cries fell on deaf ears.
The beatings and mistreatment these slaves endured was unspeakable to say the least. Many were branded, had limbs broken or cut off, some of the men were castrated and we know what was largely done to the young women and girls. Beatings and whippings were the norm in slavery because that is what was used to punish and maim slaves.
I cannot help but to wonder how slaves were often punished for “being lazy” when the United States was largely built on the back of slaves. As they worked themselves to the bone, millions of others reaped the financial benefits of their hard work. Their descendants are still reaping in some cases. What did these slaves get in return? A wooden shack, a broke down back and a life filled with poverty, injustice and pain. It does not take a rocket scientist to tell you who got the short end of the deal.
Until next time…