Before my childhood was cut short, it was a great one. I had a wonderful family and a younger brother who I was very close with. His name was Kinto. While our parents would be working in the daytime, Kinto and I, and other children in the village would all go into the woods to hunt for birds without the use of weapons and picked fruits for our families. There was nothing we loved more than running freely through the vast forests and playing together. By the time we were 12 years old, we knew how to survive on our own. Children of Southern Guinea were smart, we knew a lot about agriculture and farming which helped us out in the long run. We were much more skilled compared to other young Africans in other areas of Africa. On one sunny afternoon in the middle of the year of 1788, my whole life was changed forever. When the adults of the neighborhood were out working on fields a far distance away, Kinto and I were running in the woods with our other friends from the village. We heard rustling through the bushes in front of us and saw that there were white men staring at us. We tried to run, but there was no way the white men were letting us get away. One man came up from behind me, put his hand over my mouth and grabbed me. I heard Kinto screaming my name, “Lettia! Lettia! Lettia!” and that was the last time I would hear my dearest brother calling my name. A different white man took him and we were instantly separated. I couldn’t stop sobbing thinking about how worried my loving mother and father were going to be when they realized that Kinto and I were missing. I was surrounded by other children I knew from my village which made me feel a little more comfortable, but nothing changed the fact that me and my brother were apart. I was so confused about what these white men wanted with us and what they were saying. There were other African men working for them and translating what they were saying to us. I didn’t quite understand why they would go against their own kind and it really aggravated me. I came to find that these traders to our kind were called Krumen. I broke out into hysterics and a white man with a gun screamed at me and kicked me in my shin. We were all chained together in shackles. Our feet, necks, and arms all attached to the person in front and behind us. We walked like this for months, traveling hundreds of miles throughout Africa. Many people died from dehydration, malnutrition, and fatigue but they wouldn’t even unchain them from the shackles when this would happen. We would continue to walk with the dead weight of these Africans just being dragged by us. It was despicable. I would try so hard not to look at the dead bodies and lose hope. I would pray that someday this agony would end. They treated us like we were cattle, nothing more than a group of animals. It was inhumane. We would stop along the way of our journey and would work for different masters. At one point, I worked for an African man named Yukuda Brown. He owned a large plantation in Timbuktu. I worked inside his home and helped cook dinner and clean. His home was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was massive and decorated so nicely. He had a daughter my age, about 13 and we got along very nicely, even though she was free and I was considered a slave. Yukuda treated me very well and I wished I could just stay there forever, but I knew that wasn’t going to be the case. I was washed, fed, groomed and dressed in nice clothing because I worked inside the home. After three short weeks, my time at Yukuda’s plantation was up and it was time to continue the journey to the coast. After six months trekking throughout Africa we had finally reached the Western coast of Africa. This is where we waited before our journey across the Atlantic Ocean would begin. Here we were locked in these holding tanks called “barracoons” which were small barracks built of wood, tree bark, twigs and other random items that could easily be found along the coast.