Black Peoples of America - The Middle Passage
The transport of black Africans to the Americas by slave ship became known as the Middle Passage because it was the middle leg of the Triangular Trade route used by the European merchants.
The African slaves were viewed as cargo by the merchants and were packed into the ships with no regard to their basic human rights.
Slave ships could be either 'tight pack' or 'loose pack'. A 'tight pack' could hold many more slaves than the 'loose pack' because the amount of space allocated to each slave was considerably less, but more slaves would die on route to the Americas.
The famous diagram above shows how slaves were tightly packed into the slave ships.
Other slaves were forced to spend the voyage sitting on deck, as on the ship 'Wildfire', pictured above.
Many slaves became seasick or developed diarrhoea. Unable to move because they were chained into their positions, the slave's deck became a stinking mass of human waste. Slaves who had developed sores where their chains had rubbed their skin, had festering wounds often with maggots eating away their flesh.
Conditions on the slave ships were so bad that many slaves decided they would prefer to die and tried to starve themselves by refusing to eat or by jumping overboard.
However, slaves that would not eat were whipped or force fed and the traders and ship owners began fixing nets to the sides of the boat so that the slaves could not jump overboard.
Slaves had no choice but to endure the horrific conditions.
The Middle Ages were a terrible time to get sick. There was no sanitation inside cities and hardly any in rural areas. While there might be some drainage or elementary sewers, the fact remains that people simply threw their bodily wastes out into the streets. Animal dung, dead dogs and rotting garbage of all kinds landed in the street and stayed there, trampled in and out of people’s houses.
The Catholic... Read More
The First Film about the Titanic Premiered Just 29 Days after the Vessel Sank
You may have seen James Cameron’s theatrical version of the Titanic, a movie that has accrued over $1.84 billion in total gross sales since its release in 1997. But we can confidently bet that you have never laid eyes on Saved From the Titanic, a 1912 silent motion picture starring actress and survivor of the RMS titanic, Dorothy... Read More
Most Americans are familiar with the magic of Thanksgiving. A holiday associated with family reunions, football, Black Friday sales, turkeys, pumpkin pies, pilgrims, and Indians. However, not many are aware of its somewhat grimmer origins. Typically, what we are taught in school is an idealized historical account of what actually took place in the first pilgrim harvest festivity.
The first Thanksgiving,... Read More
Theodore Roosevelt Gave a Speech with a Bullet in his Chest
Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most badass presidents to ever step foot inside the White House. He was a policeman, cowboy, boxer and soldier. He went head to head with business giants such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan.
At the age of 50, he got into a fistfight with an army lieutenant who punched him so hard that it left him blind in... Read More
Spying became an integral part of the Cold War. Both sides went out of their way to acquire as much knowledge as they could about each other. While Hollywood has romanticized the whole image of espionage, the real thing is far from romantic. It is a dangerous cat and mouse game that typically results in torture, prison, or execution for the spy if caught by the opposing team.
During the Cold War, spies... Read More