Posts Tagged ‘slavery’

The Slave Ship, by Marcus Rediker, is a very interesting human history of the ships that used to transport slaves from African regions to Europe. This book focuses on the ship in which slaves were transported, which people tend not to focus on. Slaves were treated with terror in the ship, and various forms of fear were used to scare them. They were tortured with different instruments and thrown aboard to hungry sharks. The thing that intrigued me the most in The Slave Ship is the slaves’ defiance when they are brought to the ship and throughout the journey. They would refuse to eat, which is when captains would have to force them to because they emaciated slaves would sell well. The book also captures the attention of the reader by showing how pathetically captains used to treat slaves: they were regarded as ‘cargo’ and the only interest of the captain would be to have them in good shape just so that he could sell them for a good price.  Another thing I learned from this book is that sailors were treated as savages, even worse than slaves were, because they weren’t going to be sold anyway, so it was not of the captain’s interest to make sure they were fed well. At times, sailors were even under the mercy of slaves. The first chapters of the book tell the story of a former Igbo slave and abolitionist, Olaudah Equiano, and several other people to give you detailed accounts of the slave trade. I thought the ending of the book was very touching and gave an excellent conclusion of the slave trade and the next step in this terrible system of the trade of humans.

Anybody could read this book. I assure you it is everything but boring: a very exciting and sad book. There are a lot of supporting documents and facts in the book, and it is written in a way that everybody will enjoy.


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In the book Escape from Slavery, Francis Bok tells the story of his abduction from his Dinka village by militiamen and his 10-year enslavement. As a slave, he had to do hard labor, eat rotten food, and get frequently beaten by his owner, Giema Abdullah, and his children, in addition to receiving death threats from Giema Abdullah’s angry wife.

I find Escape from Slavery a deeply poignant and insightful look at modern slavery. It is not complicated nor is it too long. Francis Bok also talks about how he manages to escape through Cairo and Khartoum, Sudan after a couple of unsuccessful trials. Not only is Francis Bok a witness to modern slavery, but he is also a nation-wide speaker who travels all over the country to educate people and urge them to take action. He had accomplished great achievements, including meeting the United States President and bearing the torch at the 2002 Winter Olympics. A fascinating collection of pictures are available in the middle of the book.

I highly recommend this deeply captivating and insightful book.
This book is also great for educating middle – and –high school students.

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Read a one-page summary about Francis Bok

Escape from Slavery lesson plan (highly recommended)


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