Kwame - Arrival in Americas
Many people here are getting weaker. Their cries become wilder and their eyes roll. We have been here without shade for several days. They've given us better food and even a little tobacco but I don't think that this is for our benefit. Perhaps they want to raise our spirits just to put us down again.
Through the walls I can see a man close to the water's edge. They left him where he fell and only the dogs and flies show any interest. The sound and smell makes us sick.
The waiting is terrible. I need something to happen. More white men arrive each day.
Read about arrival in the Americas for Okechukwu, Oyeladun and Kofi.
A 1788 Barbados copper one-penny coin with a pineapple symbol.
These people were often expected to replace slaves who were ill or had died, yet they were usually tired, confused, scared and in no condition to work. There is evidence that many Africans arrived on land mentally disturbed by their ordeal. This was often made worse by the long period of adjustment.
Once on land captives were often given food, drink and tobacco to cheer them up. It was hoped that this would make them look livelier and healthier and so more likely to be bought. The plantation owners were aware of these tricks.
Africans who could not be sold - often because they were ill - were classed as 'refuse' and left to die at the dock.
In some places it was the law that Africans could not be sold until they had been on land for at least a day. This gave plantation owners who lived some distance away time to get to the sale.