Roots, the first part of the movie. What life was like for most Africans prior to the slave trade and the horrors of the Middle Passage.

Essay by adr22367Junior High, 9th gradeA, November 2007

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The movie Roots was about African Americans taken from their homeland and forced onto ships. They would get other Africans to chase one another by cornering, trapping and surrounding them. The ships were used to trade goods for slaves. It was their hardest, most dangerous and longest part of their trip on the slave ships. African men, women, and children were cramped together on the ship. The men were chained to each other or to the deck to prevent riots. The women were raped and beaten, which the captain didn't approve of. The slaves were chained in a horizontal position so the ship could carry large cargo. They weren't able to stand or turn over, which caused many slaves to die. The slaves who died were thrown overboard. When the weather was nice, the slaves were forced to dance for exercise on the deck. They were given water with white rice.

Many of the slaves fought back. The Middle Passage was the worst thing that could happen to African American people.

People in Africa lived in peace. Tribes lived freely in the vast country, doing what they please, and lived like human beings. They had families, friends, religion, and a culture, like what we have now. Many of the Africans who were captured were respected and came from well-grounded families in their communities. The men were leaders and very proud. Kunta Kinte, a young African male had this type of life until he was kidnapped. His family owned sheep cattle farms, and there was much respect for everyone. Life was good for most African Americans prior to the slave trade.

Kunta Kinte had to move into his own hut after he came back from the Rite of Passage, which is part of their culture and religion. It is when...