Important note: The links below and questions just give you an idea of what we studied this week. You don’t have to open and read or watch each link’s material.
YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioQdmYLeF6M
YouTube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5v-Shqz0Bg
Reading: “Slavery in Virginia”
Reading: “Slavery in Barbados”
Website: A spiral of history
Reading: Olaudah Equiano, “Interesting Narrative” (1789)
For the complete autobiography, see https://history.hanover.edu/texts/equiano/equiano_contents.html
Reading: From Jean Barbot’s " A description of the coasts of north and south guinea
More Slave Narratives: Interviews of formerly enslaved individuals by members of the Federal Writers Project (WPA) in the 1930s
this is a large collection of slave narratives. Unfortunately it is a 465-page pdf, and rather unwieldly.
DB 6: Empire and Exploitation: The Atlantic Slave Trade
Note; All the above links and questions are to give you an idea of what we studied this week.
Quantitative Literacy Blog 1: The Atlantic Slave Trade (NACE)
NACE Competency: Digital Technology The Quantitative Literacy Blog addresses the workplace competency Digital Technology. By composing a series of blog posts you will develop information and quantitative literacy by assessing the value of website content and evaluating quantitative data to reach conclusions about historical events.
This week we will shift gears and turn to developing your quantitative literacy skills. In the discipline of history, quantitative literacy is a basic skill that allows historians to convey ideas not always best or most easily explained with words. Numbers can help historians test long-held assumptions and provide a solid basis for histories. These numbers and data can include tax rolls, census data, electoral records, and business ledgers. How does one learn to be quantitatively literate? Understanding numbers is primarily about being able to read quantitative sources in a productive way. It is about understanding what those numbers describe and how they help better understand and contextualize the historical events we study. It is important to keep in mind that there are real people behind these numbers. As you look at the statistics, think about how the developments they represent impact the lives of individuals, with implications that are ethical as well as practical.
Blog 1 – The Atlantic Slave Trade
This week we will evaluate statistics, charts, and interactive maps to build a better understanding of the Atlantic Slave Trade and its impact on African, European, and American economies and societies. We will use the numbers to better understand and possibly challenge the historical narrative of the slave trade. How to Complete the Quantitative Literacy Blog:
1) Historical Background
a. Watch this week’s video lecture on the Slave Trade
. b. Read this week’s primary sources.
2) Evaluate Statistics:
a. Browse and get acquainted with the Slave Voyages online database. This website contains a plethora of statistics related to the Atlantic Slave Trade, including number of voyages, numbers of slaves transported, ports of origin and destination ports. The site contains broader summary charts, specific statistical data, and interactive maps.
b. Go to the Examine Estimates of the Slave Trade link found in the middle of the home page. Look carefully through the Tables, Timeline, and Maps sections of the page. Note that in the Tables section you can change the criteria (periods of time, embarkation and disembarkation regions, as well as number of slaves embarked and disembarked).
c. Draw connections between the background information you learned from the video lecture and the numbers and charts you are seeing on these pages of the Voyages website. Take notes.
3) Apply Statistics to Historical Interpretation:
Part one of the assignment questions
Answer the following questions in the blog using the data you’ve gathered from the Estimates page. Make sure to reference specific numbers from the tables, charts or maps to support your argument(s).
a. What were the chronological phases of the slave trade? What countries dominated the slave trade and when? What connection do you see between the numbers and the rise and decline of the different European empires? Be sure to reference specific numbers and countries in your answer.
b. What historical connections do you see between the numbers in the Tables and the Timeline? In other words, how do the numbers help us understand the different events included in the Timeline section? Be sure to reference specific numbers, countries and events in your answer.
c. What ethical implications can be drawn from these numbers? In other words, what do these numbers tell us about how the slave trade itself affected the individual lives of enslavers as well as the enslaved?
d. What most struck you about the statistics and how they relate to the historical chronology of the slave trade? Be sure to reference specific numbers, countries and events in your answer.
Part two of the assignment questions
Conclusion & Reflections Reflection on Quantitative Literacy Exercise:
After you finish answering the questions above, sit back and reflect on the experience of using quantitative data to answer historical questions. Submit your thoughts on the following on the Discussion Board and reply to at least one other student’s post.
1. Working with the data: Once you accessed the statistical data, what strategies did you use to make meaning of the data as it related to the questions? Did you need to do further research to use the data in the questions? If so, what did you do?
2. Limitations: What did you expect to learn, but didn’t? What didn’t you see here? What couldn’t you find out?
3. Questions not asked: What most struck you about the statistics that does not relate to the specific questions being asked? What are some significant historical questions besides those in this assignment that the statistics can answer?
4. The value of quantitative reasoning: Why is data analysis important? how do skills apply even if you are not going into a career where you are not using data analysis?
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