Oyeladun - Journey to the ship
I can hardly tell you what happened next. They took my clothes and touched me and looked at me. When I tried to cover myself they grabbed my wrists. I cried with anger and they laughed.
For three days those same white men watched as I crouched in a corner of that building with barely enough food or water. Others, many who were sick and beaten, sat around me and we told of what we knew. One man thought the white people would eat us. I promised to make them sick if they ate me.
On the fourth day they opened the gates and we were moved out. I was so glad be out of there that I willingly walked to one of their boats. It took us to a ship like those I had seen before, and that is where you find me now.
Read about the journey to the ship for Okechukwu, Kwame,and Kofi.
This charm pendant necklace is made from cloth, leather and horn. It would have been used to protect the wearer. It is from the Gambia, West Africa.
The ship's surgeon helped the captain select and agree a price for the captives. The Africans had to remove their clothes so that every part of them could be pinched, poked and examined to ensure they were healthy. Their height was measured, they were made to jump up and down, and their teeth were examined to guess their age. Africans with any sign of disease were rejected to prevent them infecting the rest of the ship. Once they had been purchased captives were often branded with their owner's mark, and some were even baptised before boarding ship.
Many Africans would not have seen white men before they were taken into slavery, but may have heard rumours about their habits. Some Africans thought that they were to be eaten, that red wine was blood and that cheese was made from Africans' brains.