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The Middle Passage

The Middle Passage was a time in our nations history that most of us would like to forget. It was a time of depression and hatred, especially among the African Americans who suffered the most terrible conditions. The movie “Amistad” illustrates a great example of the suffering African Americans had to go through. This movie explains the true account of the dreadful conditions that the slaves endured while under captive.

“Amistad”, directed by Steven Spielberg, portrays the horrible events that took place upon the slave ship, “Amistad.” The movie “Amistad” isn’t simply about the abduction and selling of people during slavery times; it is about how dehumanizing the whole process was. When the main character and 52 of his people were abducted, they experienced a shock of fear that never in their lives had they experienced before. The owners of the first ship were white slavers, but as the movie shows us, it his own people who perpetrated the kidnapping. This was often how slavery actually occurred, the African leaders would exchange slaves for gifts like firearms, money, alcohol, etc…

The slaves are then scrubbed down and rubbed with oil, in order to emphasize their muscules, all to make them more enticing at a slave market, where they are bought and sent on the ship “Amistad.” During which many unspeakable horrors take place, such as the rape of many African women, the dehumanizing whippings imposed on men being used as “examples” to the rest of the slaves, and the dumping of sick and weak slaves, linked by chains and weighed down with rocks, into the ocean.

This clip of the movie demonstrates the horrific chilling details that the slaves endure. It is horrible to be reminded of the appalling conditions, but it teaches us the kind of dehumanizing things that some people will do to make a profit. Slavery exhibit’s a great part in our nations history and it is important that we learn from our mistakes.

Work Cited

Amistad Dir. Steven Spielberg. Perf. Morgan Freeman, Nigel Hawthorne. Dreamworks Pictures. 1998

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