Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery

"The Middle Passage"

Return to Homepage

About

The Middle Passage

Voyage to the New World

The Middle Passage is represented by a cross-section of a slaving clipper ship, which graphically depicts the living conditions of slaves in transport:

SLAVERY as a practice is as old as History
Slavery was common in most African Societies.
Warring groups acquired slaves through raids on neighboring villages
Black Gold--Europeans traded with chiefs for the human cargo.
Black Holocaust--20-30 million would die on the route overland and transport to the West
Although the trade was abolished in 1887, the illegal slave trade went on until 1889.
Thrust into the holds of overcrowded ships for long periods, many more slaves died through illness, malnutrition, poor sanitation, dysentery and brutality.
As the new nation was born, so the slave trade was born and exploded
12-20 million slaves survived transport to the West.
Only the fittest survived