slave trade essay

Submitted By ollyhann
Words: 1265
Pages: 6

I do not know my name. I know that I’m African, and that I’m black, but my name has long since forgotten me. That was taken away from me when I was just a child, and so was the rest of my life. I am now classed as an object, not a human. This is my story.
I was born in Ghana, western Africa. I worked on the village me and my father lived in from when I was just a small boy. It wasn’t to labour intensive work but it did hurt at times. My mother died at childbirth you see, and I have always felt bad about that. I don’t miss her as such; I never knew her, but I do feel as though it was someway my fault that she died.
We had heard stories of other villages being attacked by white people. We could not imagine what these species of people must look like, but then we didn’t need to, they would come soon enough. We all lived in terror of their attack, but life did have to go on so we just continued as usual.
When they did come, it was at night. I awoke to the sound of screaming and from then on I cannot say I remember much more. I know I was bundled on to a wagon and a sack was drawn over my head. I think that was the most scared I have ever been, and also the most sad. That was the last time I ever saw my father, and from then on I was alone.
When the wagon finally stopped we were thrown into the bowels of a huge ship. There must have been hundreds of us down there, all cramped into horrifically small spaces. No one knew where we were going, but we did know why. The older men informed me that we were all on our way to becoming a slave. I never really thought more of it on board that ship, I didn’t really know the true implications.
We were occasionally allowed on deck, and these times were supposed to keep us alive, but they did the exact opposite. The amount of people exactly I don’t know, but hoards of men were killed in those short time periods on deck. Some would try to attack the crew, and were stabbed to death, or some simply just jumped into the ocean, welcoming death with open arms. I experienced terror like no other, and from then on I never went up on deck. The stench was almost unbearable, but it did let me know that I was alive, and still breathing. They served us measly portions of food and water, that kept us just alive.
The journey took about three weeks, and when we reached our destination we were taken off the ship. After living in near darkness for three weeks the sunlight burnt my eyes. This was the first time I had actually spoken to a white person though, when he asked my name and age. I replied with my name and that I was 10. He directed me into a square, where lots of black people where gathered in the middle and white people circled them.
There was a man on a platform calling out names and prices. I then realised this was what I had been told about on the ship, the auction. These white people didn’t look at us as human, just scum of the world who were built to work. All of a sudden I wanted escape, and run back home to my small village in Ghana, to the smouldering shrubs that were left of it. But I couldn’t. I was too scared, to intimidated by all these people to even move.
Then my name was called. People started prodding and poking me but I didn’t move. I was sold to a small white man, who bought me for 20 pounds. All he said to me was that my name was peter now, and that I was not to moan or whinge at any orders. And then we were off in his wagon. That was the day I lost my identity, my humanity.
From then on I hated my life. I hated being a slave. I hated being called peter. I hated everything. Days passed with me wanting to die more than I wanted to live. Because I was good at attending to the crops because of my work in Ghana, this was my job. I would not speak to anyone all day and I became very lonely. I got served next to know food and this intensified every emotion coursing through me.
I hated my owner with a fiery passion and I passed days inventing new ways to kill him. He had a