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I read the document, The Middle Passage, based on experiences from Olaudah

Equianos life aboard a slave ship. The passage takes place between West Africa and the
Caribbean island of Barbados, which was a commonly used British planation island at the
time. The Europeans used fear and cruelty to gain control and dominance over the slaves
throughout the course of the voyage back to the New World, and looked among them as
property. The loud noises caused fear among the slaves as soon as they boarded the ship,
which was a completely foreign and unknown environment for them. Once aboard the
ship the slaves were brought to extremely small confined quarters and chained up, the
absence of space barely allowed anyone to turn their body. These quarters had inhumane
living conditions with a constant high heat, a terrible smell, lack of food and water, and a
breeding ground for disease. All of these combined factors caused many slave casualties
along the Middle Passage route. Most slaves were not brought up to the deck but Olaudah
Equiano was mostly kept there along with other healthy young slaves, and watched most
of his fellow prisoners on the brink of death and receive cruel torture that included
serious floggings. I think the Europeans were mostly cruel for the sake of being cruel
during these voyages, with one instance in the document of the slave drivers eating fish
with some leftover and instead of give the remaining few to the slaves who begged and
pleaded with them, the Europeans threw the fish overboard.
To avoid the brutality and awful mistreatment of the Europeans many slaves took
the opportunity to jump overboard to their death while on deck rather than remain
enslaved. Equiano was given the chance to look through the navigating scope by a
European to satisfy his own curiosity, which truly proved to Equiano that hes facing a
harsh new reality in another world. In the quote by Equiano he states, I found some

black people about me, who I believe were some of those who brought me on board, and
had been receiving their pay I think Equiano is elaborating on the way he was placed
under control of the Europeans, and that his own people were involved and paid to bring
him and many others aboard the ship. It shows the betrayal he felt and also the way the
slave trade was carried out that not just the Europeans played an undeniably big role, but
that a small amount of Africans were involved and profiting from slavery. The history of
the slave trade is not usually told in this perspective and it sheds light on how brutal the
nature of it all was and that those who participated were corrupt by greed and power. The
document recounting Olaudah Equianos experiences is an excerpt taken from the book,
Interesting Narrative, and it is a primary source because it comes directly from Equiano.