Download Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American by Stephanie E. Smallwood PDF

By Stephanie E. Smallwood

This daring, cutting edge e-book can provide to greatly modify our figuring out of the Atlantic slave exchange, and the depths of its horrors. Stephanie E. Smallwood bargains a penetrating examine the method of enslavement from its African origins in the course of the center Passage and into the yankee slave marketplace. Smallwood's tale is lively by means of deep study and offers us a startlingly picture adventure of the slave alternate from the vantage element of the slaves themselves. finally, Saltwater Slavery information how African humans have been reworked into Atlantic commodities within the strategy. She starts off her narrative at the beaches of seventeenth-century Africa, tracing how the alternate in human our bodies got here to outline the lifetime of the Gold Coast. Smallwood takes us into the ports and stone fortresses the place African captives have been held and ready, after which in the course of the center Passage itself. In amazing element, we witness those women and men cramped within the holds of ships, gasping for air, and attempting to make feel of an unusual sea and an incredible vacation spot. Arriving in the US, we see how those new migrants input the marketplace for laboring our bodies, and fight to reconstruct their social identities within the New global. all through, Smallwood examines how the folk on the heart of her story--merchant capitalists, sailors, and slaves--made feel of the bloody technique during which they have been joined. the result's either a outstanding transatlantic view of the tradition of enslavement, and a painful, intimate imaginative and prescient of the bloody, day-by-day company of the slave exchange. (20070115)

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Additional info for Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora

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Purchasing “in large numbers” and dealing in “multitudes” of captives transformed the very nature of captivity. From the place Portuguese mariners named El Mina in Africa in the fifteenth century to the American place they came to call Minas Gerais in the seventeenth century, the Gold Coast was a player in 32 • saltwater slavery the production of local and global wealth in the Atlantic economy, but the nature of the African region’s role and the consequences had changed dramatically. In this sense, the Royal African Company’s Brazilian scheme was the ultimate farce, for it meant that a part of Africa named by the Portuguese for its export of gold now was being tapped instead as a supplier of human commodities for export to the gold mines developed by Portuguese colonizers in America.

In this sense, the commercial opportunities that accrued to traders who exchanged people for goods soon rendered the Atlantic market for slaves something more than a means for dealing with war prisoners who could not be assimilated. Any and all who were vested with political power over subordinates—husbands over wives, elites over peasants and slaves, as well as the victorious over the van- The Gold Coast and the Atlantic Market in People • 31 quished—could and did find incentives to send people down to the waterside.

1 Seventeenth-century Gold Coast slave exports compared with sixteenth-century slave imports. Decade 1662–1670b 1671–1680 1681–1690 1691–1700 1701–1709c 1710–1719 1720–1729 Average annual exports Ratio of exports to importsa 888 1751 1267 1709 2760 3518 4708 4:1 8:1 6:1 8:1 13:1 17:1 23:1 a. Using an estimate of about two hundred average annual slave imports, 1500– c. 1540, in Ivana Elbl, “The Volume of the Early Atlantic Slave Trade, 1450– 1521,” Journal of African History 38 (1997): 31–75. b.

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