Early Slavery; Middle Passage, and Other Essay
1. Thomas Phillips attitude toward the black Africans reflect pity. It’s not their fault that their climate and area have made their pigment of their skin black. The only reason it’s such a big deal is because their different characteristics from the white people. He doesn’t believe that white people’s skin color is superior, but since society thinks that it’s favorable to them; that’s where their superiority complex comes from over the skin color. The Africans perceived the Europeans as the Satan.
They came and uprooted them from their own country; the only place they’ve ever known. They were not asked to leave but forced too and majority of them had no clue why they were being forced to leave and made as slaves. For that, they resented them and loathed them. 2. Phillips religious views affected his decisions aboard the Hannibal by making him less barbaric and more compassionate towards these slaves. He believed that they all were created in god hands and therefore he was more merciful.
3. The Middle Passage is the journey the abducted slaves undertook while going to the new world. This trip was treacherous for these African people because they were forced to live in unsanitary conditions, confined to chains, whipped and tortured. Analysis Thomas Phillips was the captain commander of the ship called the Hannibal. On this journey he picked up his slaves and made this journey known as the middle passage. This document shows how the experience this commander went through and also the thoughts this man had about slave trade voyage he underwent.
Thomas Phillips wanted to be the commander of the Hannibal because of the opportunity to make money. It did not matter of what he believed but in order to survive he had to make a living by doing something. He was ordered to purchase 1300 Negro slaves and disperse them between two ships, The Hannibal and the East-India Merchant. He spent nine weeks just gathering the slaves and that does not even include the voyage at sea. Thomas Phillips was forced to deal with disease, attempted suicide and even the possibility of uprising on his ship from the captive Africans.
These captive slaves were so upset and confused about why they were being taken from their mother land. More than half of them had never witnessed or understood the dialect of the Europeans; they feared they would be tortured and expected the worst to come of this whole situation. Therefore, Phillips tried to make his ship as less barbaric then how the other commanders saw fit to run their vessels. This trip was long and treacherous, but Phillips tried to keep things as civil as possible.
Even though he tried to keep everything under control he still had problems such as contagious diseases spreading killing off many of his slaves and some crew abroad the Hannibal. This voyage was long hinderous but at the end delivered his slaves to the new world and made his earnings even with the number of fatalities that he had from his desired quota. Now even though Phillips agreed and signed up for this voyage; he still had his own beliefs and thoughts that not many people got to witness. From what I perceived from this document he was more compassionate then some of the other commanders on their ships.
He was a Christian man and believed that they were all God’s creatures and that it was not their fault the way they looked because that’s what God wanted them to be. He would not cut off their limbs because he viewed that as too barbaric. He wanted order on his ship but not in that fashion. I feel like he viewed them as human beings and not just as livestock for labor. This document shows that there were still some decent people out there not as discriminate as the rest of society. That this little glint of mental impendence is what leads society to the slow upbringing of racial tolerance.
After reading this document several times, I finally feel like I understand how and why Thomas Phillips accepted to do this voyage. He might have needed the money but still stayed true to his beliefs system which kept his footing on the ground and was not easily corrupted by society ignorant views. That’s what I believe what Thomas Phillips did. Answered Questions 1. The major themes of equiano’s narrative are oppression and the will to survive. These could be incorporated into a general anti-slavery appeal because these were some of the main things slaves dealt with.
In order to make an anti-slavery appeal it needs to be something not particularly good to get to people to notice and look into so they can understand the harsh conditions these people went through and help stop this terrible thing from happening anymore. Equiano intended this for all people because everybody needed to know what underwent on these voyages. 2. It is very important that he remembered this because it’s obviously scared him for life. 3. Of course it would be rendered useless because he lied about experiencing the Middle Passage. It’s like a slap in the face to the people that actually had experienced it. Analysis
Now not many of us understand how it was like to be born or abducted to be slaves. I know people have heard and read about how these poor innocent people were forced from their home country and commanded to do hard labor; but I don’t think they really actually understood the severity and harsh conditions these human beings underwent. Olaudah Equiano wrote this document of his journey through the Middle Passage to show people the pain, anguish, and determination to survive so that one day people would actually understand the severity of this journey. Olaudah Equiano was only eleven when he was abducted and sold to English slave traders.
Imagine being only a child and being forced around unknown people being poked and prodded like livestock. When seeing someone so diverse from their own people; peculiar complexions, hair, clothes and just the way they performed their daily rituals. It’s frightening to just imagine being tossed amongst a whole other culture besides your own. You don’t know what to think about how they will treat you and the fact there’s a language barrier makes it even more chilling because there’s no way to communicate and see their plan of what action of what they intend to do with you.
Olaudah Equiano experienced many new and altered experiences. He had to understand that by them taking him, he would never be able to go back to his beloved native country but he never stopped dreaming. He was forced under the decks to stay in vile conditions. He then became depressed not wanting to eat or even have the will to survive. Having everything he ever knew and loved taken away was utterly earth shattering to him. He would of rather died then become what the Europeans had intended him to be. But soon he understood that if he did not eat or try to live he would be beaten and flogged to do so.
He experienced the Europeans hate not just towards the black people but also towards its own crew and people itself. Apparently nobody went without punishment on this ship regardless of their skin color. If you tried anything to harm yourself or rebel against anything; a beating was waiting just around the coner. He witnessed people dying and suffering because of these horrendous conditions they were forced to live in. the stench was so nasty it nearly suffocated everybody. Just imagine that this stench was so revolting that you just want to end your life cause you cant take it anymore.
In the end some succeeded in killing themselves because if their beloefs and couldn’t handle it but it left the other passangers to deal woth the reprucusions of their actions. Chained in small areas, beaten, confined under a ship in horrendous conditions. This is what thes people had to deal with until they reached their destination; which was the islands of Barbados. Many died from disease and suicide from this voyage. This document gives a beautifully detailed visual of what these poor abducted slaves went through.
Olaudah Equiano wrote this when he was many years older but it obviously scared him for life. Many people don’t rememeber their own childhood but just as pieces and fragments of events that haopened in thhier life but for Equiano to rememeber this experience moment for moment in such vivid detail shows that it was tramatic. This document opened my eyes of what these people went through and I feel like I fully understand the severity of the suituiations they underwent. These people were strong for making it through the voyage and enduring the many years of slavment in the new world.