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As the ship drew closer to the shore, we were able to, through the cracks of the ship, see the harbor and land! It was the first time seeing land for over 3 months. In the harbor we saw many other ships similar to ours. As we came to a stop in the harbor, men boarded the ship. They separated us and examined us thoroughly. They had us do foolish things like jump up and down and point to the land to show that we understood where we were to end up. The abundance of white man created great anxiety. Many thought that the white men were going to eat us. We were forced back down below the ship where we were to spend the rest of the evening. Eventually our cries of treApidation became so great that the white men sent old slaves to pacify us. They informed us that we were not going to be eaten, but we were to work in their fields and their houses where we would be surrounded with men of our own country and language.
Upon sunrise, we were led off the boat onto dry land, I wanted to drop to my knees and thank Allah for allowing me to survive and once again see land. But the white men had no intention in allowing us to stop and do anything. They rubbed oil all over our faces and bodies and forced us into the merchant's yard where we were placed in cages like animals with no regard to sex or age. Through the cracks in the cage I was able to observe a life that was quite different from that back in Africa. Houses made of bricks that stood 20 feet above the ground. I had never seen such a sight before. Also, men on horseback. I did not understand any of this, I thought they were full of nothing but magical powers. While being astonished, a fellow captive informed me that they too had horses back in Africa, ones that were even larger than those that I was seeing.
After a few days, we were to be sold. The drums began to beat and buyers rushed the stage where a man stood by a podium. The noise was terrifying for us: who didn't know what was going on. People of all sorts were out by the stage: there were men and women, children and elders. The girls were dressed in lavish amounts of cloth and in bright colors and the boys were running around playing with each other. Sparsely interspersed were other black men and women doing various tasks. The drums grew louder and the crowed died down, the door to the gate was thrown open and a small girl was pulled out of the cage; while her mother writhed in agony, crying out for her child that was ripped from her hands, but to no avail. She was dragged up upon the stage and the man there then invited other men to "check over the goods" as if she wasn't even a person. They ran their hands over her body checking for signs of disease or problems, and finding none went on to bidding for her. She was sold to a white man with an evil gleam in his eyes and with that, another black man came up to her and as if he himself had no pity grabbed her by the arm and threw her upon a cart. Her mother would most likely never see her again. The bidding went on all day, I was finally grabbed by the arm and led on to the stage as I had see so many other before me. They poked and prodded and, after finding me fit began bidding, and with the fall of the mallet my fate was sealed. I was to be the property of Sir. George Jamison until the day I died.
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