94 Prime Healthy Negroes


The year is 1769. Almost exactly 250 years ago. How awful. How awful. It is impossible to imagine what it was like to be a slave. I try to imagine it but all I end up feeling is desperately sad and frightened, with a kind of knotting in my stomach.

Can you imagine an isolated and simple life for you and your family, a life that’s all you and your ancestors have ever known. None of your community have known about the rest of the world. Suddenly your status quo is completely upturned by invading strangers. They are not after your property, your goods, your minerals. They are not even after your land. No, they are after you.

They split you from your family and your village and take you away forever. You have no idea what’s going on. Nothing is explained to you. You wear the chains and are just whipped and punished until you comply to whatever it might be they want of you. None of it makes any sense.

You now enter a fate that in so many ways is worse than actual death. A living hell. A living death. You are no longer you. You aren’t even human. You are a commodity. To be sold for a price. To be owned like the owning of any other machinery. To be no different to an axe, a shovel or a till.

Unlike a shovel, you will be beaten if you don’t perform to an expectation. No carefully nurturing, repairing and fixing. Ultimately, if you can’t perform you will be unceremoniously shot dead and discarded without a trace. Without a second thought.

Sickening. Disgusting.