Based on your understanding of the reading thus far, answer ONE of the following prompts to the best of your ability.You will have ten minutes to think and write! :)

How did the evolution of the slave ship make possible the expansion of the slave trade? What does Rediker mean when he writes, "It[the ship] was also a factory and a prison, and in this combination lay its genius and its horror."?

What were some of the ways slaves were taken from their native lands? Provide at least two examples from the reading that demonstrates the process of enslavement.


  • The Middle Passage
  • How is Rediker's work The Slave Ship, a "human history"? Why does he place slaves and merchants at center of this story? In doing this, what point is he trying to make?


As you read ahead in Slave Ship in the coming days...

Oladuah Equiano: An Eyewitness Account

Equiano's story is at the center of chapter 4 in the Slave Ship, he was the first person to write an eyewitness account from the perspective of the enslaved.

  • An Excerpt...
  • As you read chapter 4, make sure to take note of:
    • Explain how Equiano became a slave.
    • What did Equiano first expect was going to happen to him when he was brought aboard the slave ship?
    • What descriptions does Equiano provide about conditions faced by slaves on the Middle Passage? (What information does he give about the sights, sounds, smells, etc.?)
    • What evidence can you find from his recollections that he made every effort to hold onto his culture and identity?

You will need to have read chapters 4,5 and 6 by next Tuesday, February 9th! Guided reading questions for these chapters are posted on wiki! :)