Middle Passage Studies and the Birth of Slavery at Sea
This book investigates the social conditions and human costs associated with maritime slavery by tracing the movement of bondpeople in, out, and through the Atlantic Ocean. Drawing on a variety of sources, it explores the continuum of torture, abuse, and survival that bound slaves and sailors together on ships. It broadens the gaze of captivity toward the interior and rather contentious seaborne spaces occupied by bondpeople, surgeons, and sailors and highlights the importance of the Middle Passage to the operation of the Atlantic human manufacturing process. The book traces the historical cultural aspects of consciousness fueled by a commercial industry anchored on terror and introduces the concept of “slavery at sea” into the lexicon of studies of slaving voyages. By making meaning of the Middle Passage, it elucidates the spectrum of human bondage through a multifocal lens extended toward sex, terror, the body, illness, and death.
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