Trying out moves.
© Alistair Devine
Shawlands Primary School (two classes). This was for two School Assemblies. Below is part one of the story. The second class completed the story.

Characters
Narrator
Captain
Boy
Friend of girl

Slave Traders
Enslaved people
Girl
First Mate

Narrator
Welcome to our P6 Assembly, our topic is Slavery. (Provide a short introduction about Scotland and the Slave Trade, the slave traders and the transatlantic trade.) We are now going to show you some of the terrible things that happened in the past. Watch as our story unfolds. Welcome to Africa.
(Slave Traders and Sailors take their places and freeze action)

Watch and listen as the African traders sell people to the Scottish traders.

(Slave traders and Sailors mime looking at cloth, copper, guns, brass manillas. Groups freeze and one group carries on action and this time also speaking - the African traders agree how much they want before they will bring captives to the Scottish traders. When they finish groups can carry on mime.)

Narrator
So, now the new slaves are to be captured. The village people are outside their homes, the men are fishing and the women washing clothes at the river; the children are playing. But they are being watched. (Village People and Slave Traders take up their positions. Scenes of capture are enacted. A boy and his sister hang on to each other but are forcibly separated). The boy's name is Diji and the girl is called Hanna.

Narrator
The captives were yoked together and taken to the ship. (Children line up and Captain and First Mate inspect them)

Captain
Is this the best you could do? Get them on board. Remember to separate the men from the women. (Sailors take the group on board. Men are kept separate and chained together. Both groups are made to lie down with their feet next to the head of the next person.)

Narrator
The slaves were chained very close together so they had hardly any room to move. Every day, when the sea wasn’t too rough, they were taken on deck for exercise. The women and girls were kept separate and a wooden partition was lowered to keep them apart. (Sailors mime lowering partition. Sailors watch from sides.)

Narrator
Diji and Hanna were separated but, from time to time, they managed to speak to each other.
(Hanna approaches the partition.)

Hanna
Diji, where are you?
(She moves up and down trying to find him)

Diji
I’m here.

Hanna
Are you alright? How are they treating you?

Diji
Not well. We are chained all the time and I’ve been beaten as well. It is really awful.

Hanna
It will be over soon

Diji
I hope so.
(Hanna and Diji return to own group)

Narrator
Day after day Diji listened for his sister, but he heard nothing until one day . . . . .
(Friend of Hanna approaches the barrier)

Friend
Diji, where are you?

Diji
I’m here, where’s my sister?

Friend
I’m sorry, I’ve got some terrible news for you. There has been a bad fever and she died in the night.

Diji (covering eyes)
No, no.

Friend
Hanna said you were to be brave and keep going.

Diji
I’ll try

Friend
I’m so sorry (Friend and Diji return to their places)

Narrator
Supplies of food and fresh water were getting low and the First Mate went to report to the Captain.
(First Mate goes to door of the Captain and knocks. Captain is busy working, perhaps counting money)

Captain
What do you want? Can’t you see I’m busy?

First Mate
Pardon me Sir, but the supplies for the Slaves are getting short – we’ll run out soon.

Captain
Well, what do you expect me to do about it?

First Mate
And illness is spreading as well Sir. (Captain thinks for a short time)

Captain
Well, there is just one thing that can be done – throw the dead and the dying overboard, that’ll lighten the load anyway.

First Mate (shocked)
But Captain, you can’t do that, they’re human beings. They have the same rights as you and me.

Captain
They are simply a cargo - they’re only worth money to me, nothing more, nothing less.

First Mate
But Captain . . .

Captain
I said throw them overboard!

First Mate (reluctantly)
Yes Sir

Captain
And do it now. Close the door behind you.
(First Mate leaves cabin. Sailors close in around sick slaves and slow motion mime of slaves being thrown overboard is performed, leaving the Captain and First Mate watching)

Some West African Names

Boys

Diji (dee-jee) = means - farmer (Nigeria)
Kofi = born on Friday (Ghana)
Minkah (meen-kah) = justice (Ghana)
Sekani = laughter (West Africa)

Girls

Amina (ah-mee-nah) = truthful, honest (West Africa)
Binta = with god (West Africa)
Hanna = happiness (Nigeria)
Yaa = born on Thursday (Ghana)

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