Kofi - On the ship
I am scared of all the water. Yesterday we had to go up onto the top of this boat. My eyes hurt and my knees were stiff. Then I saw all the water but I couldn't see the land and I got very frightened so I forgot to jump up and down like the others. One of the white men shouted next to my face and I remembered.
Carved Ivory Tusk
A carved ivory tusk that shows chained figures. Few African-made objects commented on the slave trade. 19th century, Gabon, West Africa.
This is the Atlantic Ocean, which many captives would never have seen before. The slave ships sailed west from the African coast to the Americas. Within about eight days of sailing land would have been out of sight.
While on ship, and sometimes while waiting in the fort, Africans were often forced to exercise. They were thought of as property that needed to be kept in good working order. It was also thought that exercise, singing, dancing etc. raised their spirits.