Trending Topics

7 Things You May Not Have Known About an Average Day for an Enslaved African in the Americas

slave quarters

Lived in Huts, Not Homes

Despite many depictions of enslaved people living in small, cramped quarters that resemble small fully wooden homes, even those quarters are much too luxurious for what enslaved people really had, historians Daniel Littlefield, William Dusinberre and Peter Wood explained, according to the article “The Lives of African-American Slaves in Carolina During the 18th Century.” Rather than small shacks with windows and small rooms, many enslaved people lived in incredibly small huts built with upright poles and usually covered in clay. These huts didn’t have windows, doors or real floors. Enslaved people who did live in small shacks that closely resembled small log cabins were usually drivers, the enslaved person who was in charge of watching and punishing the other enslaved people as they worked in the fields. Other larger abodes housed an incredible number of enslaved people, which made the quarters extremely cramped and unhygienic.



living conditions for enslaved people

Slept on the Ground

According to a report published by PBS, many enslaved people had nothing else to sleep on but a thin, dirty blanket, and they only received a new blanket once a year at the most. Some masters would not even replace the blanket that often, forcing some enslaved people to lay on a tattered blanket filled with holes. For enslaved people with wealthier masters, they would have wooden slabs to lie on but they still had to make do with very few blankets.

Back to top