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Let’s Dig Deeper Into the Transatlantic Slave Trade !!
This week, our goal is to establish our baseline for the rest of the class.
To understand slavery, and why it was so important to America’s identity, we must dig a little deeper into why European colonies needed to own their laborers. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll look at the motivations pushing Spain, France and England to set up their colonies. Each had a slightly different take on bondage, so as a result, had different relationships with the Africans they enslaved.
This week, we’ll look closely at how Great Britain expanded their empire and pay specific attention to how one African person used his story to advance a new way of life.
Take out a piece of paper and a note pad, or have your digital notepad ready. These videos are filled with lots of facts.
Topic 1: Colonization: Why did Europeans immigrate to the Americas?
Sit back, relax and lets go back to the 1500s. Each empire had it’s own motivations for colonizing North America. Although on paper, they look very similar, they each brought their own worldview to the Western Hemisphere. This influenced the way they governed, created laws, shaped their traditions, customs and culture and even influenced how they decided who was and wasn’t a slave.
Video 1: https://youtu.be/RS6YzGKySTg
Video 2: https://youtu.be/er4CMhp6hqc
Topic 2: The British and Slavery
For many of us, the story of the British colonies is something we learned in grade school. From Mayflower to the story of Paul Revere, we’ve grown up hearing about our country’s British origins. What’s often absent from those stories is the role that slavery played in making the colonies profitable.
Video 1: https://youtu.be/PjfcOPXz39I
Video 2: https://youtu.be/O7OqaMkymWI
Topic 3: Olaudah Equiano
Equiano was taken from his native land (now known as Nigeria) and sold into his slavery. He was later freed, writes his memoir and becomes the most famous African person of his generation. His story was far from ordinary, but it is important that we pay attention of the words of enslaved people. It gives us a much better insight into their lived experience and raises up their dignity. After all, just because they were dehumanized does not mean that they were not human.
Read the overview of Equiano’s biography https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olaudah_Equiano
Read the overview of: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Or Gustavus Vassa, The African, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Interesting_Narrative_of_the_Life_of_Olaudah_Equiano
You may also watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQaF4BNY9LA
Topic 1: Questions
Why were the Spanish interested in the colonization of the Americas? Where were their colonies?
Why were the British interested in the colonization of the Americas? Where were their colonies?
Why were the French interested in the colonization of the Americas? Where were their colonies?
Topic 2: Questions
What were some of the commodities enjoyed by the British people that were produced by slave labor?
Why do you think the history of slavery is forgotten in places like Bristol where the people profited so much from it?
What were some of the key differences between indentured servants and chattel slaves?
What role did African people play in the slave trade? How did they benefit from it? (Video 2)
Who were the African middle men? (Video 2)
Topic 3: Questions?
Who is Equiano?
Why is his story so “interesting”?
What role did literacy play in freeing Equiano?
Why is it essential that slave narratives like Equiano’s be studied historians?