How 75 Igbos committed suicide instead of becoming slaves

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The bravery of many Nigerians did not begin today, it began years ago when the Igbos became resilient to their slave masters. A lot of Nigerians were sold out as slaves in the past, they were tortured and treated like animals but some brave individuals chose death over slavery.

There is a place called Igbo landing at Dunbar Creek, on St Simons island, Georgia. This place is known as a historic site where a lot of Igbos died proudly. In the year 1803 one of the biggest suicide took place in that area, it was the suicide of the Igbo slaves that were being taken to Georgia coast to work.

Back then In May 1803, a slave ship that is Identified as the wanderer conveyed a lot of Igbos and west African slaves to Georgia. Those slaves were all bought for the sum of one hundred dollars ($100) each. It was John Couper and Thomas Spalding that bought the slaves, they planned on selling them off to another slave buyers at St Simons island.

All the slaves on the ship were chained and kept under the deck of the coastal vessel that was meant to take them to St Simons. While they were on their way to their destination, up to 75 Igbo slaves on board decided to rebel and they gained control over the ship. The slaves drowned their masters, this act alone led to the grounding of the ship in Dunbar Creek.

The 75 Igbos on the ship were led by their high chief and they began to sing and march into the shore. The high chief then led them into the water at Dunbar Creek and they all committed suicide by drowning to their death. They committed mass suicide so they won’t be sold off as slaves, they chose to die than to live as slaves in another Man’s land.

A white overseer identified as Roswell King was the first person to write on the incident that occurred. Roswell and Captain Patterson were able to bring out some dead bodies from the sea. A lot of the Igbos drowned in the sea, some dead bodies were found while others are still missing.

The story of how the Igbos chose to take their own lives instead of becoming slaves is a story of resistance. This particular act is known as the Igbo landing, it is also recognised as the first freedom March in the United States history.

There are quite a lot of pictures that have been used to describe this historic moment. Even Beyoncé made a song that was dedicated to this unforgettable day in history.