10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Enslavement of Black People in Cuba
Life Expectancy of Enslaved People in Sugar Mills Was No Greater than Eight Years
Working in sugar mills and on sugar plantations was incredibly hard work, and it often slashed the life expectancy of enslaved people dramatically. Based on harsh working conditions, deplorable living quarters, insufficient hours for rest and a variety of other factors, enslaved people who worked in the sugar mills were only expected to live for another eight years at most, according to materials provided by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU. Once they passed away, their masters were quick to replace them without thinking twice about the life that was lost.
Enslaved Pregnant Women Were Often Beaten on the Belly
Cuban slave masters were particularly cruel when it came to pregnant women. While the owners of enslaved people in the Americas tended to punish women without any regards to their pregnancies, in Cuba their pregnancies were used as part of their punishment. According to “Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans,” when enslaved women were being punished, some Cuban masters would beat them on the belly, which often caused miscarriages.