Friday, July 3, 2009

Sandy Spring Slave Museum: Slaver Cross-section

By Cory Watkins
HS 129, Summer 1 2009

I chose to go and check out the Sandy Spring Slave Museum & African Art Gallery, It is located in Sandy Spring, Maryland. I found this location on the list of sources on the blog assignment sheet. I chose this site over anything else because it was close to home and I was really interested to physically see a slaver ship. It is located off of Brook Road, a back road in Sandy Spring.

I visited this site on June 5th, 2009. There they had a replica slaver ship and a log cabin which slaves would have lived in. I chose to talk about the slaver ship in particular because I thought it was very interesting. It caught my eye and put into perspective what African Americans had to go through during the Middle Passage. Just reading the chapters in our textbook, African American Odyssey, does not really show you all that they went through, but actually going and seeing it really opened my eyes. The boat was a lot like the reading, just I couldn’t actually see it while reading, so it was a great experience to actually see it

I liked that they had an actual boat that you could walk up to and look inside. This was not an actual boat from that time but was created using information from that time period. It was not a full boat but, rather, part of the boat that the slaves were kept in. This slaver ship depicts where slaves would have been kept during their transportation from Africa on the boat during the Middle Passage. It was about three feet high and there were many people in close quarters. There were shackles everywhere, people bleeding, and just overall nasty conditions. The individuals inside had very little clothing and inside they had a bucket to eat from. The people who created this exhibit were definitely trying to show viewers the experience that African Americans had during the Middle Passage.

The dates associated with this slaver ship would be any dates where slaver ships were used. This slaver ship does not represent a particular boat but just the conditions aboard these slaver ships in general. So dates could range from 1451 to 1870.

This exhibit tells me a lot about African American History. For one, it tells me that African Americans went through way too much undeserved pain and suffering. It tells me that they treated African Americans like animals and not people. It tells me that people can be really mean and will do anything for money. I’m just glad that this era is over with and no one goes through this pain any longer.

I think this museum is very important for people to see. People need to realize that racism is so wrong and that people are just people. No one deserves to be held unwillingly unless they have broken a law. These African Americans never did anything do deserve the maltreatment they received. Everyone needs to see this exhibit because they need to see for themselves what these African Americans had to go through. I would tell future generations that they should visit this museum and to not forget about the past history because we would never want anything like this to ever happen again.

Works Cited: Sandy Spring Slave Museum website:

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