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Slavery at SeaTerror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage$
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Sowande' M. Mustakeem

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040559

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040559.001.0001

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Healthy Desires, Toxic Realities

Healthy Desires, Toxic Realities

(p.55) 3 Healthy Desires, Toxic Realities
Slavery at Sea

Sowande' M. Mustakeem

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the second phase of slavery at sea—transport—that bondpeople entered once sold into West African markets. Tracing the movement of slaves on ships following coastal market transactions, it highlights the landscape of unhealthy conditions they had to endure and shows that their health was jeopardized by nutrient-deprived sea diets, lack of cleanliness, and dangerous weather patterns. It also considers the labor and profit risks involved in the movement and subsequent displacing of bondpeople as well as the dangerous convergence of toxicity and power that engendered the deterioration of their bodies. Finally, it explores how an integral relationship of inadequate nutrition, trauma, violence, and contamination made slaves vulnerable to illnesses and death.

Keywords:   maritime slavery, bondpeople, slave transportation, health, cleanliness, weather, toxicity, nutrition, illness

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