Chapter 3

If Oceans Could Talk

“The American slave trade that occurred between 1619 and 1865 represents one of the most
egregious acts in the history of mankind. Imagine the life experiences of slaves. These human beings
were plucked from their African homeland like grapes from a vine, brought to America, and sold as
commodities to be used as property for providing free labor in order to contribute to the construction of
a nation—the United States of America. The visions of this reality are often too painful to bear. The
notion that grown men and women were subservient captives boggles the minds of young children and
adults in our country today. Babies born into slavery who lived their lives as children, adolescents, and
adults in our country died the same way, as subservient slaves.
Visualize for a moment the unthinkable hell African slave captives endured on journeys from Africa to
America—six-month stints across the Atlantic Ocean. Africans (human beings) physically and mentally
subjected to forms of unimaginable abuse…”

“If oceans could talk, the Atlantic would tell the stories of the estimated 2.2 million Africans who lost
their lives on the Atlantic during the middle passage.”