Africa’s history spans beyond the slave era, back into thousands of years. We are not ignorant of the fact that we the Black continent was beautiful, glorious and noble. But as we tell our glorious stories, we must also call out and tell our young and unborn people about the wickedness that we have suffered as a race. This knowledge will inform our decision on how we interact with our oppressors.
Some of the worst atrocities that happened to our people during the slavery era, happened in the plantations. It ranged from breeding farms where male and females relatives were matched to have sex and reproduce, to the rape, murder, and killing of men, women, and children. In the plantations, the Black people who were taken into slavery were reduced below animals and suffered the worst fate known to man.
According to records in the British museum, slaves were boiled in sugar vats, as punishment in the Carribean (West Indies).
In the 18th, 19th, and 20th century, the Caribbean had large amounts of Sugar Plantations and fields. Enslaved Africans were the major source of the labor on the plantations, and they worked all day round, planting, harvesting, milling them in the sugar refineries.
The Planting of Sugar cane in the Caribbean (Barbados) started in the 1640s and was basically farmed by a combination of Africans and Prisoners from the British Isles. The elites would later find a way to reach Africa and steal Black people who they brought to the Plantations to work.
The process of planting and processing sugarcane was very tedious. Many enslaved Africans died of disease, malnutrition, exhaustion or were killed by slavers who wanted to teach others a lesson.
In this particular instance, an enslaved African was unwell and could not work on the plantation. The plantation overseer would not have any of that, because he wanted more output and profit for his masters, so he decided to throw the young African into a boiling vat of sugar and pinned him down with a stick so that the sick young man could drown a bit.
The overseer’s words were: “B-t your black Eyes! what you can’t work because you’re not well? – but I’ll give you a warm bath, to cure your Ague, & a Curry-combing afterwards to put Spunk into you.”
After boiling him on the sugar juice, the overseer brought him out and whipped him so much that it took the young enslaved African another six months to recover from the wounds and scalding on his skin.
In a debate by Wilberforce, for the abolishment of slavery on 18th April 1791, he confirmed the evil punishment of boiling slaves by saying that: “an overseer . . . threw a slave into the boiling cane juice, who died in four days; he was not punished otherwise than by replacing the slave, and being dismissed the service.”
This and many more evil was carried out on the Africans who worked on the sugar plantations. A doctor, named James Ramsay, who worked in the sugar plantations in St Kitts, made some shocking revelations as to how slaves were treated by the overseers. In a book he wrote he gave a gorry but detailed account of it all: “The ordinary punishments of slaves, for the common crimes of neglect, absence from work, eating the sugar cane, theft, are cart whipping, beating with a stick, sometimes to the breaking of bones, the chain, an iron crook about the neck… a ring about the ankle, and confinement in the dungeon. There have been instances of slitting of ears, breaking of limbs, so as to make amputation necessary, beating out of eyes, and castration… In short, in the place of decency, sympathy, morality, and religion; slavery produces cruelty and oppression. It is true, that the unfeeling application of the ordinary punishments ruins the constitution, and shortens the life of many a poor wretch.”