In the book The Slave Dancer is Jessie has an eye awakening experience after he is taken aboard the ship Moonlight to serve as a fife player. His main job is to keep the slaves muscles developed through playing music and the men making the slaves dance. While on the journey, Jessie begins to have a first hand observation of the unjust and cruel treatment awarded the slaves.
The horrific part in the story that demonstrates the ultimate cruelty is when the Captain orders the men to throw the slaves over board so that they won't get caught with the slaves on board. Jessie witnesses women and men grabbed and kicked and tossed over into the water. Men and women scratched their nails along the boards trying to prevent their deaths. Little children were being thrown into the water and their screams echoed. Jessie was howling and begging for the ships to arrive so everything would stop.
Jessie struggled to save one boy who had made himself get away from the others in his panic. They hid in the ships bowels among the stench of the animals. Later the ship had wrecked and the two boys were able to make it to an island. They had landed on an island with an old man and chickens. Ras and Jessie were treated to drink and then food by the man. The boat and the others who had been on it were all gone.
Daniel, the old man, helped Ras go with some black men to a safer place up North. He also helped guide and feed Jessie to his own return to his mother. However, Jessie never could listen to music because it reminded him of his awful journey.
The scenes in the end of the story as written above implied to me that the hardest part of the journey had bee at the very end. The slaves had already endured so much hatred and pain. Yet, they were thrown away as if their lives had no value to anyone. They were no longer fathers and mothers nor children of parents. They were only an item to be tossed to the sea.