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African Holocaust | The Greatest Holocaust in History





Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter

African Proverb

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will

– Frederick Douglass

The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave

– Malcolm X

Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.

– Ancient Egypt

Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right.

– Dr. Martin L. King, Jr

What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?

– Owen 'Alik Shahadah

We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.

– Chester Higgins Jr.

Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.

– Harriet Tubman

If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.

African Proverb

If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.

– ' Alik Shahadah

If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it

Zulu Proverb

It takes more than a horrifying transatlantic voyage chained in the filthy hold of a slave ship to erase someone's culture

Maya Angelou

It makes no difference what language Africans speak if our first language is not Truth

Hilary Muhammad (NOI)


Dark Voyage: Hell below Deck

The Greatest Holocaust in the History

Holocaust     Holocaust
It takes more than a horrifying transatlantic voyage chained in the filthy hold of a slave ship to erase someone's culture Holocaust
Holocaust Holocaust
Holocaust Maya Angelou

The Middle Passage was the most infamous route of this triangular trade. Although danger lurked constantly throughout the voyage across the Atlantic ,

the greatest danger to the slave ships always came when they were loading on the African coast. Once aboard the ships, the Afrikanes realized that they were being sent far away from home, and often there was violence even before the ship set sail.

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However, most of these uprisings were easily put down. Others jumped overboard and plunged from the ship into the sea, choosing to either drown or be devoured by blood-thirsty sharks rather than be taken from their homeland. Once aboard the ships the Afrikans would be packed below deck. Captains of slave ships were known as either "loose packers" or "tight packers", depending upon how many slaves they crammed into the space they had.


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Maafa Audio

African Holocaust: Dark Voyages. is the only epic audio narrative tracing the history of the African Holocaust (MAAFA): History's darkest human tragedy. A saga of human horror hidden between myth and obscurity. The forced exodus of entire generations of Africans to the New World . A horrendous trade in human cargo, which would build and reshape the World forever, leaving a legacy that, would haunt our World today.

African Slave Systems

Slavery was not only an aspect of history, today Slavery is still a World problem; millions of people are trapped in domestic slavery from China to USA. However, It is estimated that 40 -100 million people were affected by slavery via the Atlantic, Arabian and Trans-Saharan routes.

Life on the Slave Ships

Most ships, especially those of the later 18th century, were "tight packers", carrying a huge quantity of slaves who were often forced to lie in spaces smaller than that of a grave, or in some cases stacked spoon-fashion on top of one another. Regardless, life for a slave in the "tween decks", as they were called, was extremely uncomfortable. In addition to extreme overcrowding, there was also inadequate ventilation, not to mention little or no sanitation.

Although some captains would have their crew periodically clean the "tween decks" with hot vinegar, most chose rather to leave them alone, resulting in their atrociously unclean condition. In addition to disease and suffocation below deck, it would not be uncommon to find the body of a slave completely covered by lice. Eventually, after the arduous 3,700 mile voyage, the slave ship would reach North America .

In order to strengthen them before sale, the slaves were normally fed better in the days directly before their arrival in the new world, however their suffering was far from over. Before they could be sold, the slaves would be oiled to make their skin shiny and any imperfections, such as scars from whippings, would be filled in with hot tar in order to improve their appearance and get the best market price. Most slave ships would not be allowed to dock in the ports which they came to due to their horrible stench and the fear of the spread of any diseases which had been spread throughout the ship.

Therefore, the slavers would drop anchor a few miles off shore and carry the slaves to land in smaller boats which had been stored aboard the ship. The slaves would then be sold at auction and would live through the rest of their lives in wicked involuntary servitude. Clearly, life on board the slave ships was hellish for the Afrikan captives.

Death on the Slave Ships




Many of the Africans taken aboard the slave ships and transported along the Middle Passage did not live to see the shores of North America .A great many expired during the voyage as a result of the extreme overcrowding and deplorable conditions present aboard the vessel,

Holocaust TransAtlantic

Many suffocated or succumbed to dysentery while in the hold. Many died along the voyage due to epidemics of disease, which spread like wildfire in the tightly packed 'tween decks.

