Black Legacy: America's Hidden Heritage

By William D. Piersen | Go to book overview

NOTES
CHAPTER 1 Why God's Black Children Suffer
1. Some of the material in this section of Chapter 1 first appeared in William D. Piersen, "White Cannibals, Black Martyrs: Fear, Depression, and Religious Faith as Causes of Suicide among New Slaves," Journal of Negro History 62, no. 2 ( April 1977), 147-59. In addition to the many examples cited herein, see Bryan Edwards, The History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West Indies, 3 vols. ( London, 1793- 1801), 2:127 n., who offers an Ashanti example. Similar beliefs were held by Ali Eisami, a recaptive from Nigeria taken to Sierra Leone; see Phillip D. Curtin, ed., Africa Remembered ( Madison, 1968), 215. For such beliefs in Angola, see G. A. Cavazzi, Istorica descrizione de tre Congo, Matamba, et Angola . . . ( Bologna, 1687), 164; John Atkins , A Voyage to Guinea, Brazil, and the West Indies ( London, 1735), 175; and the testimony of James Frazier, in Abridgement of the Evidence Taken before a Committee of the Whole House . . . to Consider the Slave-Trade (hereafter cited as Evidence of the House), 4 vols. ( London, 1789- 91)), 2:34.
2. Crowther is quoted in Curtin, Africa Remembered, 307-8. Moreover, the natural psychological depression of enslavement was intensified by a physiological depression engendered by starvation or by the dehydration often caused by dysentery; see Kenneth F. Kiple, The Caribbean Slave ( Cambridge, 1984), 63.
3. Mungo Park, Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa ( London, 1799), 360.
4. Biography of Mahommah G. Baquaqua, a Native of Zoogoo, in the Interior of Africa . . . Written and Revised from His Own Words, by Samuel Moore . . . ( Detroit, 1854), as quoted in Robert Edgar Conrad, ed., Children of God's Fire ( Princeton, 1983), 26.
5. Olaudah Equiano, Equiano's Travels: The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa the African, abridged and ed. PaulEdwards

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