The Middle Passage, Gullah/Geechee, and SAV
Tune in as Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) explains the history of the Middle Passage as it relates to the port city of Savannah, GA in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
Enslavement advertisements in Savannah marketed the “Black gold/Black cargo” to insure people were aware of the “superior attributes of African slaves from Gambia, Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, Angola, and New Calabar.” The “slave trade” on River Street in Savannah began as “intercolonial domestic trade” with enslaved Africans being brought from South Carolina to be sold into bondage or to be rented out to clear the land that would become Carolina gold rice and Sea Island cotton fields as well as to be built up to become the city of Savannah.
In 1747 James Habersham and Francis Harris built one of several commercial vessels, the schooner Endeavour, to engage in the intercolonial trade. The Endeavour exported goods to South Carolina for reexport to Britain and imported enslaved Africans from South Carolina for sale in Savannah. From 1755 to 1767, approximately 63 percent of slaves imported into Savannah originated from the Caribbean, and approximately 24 percent came directly from the windward coast/rice coast of the Motherland. From 1768 to 1771, approximately 86 percent of the Africans kidnapped and brought to Savannah to enslaved came directly from the Motherland. St. James, Goree Island, Bunce Islands were major enslavement ports on the western seaboard of Africa from which Africans arrived in Savannah. 1766 the Liverpool, England sloop, Maryborow arrived in Savannah from Senegal with 78 enslaved Africans on-board.
During the early 1790s, Cyprian Sterry of Providence, Rhode Island delivered some 13 human cargoes of over 1,200 enslaved Africans to Savannah. Rhode Island played a major role in the enslavement traded that was taking place all along what is now the coast of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
Due to the fact that Gullah/Geechees built this port city by hand and with their blood, sweat, and tears, the Gullah/Geechee Nation has led multiple libation ceremonies on River Street in Savannah, GA and they continue to keep people aware of the four to six month Middle Passage journey that many of their ancestors had to take before they arrived on the coast of Georgia. The Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s legacy is still alive there in spite of this crime against humanity.
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