Once the memory of your own language, the memory of everyone you once knew and loved, and the memory of the person you yourself once were has faded, who are you? You have truly become nobody. You are whoever and whatever the person who has purchased you wants or needs you to be. And if your people can’t mourn you in your own language and bury you in your own soil according to the ancient rites that are part of your blood, gristle and bone, then once you are dead and gone, you are truly gone – not an ancestor, still spoken of, and spoken to; honored; cherished, but a ghost, a homeless wraith whose presence can only trouble the living with a gnawing sense of unease and dread. This was the fate of at least twelve million souls, northerners and southerners alike. When they fell by the wayside on the march to the coast, they were left to die and rot where they lay. The ones branded incorrigible resistors at the slave “factories” of the coast were starved to death and then, so that their end might serve as an example to the others, fed to the sharks.
or water until death claimed them, El Mina, Ghana