The Transatlantic Slave Trade is a horrific period in history that has impacted the lives of millions of people, including myself as a black diasporan. The forced migration and enslavement of Africans created an unimaginable level of suffering, trauma and generational trauma that continues to affect us today. As we continue to navigate through the complex issues surrounding our identity and heritage, it is imperative to explore these experiences through literature. In this article, I will review books that tackle different aspects of the black diaspora experience with hopes to highlight its beauty, complexity and resilience amidst historical oppression.
The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano by Olaudah Equiano
I was absolutely blown away by “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano” by Olaudah Equiano. This autobiography tells the story of a man’s journey from being kidnapped in Africa and sold into slavery, to becoming a free man and writing his own narrative. The way that Equiano describes his experiences is so vivid and emotional that it really brings home the horrors of slavery.One key takeaway from this book is how important education is for personal liberation. Despite being enslaved, Equiano taught himself to read and write, which gave him an advantage when he finally gained his freedom. Another takeaway is how dehumanizing and brutal slavery was for both slaves as well as those who participated in it.Overall, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the history of slavery or looking for an inspiring true-life story about overcoming adversity.
“The Slave Ship: A Human History” by Marcus Rediker
“The Slave Ship: A Human History” by Marcus Rediker is a gripping account of life on board slave ships during the transatlantic slave trade. Through extensive research, Rediker recounts harrowing details such as overcrowding, disease outbreaks, physical brutality towards captives who were treated like cargo rather than human beings.One key takeaway from this book is how profitable but also despicable some parts of capitalism can be if not regulated properly – just because something makes economic sense doesn’t mean it’s ethical or humane! Also noticeable are some parallels between modern-day human trafficking practices with what happened during those timesOverall, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in understanding more about one aspect or period in history where humanity lacked empathy.
“Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo”” by Zora Neale Hurston
Reading “Barracoon: The Story Of The Last ‘Black Cargo'” left me emotionally drained but enlightened at the same time. Written over 80 years ago but discovered only recently (published posthumously), author Zora Neale Hurston tells Cudjo Lewis’ (a once-enslaved African) heart-wrenching tale after surviving capture/oppression serving aboard slaver ship Clotilda till brought ashore Mobile Bay Alabama shores under duressOne key takeaway from this book highlights how despite enduring unimaginable hardship throughout their entire lives–from being forcibly taken out their homes against their wills under threat-of-violence—to experiencing firsthand enslavement— they still managed to maintain hope amidst immense suffering & hardships…It’s heartbreaking yet essential reading material especially due its unique perspective on people born into forced labor–not told through white colonizers’ eyes/voices like many books similar descriptions written before All things considered; I’d strongly encourage all readers around there wishing gain deeper appreciation concerning black culture/history within America taking time pick up copy barracoon today—it honestly speaks volumes regarding experiences endured several generations back while shedding light important conversations relevant present day pressing issues we face today