The horrors and pains of slavery captured in these sculptures!




During the period of the Atlantic Slave





Trade, from approximately 1526 to 1867,




some 12.5 million slaves were shipped




from




Africa to the Americas.








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The Atlantic Slave Trade is till date one of




the worst calamities to have ever befallen




the African continent.




The methods of transporting slaves were so






inhumane that most of them died even






before reaching America.





The slaves were separated according to





their sexes and physical strength, kept





naked and packed close together, and the





men were chained for longer periods.





About twelve percent of those who





embarked did not survive the voyage








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.

Infant and child mortality rates were twice




as high among slave children as among




southern white children. Half of all slave




infants died in their first year of life. A




major contributor to the high infant and





child death rate was chronic





undernourishment.




The average birth weight of slave infants




was less than 5.5 pounds, considered




severely underweight by today’s standards.




Most infants of enslaved mothers were




weaned within three or four months. Even




in the eighteenth century, the earliest





weaning age advised by doctors was eight




months.





After weaning, slave infants were fed a




starch-based diet, consisting of foods such





as gruel, which lacked sufficient nutrients





for health and growth.



Prices of slaves varied widely over time,





due to factors including supply, and




changes in prices of commodities such as






cotton. Even considering the relative





expense of owning and keeping a slave,




slavery was profitable.





In order to ensure the profitability of





slaves, and to produce maximum “return





on investment,” slave owners generally





supplied only the minimum food and





shelter needed for survival, and forced





their slaves to work from sunrise to sunset





.

Although young adult men had the highest





expected levels of output, young adult





women had value over and above their




ability to work in the fields; they were able




to have children who by law were also






slaves of the owner of the mother.






Therefore, the average price of female





slaves was higher than their male





counterparts up to puberty age. Men





around the age of 25-years-old were the





most “valuable.”



Credit: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of 



American History.




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