Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Colonial America (1492-1765)

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.02

     challenging words:    money-making, occupation, revolt, crossing, proposition, cargo, various, ports, colonial, slavery, during, tobacco, arrival, aboard, region, knowing
     content words:    New World, West Coast, Middle Passage, Chesapeake Bay

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By Sharon Fabian

1     Many of the settlers who arrived in America during colonial times were from the continent of Africa. Unlike settlers from Europe, these settlers did not come to America voluntarily. They arrived in the New World during the 1600's and 1700's by way of slave ships, as part of a business triangle.
2     The slave trade was a money-making business proposition in three steps. In the first step, ships loaded with cargoes of European goods sailed for the West Coast of Africa. There the cargo of goods such as European fabrics, guns, and iron were traded for African people. In the second step of the process, the Africans were forced to board a slave ship. They were transported to America where they were sold into slavery. For the final step, ships loaded with America products such as tobacco and sugar returned to ports in Europe.
3     Africa's West Coast became home to entrepreneurs who made it their occupation to provide African people for the slave ships that kept arriving. These slave traders did not capture slaves themselves. Instead, they made business arrangements with native Africans to handle that part of the job. Slaves were captured in various ways. Sometimes they were kidnapped. Sometimes they were captured in fighting between neighboring states. They were brought to the slave traders on the coast and held captive there until the arrival of the next ship.
4     While they were being held captive, the slaves had no idea of where they would be going or what would happen next. No one had ever returned from slavery to tell the story.

Paragraphs 5 to 11:
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