For my final blog post, I am going to revisit my week 6 assignment. I decided to go back to this assignment because I really enjoyed working on the website and it was very fun to use. For this assignment I made a story map about the transatlantic slave trade and the different events that occured in each step of the process. I used the website KnightLab to create the story map, which allows users to pinpoint specific locations and then give a quick summary of the events that took place there. The KnightLab website was a very helpful tool and I plan on using it again in future courses that I may take. The overall format and set up of the website is very presentable and it is extremely easy to navigate throughout it. I had 5 slides in my original narrative map, and I remember thinking that I could add more slides to give a better understanding of the transatlantic slave trade. So, I decided to go back into my narrative map and add a few more slides to make it more descriptive.
The link above is my updated narrative map. I wanted the project to be more accurate so I added three slides on the following topics; plantations, the cultural effects, and the economic effects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. The first topic I added described life on the plantations in the southern states of America. This is important to highlight because I was able to give a better understanding of what everyday life was like for the enslaved people. The enslaved people worked from sunrise to sundown in the scorching sun with very little to no water and food. By the time their day was over, they were sent back to the “slave quarters” which were small, compact sheds to sleep. They would then wake up and start the process over again. The next topic described the cultural effects of slavery all around the world. This is important to add because it shows that the enslaved Africans did not lose their culture and traditions although being in their situation. I think that sends an extremely powerful message. The African culture was spread throughout the world as a result of slavery. Although the transatlantic slave trade of the Africans was an awful, terrible thing, there were some positive outcomes that came out of it. The Africans introduced their music, beliefs, dances, food, and many more cultural traditions to South America, Cuba, Jamaica, and the southern states of the United States. This ultimately made the world what it is today. Finally, the third slide I added had to do with the economic effects of the Transatlantic Slave Trade. I thought I should make this a slide because it is important to understand how slavery accelerated many countries developed. In America the enslaved peoples left a long lasting impact that we still see today. The goods harvested and produced by the enslaved people created a major economic expansion. This allowed America to grow exponentially in size and wealth. The Europeans were basically middle men in this process, exchanging goods for enslaved people and vice versa. They received an immense profit by doing this which unfortunately enhanced their nation’s capital and economy. The African countries that traded the enslaved people for goods obtained materials and weapons that enhanced their power and wealth.
My favorite digital tool that I used during this class was the Voyant website. I really enjoyed using this tool because it helped me analyze documents from over a hundred years ago in a way I never thought about before. Also, the word graph was fascinating to look at because I was able to interpret the frequency of how many times a particular word was used and where it was used in the document. This was by far the easiest tool that we used this semester and I’ll most likely use it again. The digital tool that was my least favorite was Flourish. I tried to download the data from the website a numerous amount of times and for some odd reason it would not download. I was not sure if this was because I am using an outdated Macbook or of some other technical issue. Therefore, I was never really able to give the tool a chance. I think if I was able to access this tool it would have been very neat and fun to use. Overall, I think it was a good experience getting familiar with these digital tools because I can use them in my other classes.
When I was growing up, history was never my best subject and I often became very bored in the classes. However, this year we were able to participate in a very unique digital history class. I found myself actually interested in the material and wanting to learn about the different topics. There were multiple occasions when I decided to do more research on my own time just because I was so fascinated about the subject. When I had Covid in the beginning of the semester I was stressed out and could not find the motivation to do the work in this class. It was extremely kind of you to let me catch up in the class and I will not forget that. I just want to say thank you so much for everything Professor Andrella. Although I did not attend many of the live zooms, I still felt a part of the class when I watched the recorded sessions. I am very thankful for this class because it has taught me so much about our nation’s history and I will be able to utilize this information in my future.