Oyeladun - Arrival in the Americas
Today we arrived at a new place. I didn't want to leave the other women and children and was scared of what would come, but I was desperate to leave this place. Again we got into the boats and were taken to the land.
Again white men gathered round, looking and touching. A man who spoke my language told use to wash ourselves and rub oil into our skins - it stung my sores. He asked us how we were treated and who felt ill, but I had seen him talking with the white men so did not trust him. He told us to stand in line.
At the auction
Africans who spoke the captives' language were employed to talk to the new arrivals. They told them what to do, learnt how they felt and asked how they had been treated. They then reported what they had heard to their white masters.
Before they went on sale captives were forced to wash and rub oil into their skin to give it a healthy shine. Facial hair was shaved and greying hair was even dyed to make the captive look younger and healthier. Africans were sometimes forced to sing and dance in an attempt to raise their spirits, however, the purchasing planters were alert to these tricks and made thorough examinations.