Transatlantic Slave Trade
- Stephen Behrendt
From the 1520s to the 1860s an estimated eleven to twelve million African men, women, and children were forcibly embarked on European vessels for a life of slavery in the Western Hemisphere. Many more Africans were captured or purchased in the interior of the continent but a large number died before reaching the coast. About nine to ten million Africans survived the Atlantic crossing to be purchased by planters and traders in the New World, where they worked principally as slave laborers in plantation economies requiring a large work force. African peoples were transported from numerous coastal outlets from the Senegal River in West Africa and hundreds of trading sites along the coast as far south as Benguela (Angola), and from ports in Mozambique in southeast Africa In the New World slaves were sold in markets as far north as New England and as far south as ...
A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.