The Middle Passage is the crossing of the Ocean from Africa to America of African people, who passed from the state of liberty to the state of slavery, and took place between the XVI and XIX centuries.
They were captured from the tribes situated on Africa's West Coast: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal, etc. and they were shipped in the southern area of North America (Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida).
The Diaspora gives birth to a new human being: the African American, who links together the African and the American culture.
The Crossing of the Ocean.
The crossing of the Atlantic Ocean is a very important phase of the Middle Passage. It includes a vast number of aspects and elements: the slave ship, the sense of community, the function of the sea, the horrible treatment and condition of life in the slave ship, moral and physical suffering, darkness and the violence towards the women slaves.
"Voyage Through Death / To Life Upon these Shores".
symbolizes the apex of the construction of the Middle Passage; this is an emphatic claim to life, signifying the arrival of a new people on the scene of the New World. I mention about new people because, as we will see, the crossing of the ocean is the opportunity to transform in something different, something "new". .
The line is taken from the poem ".", where it is repeated several times, at the beginning as at the end, symbolizing the transformation and the exaltation of "The Black Spear".
This line is a sort of leitmotiv in slave literature, because of its incisiveness and clearness.
An important contribution concerning the meaning of Middle Passage is given by several authors such as Edward Kamau Brathwaite, George Lamming, Wilson Harris, Edouard Glissant, Derek Walcott. They contribute significantly to refute the claim by V. S. Naipaul that: "nothing was created in the West Indies" (taken from The Middle Passage, 1963, p.