Author's Views/the Enslavement of Africans in Britain's American Colonies

Chapter 3
The Enslavement of Africans in Britain’s American Colonies/Student's View of Author's View
Essay in Book By Jon Butler

Africans and Europeans had vastly different experiences journeying to the “new world” of America.   European expansion into America was most always voluntary and thought of as a way to better their quality of life, profit, trade and freedom.   Africans experienced capture from their homeland, family separation and ultimately enslavement in America.   In the essay titled The Enslavement of Africans in Britain’s American Colonies, Jon Butler explains the evolution of slavery and the experiences of the Africans from capture in Africa and their journey to America.
Jon Butler’s interpretation of the enslavement of Africans is a harsh one.   He paints a very sad journey beginning with their capture in their mainland and the terrible journey they endured or died on overseas.   He explains the Western perception of enslavement.   On page 44 in paragraph 3, Jon writes: “ Europeans had long labeled Africans as foreign, heathen, and differently colored… Africans were “savage” and libidinous.   And they were not white, or not what passed for “white”… In short, Africans might be human, but Europeans also perceived them as different, disagreeable, and dispensable, ideal candidates for enslavement that very quickly became indelibly American”.   Jon interprets the slave trade from the African as a death sentence.   If disease did not kill them on the way to America, escape overboard would, starvation would or attempted escapes once on land.
The document, Recollections of the Middle Passage 1788, helps to support the interpretations and feel of Jon Butler’s Essay.   This document tells of a journey overseas from Western Africa to the Americas.   The author of the document tells of “Negroes” throwing themselves overboard in a suicide fashion, being eaten by sharks, but never enslaved.   They also write of the terrible living conditions aboard.   On page 53,...