Dr. Tom Wagy, Regents Professor of History at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, will present a SuperLecture on “Enslavement and the Middle Passage” Friday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. in Eagle Hall of the University Center on the A&M-Texarkana campus at 7101 University Ave., Texarkana, Texas.
The event, which is part of the Program for Learning and Community Engagement lecture series, is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
“From the 15th to the 19th centuries, Europeans transported hundreds of thousands of West Africans from their homeland to sugar, rice and tobacco plantations in the Western Hemisphere,” said Dr. Wagy in previewing his presentation. “Africans, themselves, were responsible for seizing slaves in the interior and marching them to the coast in coffles with leather thongs around their necks. The European owners then branded the slaves for identification and stored them at a barracoon (a coastal fort) to await shipment to the New World.”
Dr. Wagy said, “When a ship arrived, the Africans faced a 50-day voyage to the West Indies termed the Middle Passage because for the Europeans it was the second leg of their triangle route from their home base, to Africa, to the West Indies, and back home. Tightly packed in the hold of the ship, men were forced to occupy a space less than the size of a coffin. Although often allowed to move about on the deck, women had just as unpleasant a journey. Africans resisted their enslavement but to little avail. The shock of the Middle Passage marked transition of Africans to African Americans.”
“Dr. Wagy is famous for presenting riveting and informative lectures, and this lecture promises to be no different,” said Dr. Michael Perri, associate professor of history and chair of the PLACE Committee at A&M-Texarkana. “I am looking forward to it.”
PLACE is a faculty-led program designed to create a community of learners comprising A&M-Texarkana students, faculty, staff and the community at large. PLACE chooses an annual theme around which to organize a lecture series and other activities that provide focal points for learning and discussion. This year’s theme is “Race and Ethnicity.”