The novel of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead takes place in the early 1800’s during the slavery era, in the southern state of Georgia. This realistic- fiction novel expresses themes of freedom, violence, the classification “good” and “bad”, influential pasts, racial hardship. Whitehead portrays a magnificent story of a young slave named Cora, who travels across the southern states on a railroad cars that are physically underground. Cora is persuaded by a another slave named Caesar to escape her home of the Georgia plantation. However, hot on their trail is slave catcher Ridgeway, who has a personal axe to grind with Cora.
In the contemporary era, the issue of race remains a prevalent topic in public discussion. Thus, Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is meaningful as it explores the legacy of racial injustice in the United States and its consequences in today’s society. In his development of the underground railroad as a literal and physical vehicle to freedom, Whitehead is able to candidly detail the ubiquitous nature of racial prejudice and the horrors associated with it. Over the course of his novel, the author utilizes a variety of rhetorical devices in order to further explore the many hardships that ‘freedom’ inevitably entails. In particular, Whitehead’s use of imagery, character interactions and figurative language brings to attention aspects of race relations that were and are still often misunderstood or disregarded by society.
The American Slave Trade: Uncle Tom’s Cabin “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves” ― Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works - Volume XII. In other words, no one deserves freedom, if one person does not let someone else have it. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is an anti-slavery novel written by an American author named Harriet Beecher Stowe. The book is based on a true story which talks about Tom, who suffered from slavery, considering himself as black skinned colored. Stowe, wrote this book to describe the condition of slavery in the South, aiming to inform the people of the North about what was happing to those victims.
The abolitionist John Brown had a very important role in the freedom of slaves and the beginning of the Civil War. One of his many famous quotes, from David S. Reynold's John Brown: Abolitionist, stated his belief: "Whoso stoppeth his ear at the cry of the poor, he shall cry himself, but shall not be heard." (page 50) Also, our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was one of the main reasons slavery was abolished. The history of slavery includes the treatment and conditions of slaves, the purpose of slavery, and the outcome of slavery. The treatment of slaves was based on which owner possessed them.
A way to analyze The Souls of Black Folk, is by using the critical race theory. W.E.B Du Bois wrote The Souls of Black Folk in 1903. In his work, Du Bois examines the society and culture as they relate to race, law and power. He presents what it meant to be a Negro in the American society during that time when there was a severe racial unrest. The Negroes had been submissive under slavery for a long period of
Irony in Huck Finn Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain takes place in the mid 1830’s to the mid 1840’s when slavery was still prevalent in the south. Although the book was set in the 1830’s to the 1840’s, it was not published until 1884, after slavery had been abolished in 1865. Slavery is an important topic of the book to focus on because it shaped the way people thought. A way that Twain shows the truths of slavery in the book is through irony. A specific scene that he used irony in was when Huck was helping Jim escape from slavery, yet Huck judged Jim for wanting to free the rest of his family which is ironic.
The law is meant to protect and serve Americans, until those in power use it against lower social classes. Time states, “As the evocative language of these laws suggests, the crime of vagrancy had long historical roots. Since the 16th century, vagrancy laws had been used in England to uphold hierarchy and social order (Goluboff).” For African Americans, these laws were created and used against them to incarcerate them. Seven Guitars by August Wilson historically demonstrates how vagrancy laws and systemic racism effected African Americans. Throughout the play characters such as Floyd and Canewell, express their struggle with police and a system that constantly manipulates them with unjust arrests and unfair payment.
The general argument made by Frank Diller in his work, "Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima. ", is that minstrelsy is still present in the American culture. More specifically, Diller argues that the elements of minstrelsy act as a barometer of race relations in the American society. He writes, “Depictions of African Americans in popular culture demonstrate how far the nation has come and how far it still needs to go.” In this passage, Diller is suggesting that the way African Americans are illustrated in the American culture shows the correlation between blacks and whites throughout the history of America. In conclusion, Diller’s belief is that minstrelsy’s purpose is racial mockery, and it is used as a means of social control.
The slave narratives told the slave’s stories. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was one cause of the civil war since it showed what slavery was like. The Cotton Kingdom by Edward Atkinson also showed how slavery was, emphasizing how the cotton plantations expanded. John Pierpont’s book of poetry, “Airs of Palestine” was also important in showing the conditions of slavery. Slave narratives were a way for former and fugitive slaves to show everyone how slavery was.
At the turn of the twentieth century, American civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois wrote, “The problem of the century is the problem of the color line.” Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man examines the “problem” through the recurring use of symbolism. Ellison’s emphasis on the literal and figurative shackles of slavery represent society 's racist ideologies that bind African Americans despite the abolition of slavery. Correspondingly, the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement confirms that even in the twenty-first century, the “color line” problem remains. The narrator recognizes society’s progress but still fights for a better future.
David N. Gellman is a professor of Early American History at DePauw University in Indiana and his written work focuses greatly on colonial America and emancipation in the United States. As an expert in Early American History, David N. Gellman gives us a strong background on the institution of slavery in New York in his book Emancipating New York and the road to the emancipation of African Americans in the state of the New York. David N. Gellman’s book Emancipating New York describes the process by which the state of New York abolished slavery with a combination of white opposition, black resistance and political changes. The abolition of slavery in New York was an effort of the above-mentioned sectors of society and government, all with differing views, interests and agendas. Chapter 4 of Emancipating New York is titled “Containing Slavery: The Manumission Society and the Law,
Unlike the Lost Generation the Harlem Renaissance was the birth of the New Negro. During the 1020’s just like The Lost Generation writers in the black community a new style of literature was born with a new set of mind. Before the Harlem renaissance black literature was mostly based on slave narratives accounts written by fugitive slaves about their lives in the south and, often, after escaping to freedom. This particular literature was used to illustrate the cruelties of life under slavery one of the most prominent Negro writer of that era was Frederick Douglas (c.1818-1895). His best-known work is his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas, an American Slave.
The issues being, dispute regarding rights of states, the role the Federal Government would play, the need to preserve the Union and the economy were a few of the issues at hand. But interestingly it was felt that all these issues, related to the state and the federal government, were strongly linked to Slavery. This conclusion was reached after looking at the words of the political and social contemporaries of that period. Most historians would also agree that the nation was pushed into Civil War from 1861 to 1865 chiefly due to the plight of the African American slaves. The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and
“In 1829, African-American abolitionist David Walker wrote an incendiary pamphlet that argued for the end of slavery and discrimination in the United States.”() David Walker believed that White America had forced assimilation policies or displaced and overwhelmed disruption in the African American communities. In African American Literature there are common themes such as protest, recovery, celebration and assimilation. Assimilation is one of the themes Walker wrote about often. In “Black Boy” Walker will show African-American how assimilation is used against them. As Chapter 12 starts out in “Black Boy” Richard takes a job as an optical shop, where he is the errands boy.
Summary of the article De-centering the South De-centering the South: America 's Nationwide White Supremacist Order After Reconstruction is an article written by Desmond S. King and Stephen G. N. Tuck. It explores the deplorable state of racism in the southern states of the USA during the late 19th century and early 20th century, and the efforts of one man to fight it. One of the most prominent African-American leaders of that period was a man called Thomas Fortune. Once a slave in the South, Fortune was too aware of America’s race problem. In 1879, he left the south and moved to New York where he became an editor of several African-American newspapers.