Suicide and Depression Among Black Males
Roughly three hundred years ago, more than twelve million Africans were stolen from their country and robbed of their jewels with the intentions of being enslaved in the New World. The New World consisted of the Americas and the Caribbean. During the tracherous journey, only about ten million survived. Slaves were forced onto ships to be transported to another country where many diseases were contracted due to the very poor and unhealthy conditions. They suffered from mental and physical abuse. Those who died during the two month or longer journey, were thrown overboard to be fed to the sharks.
Men were seprerated from women and children being held below deck meaning they would be cramped together with little to no space to move, along with leg irons to keep them from trying to escape. As far as women and children, they were sometimes kept on deck which often would result in sexual abuse from the Europeans. They were only fed twice a day and those who refused, were fed forcefully. Upon arrival, captives would be covered in palm oil to disguise wounds and sore contracted while being on board. The voyage was so traumatizing and atrocious, that captives would either just die or commit suicide, those who rejected orders were punished, and others decided to just submit to the given orders to keep some type of dignity. The reason for specifically targeting Africans was because of how healthy and able bodied they were.
In contrast to Native Americans, Africans possessed the immunity to diseases such as malaria and smallpox. Bringing Africans to the New World meant they would be forced to work long hours of the day doing a variety of work. They would pick crops on the plantations, work as craft workers, making guns, coopers, etc. and some were to do domestic duties such as servants, nurses and cooks. This created a horrific system that made the Europeans a huge profit while slaves were tortured, with no pay for their hard labor. The system was so dehumanizing, africans were also sold and auctioned off to other slave owners, children were taken away from their mothers, and wives were disgracefully taken away from their husbands which meant there was a very minute chance of the families ever seeing one another again.