Sunday, May 22, 2011

Slave transportation: Then and Now

The Eighteenth Century:
In order to achieve profit, the owners of the ships divided their hulls into holds with little headroom, so they could transport as many slaves as possible. Unhygienic conditions, dehydrationdysentery and scurvy led to a high mortality rate, on average 15%[4] and up to a third of captives. Only the most resilient survived the transport. Often the ships, also known as Guineamen,[5] transported hundreds of slaves, who were chained tightly to plank beds. For example, the slave shipHenrietta Marie carried about 200 slaves on the long Middle Passage. They were confined to cargo holds with each slave chained with little room to move.[6] ~Wikipedia "Slave Ship" Illustration: The Brookes ship plan
The Twenty-First Century:

The x-ray view of the inside of a truck in which 513 undocumented immigrants were discovered in Tuxtla Gutierrez, southern Mexico, on May 17, 2011. (Illustration: State Government of Chiapas via


Big Mark 243 said...

Of all the causes that equate the black experience to its cause, I think that this comparison definitely holds up.

I think that this entry should be a poster or billboard in Washington, DC.

Border Explorer said...

I really appreciate your input on this post, Big Mark. The image of that truck x-ray gnawed at me. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks when I connected it to the slave ship illustration.