Occasionally this blog will provide books, materials and films related to the Middle Passage or the transatlantic slave trade which we have found useful in researching.

Books and Texts: 

A Mercy by Toni Morrison (2008)
This tale challenges the notion of any possibility for humanity, freedom and justice to exist when exercised within a system of enslavement.

Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade by David Eltis and David Richardson (2010)
Many years in production, this book is handsome, full of historical data and original sources and is a treasure visually. To date this is the most thoroughly researched information on ships, people, and ports involved in the transatlantic slave trade. Well worth the wait.

Beloved by Toni Morrison (1988)                                                                                                     This story describes poignantly how precious freedom is and the price of enslavement through a mother’s perspective. Gives meaning to the song, “…and before I’ll be a slave I’ll be buried in my grave and go home to my Lord and be free.”

Generations of Captivity: A History of African American Slaves by Ira Berlin (2003)
This is an important longitudinal study of the African-American experience in North America by region and in relation to the development of colonial and U.S. history.

Slave Culture:Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America by Sterling Stuckey (1987)
For our purposes excerpts were from the first two chapters of this scholarly work. Stuckey argues that once in the diaspora Africans did not lose or forget their culture, beliefs and social systems but learned how to hide and adapt within a system of oppression and dehumanization.

Online: Slave Voyages: The Transatlantic Trade in Enslaved Africans by Hilary McDonald Beckles
Part of UNESCO’s Transatlantic Slave Trade Education Project.
Thorough. Massive – over 200 pages – it is a summary work covering the Western Hemisphere.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (1977)
A story about freedom seekers, illustrating how the experience of enslavement marks us all through generations.

The Middle Passage by Tom Feelings (1995)
A beautifully written and illustrated work describing the Middle Passage. Very powerful images and statements regarding the diaspora and Africa are contained in this book.

The Atlantic Slave Trade by James Walvin (2011)
As a secondary school teaching text the project highly recommends it. There are facsimiles of ship manifests and other slave trade documents which effectively bring this history to life.

The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census by Philip Curtin (1969)
An important research book because the author attempted to uncover data that would support the number of people who died during the Middle Passage and were victims to the transatlantic slave trade. He refused to simply make projections based on guess work and generalities.

The Slave Ship: A Human History by Marcus Rediker (2007)  
This work was filled with interesting background and material related to the slave trade from various experiences – European, African, merchants, captives, sailors. In many instances because it was so graphic the reader may have to put it down and proceed bit by bit.


Virtual Visit of Goree Island:The House of Slaves, United Nations Slave Route Project


Amistad by Steven Spielberg

Daughters of the Dust by Julie Dash

Prince Among Slaves a PBS Home Video

Sankofa by Haile Gerima

Through the Door of No Return by Shirikiana Aina


Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives