I need a research topic for African-American studies, 5-7 page paper, hopefully focusing on the Middle Passage, or directly after, any suggestions?
Another good film that you could watch in addition to Amazing Grace is the movie called Amistad which deals with the slave trade and the fate of so many slaves. It is not an "easy" watch but it is amazingly powerful and well worth viewing. It would give you another "angle" for your research project.
Certainly Barbados would be a good place to start, and if you begin to research into this topic it might yield other interesting topics you might prefer to focus on. Good luck!
I second the idea of reading some of Olaudah Equano's work. His account in The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano illustrates some of the most grusome of living conditions ever known to man. I wonder if there have been any scientific studies to support Equiano's claims?
Another aspect might be to watch the movie or study pieces of the website that deal with Amazing Grace. Amazinggracemovie.com gives some great educational resources to look at just to get started.
The island of Barbados was a thriving center for the Caribbean slave trade, and a common destination for slaves on the other side of the Middle Passage. From there, slaves were sold in all directions, to the spice islands, Cuba, Haiti, the United States (or the 13 colonies depending on the time frame) and also in large numbers to the north coast of South America and Brazil (though many slave voyages went directly to Brazil, the destination for a staggering 3 million slaves total).
I would think the history of Barbados, or an analysis of the slave trade as it existed there would be a great topic. Wouldn't mind reading that research paper when you are done. :-)
You might also consider an in depth study of the writings of Olaudah Equiano, one of the few slaves to write eyewitness accounts of the Middle Passage, and who also arrived in Barbados to be sold.
Try to focus on a topic that does not have so much material that you can't narrow down a topic. Also, try to narrow it down to somethinbg that you find interesting, not just something to get it over and done with. Try to learn something that you didn't already know.