"The Coming" by Daniel Black demonstrates how the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a genocide throu...

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"The Coming" by Daniel Black demonstrates how the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a genocide through descriptions of kidnapping, murder, psychological and physical torture and forced cultural amalgamation. by Mind Map: "The Coming" by Daniel Black demonstrates how the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a genocide through descriptions of kidnapping, murder, psychological and physical torture and forced cultural amalgamation.

1. Text

1.1. The text was Daniel Black's novel, The Coming. He uses a representation of enslaved people and their experiences but never takes on a name and also doesn't name the ship. As mentioned in an interview with the College Language Association he tells the story from the perspective of the enslaved on every ship. He gives cultural history from before their interaction with white men, through the middle passage until they were sold in America to colonists at the end.

1.2. The novel is fictional but is heavily based upon historical documents, research and testimonies.

2. Reader

2.1. Daniel Black uses poetic syntax and creates vivid imagery throughout the novel. He first creates a connection with the reader by describing African cultures: music, dance, social norms and more. Then he takes them on the journeys of the enslaved Africans. He conveys the heart wrenching stories of the murders of many people, how others chose suicide and death over the tortures of life in the middle passage. The book closes with the enslaved all being sold to colonists in the United States.

2.1.1. During the Middle Passage section of the book, Black includes stories of horrific acts committed against enslaved people. He describes violence like whippings, forced dancing on deck, rape and inhumane conditions He shows the resilience of the enslaves when they're rallying together and supporting one another despite language and cultural barriers. This leads to cultural amalgamation, the tribal cultures from Africa were lost for the enslaves but they created a new culture.

3. Author

3.1. Daniel Black was successful in making his arguments. He uses imagery and details from testimonies of enslaved people and historic documents to portray the collective story of Africans in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. In the section about the Middle Passage, Black describes in detail various methods of psychological and physical torture, these two forms were often interconnected. He describes the tormented screams of a woman whose baby was thrown into a furnace. There were many other similar scenes where physical torture or death of some people was used to psychologically torture others.

3.1.1. He demonstrates cultural amalgamation which is the combining of multiple cultures and contributes to a cultural genocide. The old cultures are lost and merged into a new culture with different language and customs. This is demonstrated in the book after the enslaves unite to face the horrors of the middle passage as a collective instead of also having conflicts with each other because of differing tribes. At the end of the book Black describes the enslaves from the boat being all sold to different colonists. This separation of family groups and cultural groups is another aspect of genocide which is described in The Coming.

4. Context

4.1. Lambert, Raphaël. "The Slave Trade as Memory and History: James A. Emanuel's "The Middle Passage Blues" and Robert Hayden's "Middle Passage"." African American Review 47, no. 2/3 (2014): 327-38. Accessed December 3, 2020. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24589757.

4.1.1. This text examines two sources about the Middle Passage and its horrors. It contrasts the writing styles and the choices of the authors in the way they presented their stories. This connects to The Coming because they are all different ways of presenting stories from the slave trade and demonstrate the different ways the story can be conveyed

4.2. Corio, Alessandro. “Anagrams of Annihilation: The (im)possible Writing of the Middle Passage in NourbeSe Philip and Édouard Glissant.” International Journal of Francophone Studies 17, no. 3-4 (November 1, 2014): 327–348.

4.2.1. This article targets poems and testimonies written in NourbeSe Philip and by Edouard Glissant. They connect the past to modern biopolitical ideologies. This displays additional valuable testimonies in the discussion of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

4.3. Karazsia, Zachary A. "An Unfulfilled Promise: The Genocide Convention and the Obligation of Prevention." Journal of Strategic Security 11, no. 4 (2018): 20-31. Accessed December 3, 2020. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26627191.

4.3.1. When the United Nations defined genocide, they included causing serious mental or physical harm, killing people from the group, and placing the group in conditions not fit to sustain life. Daniel Black demonstrates this throughout The Coming through vivid imagery of the horrors that enslaves went through on the Middle Passage and through slavery, most of these experiences are encompassed by this United Nations definition of genocide.

5. Exigence

5.1. The Coming reflects a worldview of hope, curiosity and reliance from the perspective of enslaved Africans. There were no explicit biases from this text.

5.2. Black includes some perspective from the slave ship crew and also demonstrates a connection between some enslaves and a young white boy in the United States, he poses the question of how much impact the young boy can make if he retains his empathy for the plight of enslaves and defies the racist teachings of his culture in the slave society.

6. Conclusion

6.1. Based off the text a conclusion I can draw about the topic of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade is that slavery was a genocide. The book describes murder of enslaves, torture both physical through whippings and beatings and psychological through witnessing the torture of others in addition to the dehumanizing conditions in which enslaves were kept on the ship. There was significant cultural amalgamation, through messages of resilience and finding strength through unity with other enslaves their languages and cultures gradually merged to become a collective culture and many of the tribal traditions were lost or evolved significantly.

6.1.1. Despite the horrors experienced by enslaves they were resilient and relied on strength from their ancestors and spiritual beliefs to help them survive.

7. Influence

7.1. This text created new perspective and brought a new form of story telling to the topic of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

7.1.1. By effectively telling the story and common experiences of all enslaves (all enslaves had different experiences but the novel seeks to tell many stories) Black tells a common history about many people rather than a biography or memoir about a single person or set of experiences Through his poetic prose he strikes a balance between displaying the harsh cruelties of the slave trade while still making it appropriate for a variety of audiences. It also is written in an engaging way and will draw readers in who wouldn't usually read about the slave trade because most other texts are traditional academic papers.