On board the slavers there were numerous outbreaks of the dreaded smallpox, as well as ophthalmia, a highly contagious disease which quickly resulted in complete blindness. These terrible ailments could rapidly afflict an entire cargo of slaves, as well as the crew, and wipe out entire ships in a matter of days. A few of the Africans were driven insane by the claustrophobic misery they experienced while on the ships. Those who had gone mad were often brought up on deck, at which time they were either flogged or clubbed to death and then thrown overboard.. Maafa: Audio sample of Dark Voyage

Those suffering from smallpox or ophthalmia were not quite so fortunate. Anyone showing even the slightest sign of either of these diseases was thrown overboard alive. This was done by the captain to prevent at all costs an epidemic aboard the ship. It is difficult for scholars to even estimate the number of Africans that died during the Middle Passage. Very few exact records were kept of those who expired during the voyage, but most historians feel reasonably confident in saying that nearly as many Africans died en route as made it to the Americas . From the records that do exist, it is telling that a voyage in which only one-quarter of the African captives died during the trip was considered a success. Although we will never know for sure how many unfortunate Africans met their deaths along the Middle Passage, it is certain that the death toll was staggering and that many of those taken from their homeland never even made it across the Atlantic .

The millions of Afrikans that perished in the Middle Passage show the extreme callousness of those involved in the slave trade and the gross inhumanity with which the Africans were treated.

The Daily Routine on the Slave Ships

During periods of good weather, the slaves would be brought up on deck in the morning. At this time the men would be shackled together with iron chains, while the women and children would be allowed to roam about on deck. At about nine o' clock in the morning they were given their first meal of the day. Interestingly, slaves from different sections along the west African coast would often be fed different meals.

Those from the Northern part of the Guinea Coast would be fed boiled rice, millet, or cornmeal. Slaves from the Bight of Biafra had stewed yams, and those from still farther south in the Congo River region would be fed starchy manioc, cassava flour, or banana-like fruits. Sometimes a few lumps of raw meat would be thrown in with their food to keep them healthy. It was also at this time in the morning that the slaves were given their daily ration of a half-pint of water in a small pan, called a pannikin. In the late afternoon came the slaves' second and only other meal of the day. Sometimes it was the same as their first, but most captains were not that humane. The afternoon meal usually consisted only of horse beans, very large beans which are used to feed horses.

They were the cheapest form of food available. The beans were boiled until they were pulpy and then covered with a mixture of palm oil, flour, and water. To cover up the horrible taste, large amounts of red pepper, called "slabber sauce", were added. The captains needed to keep the slaves in acceptable physical condition if they were to be sold at high prices, so each morning after breakfast the slaves were "danced" on deck, in order to give them exercise. Still shackled together, the men were forced to jump up and down until often the flesh of their ankles was raw and bleeding from the iron chains which bound them together. The women and children, who were free of such bonds were better able to dance to the rhythm that was pounded out on an African drum or iron kettle, sometimes with the accompaniment of a fiddle or African banjo played by a crew member.

The slaves, otherwise kept miserably in the "tween decks", enjoyed this dancing, as it was their only form of physical recreation during the entire day. Each day at sunset the slaves would be placed back below deck to rest in the misery and filth that was the "tween decks". During the morning exercises members of the crew roved about the deck carrying whips and would beat those slaves who refused to "dance". Although most whips were made only of simple rope, the wicked cat-o'-nine-tails was also used aboard many slavers. Consisting of nine cords coated with tar, each with a knot at the end, the cat-o'-nine-tails could slash the skin of a slave's back to ribbons in only a few lashes. Yet the worst time of the Middle Passage came for the slaves when the ship was met with periods of bad weather. During storms the Afrikans were forced to remain below deck all day and night. The holds were dark, filthy, slimy, and they stank of death. The "tween decks" were often full not only with slaves, both living and dead, but also with blood, vomit, urine, and human waste. Also during periods of inclement weather the slaves were not fed as usual. They were often forced to scrounge for small crumbs and pieces of spoiled food and drink from stagnant puddles of extremely impure water.

Another inhuman practice of the crews of the slave ships was that of "bedwarming". In this custom a member of the crew, or sometimes even the captain, would take a slave women out from the 'tween decks during the night. The woman would be taken back to either the captain's chamber or the crew's living quarters and be beaten and physically forced to have sexual relations with the crew member. This practice demonstrated the complete rape of the African-American culture by the slave traders of the Middle Passage, both figuratively and literally. Although most of the victims of the Middle Passage found themselves helpless to resist their captors, there were occasional uprisings on the slave ships.

Fighting Back: Revolt on the Slave Ships

Some of the slaves who were transported along the Middle Passage attempted to rebel against the captain and crew. The Afrikanes would make crude weapons out of their chains and shackles and attempt to kill crew members during the time when they were on deck. However, these uprisings were usually put down quickly by the crew, which used advanced weapons such as pistols and rifles to slaughter numerous slaves. Hence, although there were some successful slave mutinies along the Middle Passage, most Africans who attempted to revolt were killed in the process and thus put out of their misery. One of the few successful, and certainly the most celebrated, slave revolts along the Middle Passage occured on the Amistad. In this incident, A group of captive Africans, led by a Congolese chief named Cinque, who were bound for Cuba rose up during their voyage across the Atlantic in 1839. They were able to kill the captain and most of the crew, completing a successful mutiny. They left a few crew members alive to sail them back to Africa, but the remaining sailors tricked the Africans and landed in the United States as well.

A long legal battle ensued, as men even as prominent as former President John Quincy Adams championed the Amistad Afrikans' cause for freedom. Eventually the Supreme Court ruled that the Amistad passengers were legally free and allowed them to return to Africa . These events were dramatized in the recent Steven Spielberg movie "Amistad", which has renewed tremendous popular interest in the history of the slave trade. To see a full timeline of the events surrounding the Amistad, click here . The Africans also frequently resorted to other acts of rebellion on the ships, including harming themselves, thus threatening the "cargo" of their captors. Many who had been taken from their homeland chose to take their own lives rather than to continue to suffer the unbearable conditions of the slave ship. Many jumped overboard when they had an opportunity. Others found ways to cut their throats. Some refused to eat and eventually starved to death. However, the slave captains, wanting to maintain as many of their slaves alive as possible, soon began employing methods to force feed the Afrikanes. On some ships coal or fire would be placed near the lips of those who refused to eat. There were also captains who reportedly poured melted lead on slaves who were on hunger strikes. Another method used to force feed the Africans was a device called the speculum oris.

The speculum oris was a wooden instrument, which looked much like a pair of dividers, and was forced into the slave's mouth. Then a thumb screw would be turned, causing the legs of the speculum oris to open like a pair of pliers. Once the black man's jaws were forced open food would be crammed down his mouth, often causing intense gagging and vomiting. In addition to those killed in the act of rebellion, many more slaves died during the Middle

Passage A Great Sin of Humanity:

The Legacy of the Middle Passage Slavery and the slave trade have become hot historical topics in the 20th Century, and especially in the last few decades. The subject of how many Africans were transported to the Americas along the Middle Passage has been a contentious issue for many historians. In his pioneering 1969 study, "The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census", Phillip Curtin placed the number of Afrikans transported across the ocean at 8 million. Most studies since then have increased this estimate. For example, Hugh Thomas's massive 1997 "The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 1440-1870", puts the number of Africans that arrived in the Americas at approximately 11 million. Most recent studies that have used documented evidence as their basis have placed their estimates at between 10 and 15 million. Most also agree that nearly as many Africans died over the course of the Middle Passage as reached the end of the voyage, thus placing the total number of its victims between 20 and 30 million. Other studies, lacking substantial evidence, have tried to place this number much higher, some settling on 50-60 million people, others claiming that the numbers reached as high as 80-100 million. While their argument that many of those who were transported along the Middle Passage were not documented, or that the documentation has been lost, is perhaps valid, it is also hard to discount the more scientific studies. What has not been a subject of debate is that the experience of the African slaves along the Middle Passage remains today as the paramount example of human mistreatment and suffering. The conditions which the slaves were faced with on this journey graphically display the absolute terror which was African-American slavery. For centuries the Afrikans were victimized by the heartless greed of a European class which was more advanced, and thus in a position to exploit them.

The Africans, who were captured, branded, and locked in chains, had their humanity completely stripped away by slavery. Exemplified by the horror of the Middle Passage, slavery and the slave trade have permanently imbrued the character of all humanity.

Middle Passage Sources:

Alderman, Clifford L., "Rum, Slaves, and Molasses: The Story of New England's Triangular Trade", Crowell-Collier Press, New York , New York , 1972. Curtin, Phillip D., "The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census", University of Wisconsin , Madison , Wisconsin , 1969. Dow, George Francis, "Slave Ships and Slaving", Dover Publications, New York , New York , 1970. Howard, Thomas, "Black Voyage", Little, Brown, and Company, Boston , Massachusetts , 1971. Hoyt, Edwin P., "African Slavery", Abelard-Schuman Limited Company, London , 1973. Kay, F. George, "The Shameful Trade", Frederick Muller Ltd., London , 1967 Klein, Herbert S., "The Middle Passage: Comparative Studies in the Atlantic Slave Trade", Princeton University Press, Princeton , New Jersey , 1978. Meltzer, Milton, "Slavery: From the Renaissance to Today", Cowles Book Company Inc., Chicago , Illinois , 1972. Plimmer, Charlotte and Denis, "Slavery: The Anglo-American Involvement", Harper and Row Publishers Inc., New York , New York , 1973. Rawley, James A., "The Transatlantic Slave Trade", W. W. Norton and Company, New York , New York , 1981. Thomas, Hugh, "The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade: 1440-1870", Simon and Schuster Inc., New York , New York , 1997. http://beatl.barnard.columbia.edu/students/his3487/lembrich/seminar53.html



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