“The Hardships of a Slave” The autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave depicted the life of a slave during the 1800’s. Not only did it explain the life of Frederick Douglass, but also, the life of his family and friends around him. It showed the true severe and harsh treatment of African Americans during this time. Around this time, being an African American meant you were treated as less than human, property, an animal. Slaves were pushed and chastised simply because of the color of their skin, something they had no control over.
Furthermore, the black slaves suffered severe physical and mentally as “the crew often neglected to feed the salves, empty the tubs used for excrement, take slaves on deck for exercise, tend to the sick, or remove the dead” and were tightly packed in vertical shelves (Hine 32). Different from the other primary sources is that Primary Source #2 does not indicate that children are available for sale. In addition, the fact that the payment could have been made in “produce” hints that the seller might return to England with the produce marking the end of the voyage. Lastly, the fact that sale was held each day demonstrates that slavery was very much institutionalized in
In the 1700s, around half of the people living in the southern colonies were slaves. They were frequently forced to do jobs, and would work under their master’s order all day and night. They worked all kinds of jobs, they could for example be field hands in the tobacco fields or house slaves. House slaves were often treated better than the field slaves, and while field slaves often were whipped, house slaves used to do chores around the house or help their master in his trade shop. Field slaves were usually given one set of clothing that was supposed to last a year.
Also, “..there were no weekends or rest days” (http://bit.ly/1ORHR3T) for many slaves. Although some slaves only had to work as little as nine hours a day, many did not have it this easy. Unlike Northern Laborers, slaves could be ordered to work into the night by their master. Laborers most of the time did not have to work into the evening; their working hours were mostly consistent. The maximum hours of work for Northern Laborers were lower than the maximum hours for a slave which is why Northern Laborers had better working hours than Southern
Plantations were spread out from each other along the regions rivers, and with every plantation conducting its own manufacture, sales and distribution, there was very little chance for the Virginians to create a more communal society. Plantation owners controlled large groups of bondsmen working in the fields controlled by overseers, and women served as house servants for the plantation masters. Most of these women were sexually abused by their masters and penalized with longer terms of service if they happen to bare illegitimate children. Because of disease, living conditions and harsh treatment 40% of the servants did not survive their terms of service. 1.
Just after Reconstruction, life for African Americans began to go downhill as all of their newly gained rights became suppressed because of the new laws and systems that were put in place. Many African Americans that stayed in the South did so because they wanted to continue working in agriculture, and, therefore, had the end goal of getting their own land, which let them fall into the trap that was sharecropping. Africans Americans would rent small plots of land from a landowner, and pay their debts in the form of a portion of their crops. There was also the vagrancy law, which caused any African American that was not working and had no proof that they had a job to be arrested. This leads to the convict lease system, in which wealthy, usually Caucasian American, people rented out prisoners for labor.
Whites had slaves work their mines and farms, the two most important jobs at the time. Without the slaves, no one was there to take care of their families and maintaining submission was the rule of the land. However, it was arguable that colored people were the main reason that the country was striving. It was so unfair that slaves built this country off of their diligent and humbled work ethic, yet they were still viewed as being far inferior to whites.
Slaves in the old south also produced hemp, corn, wheat, oats, rye, white potatoes and sweet potatoes. On a plantation slaves were either house servants or skilled slaves. Those who did not have to work on the fields were seen as an elite group. House servants did not want to work on the field because of the grueling job, but field workers did not want to be house servants either because they felt that they would be under surveillance by their white master. Skilled slaves were more elite than house slaves.
Soldiers were sent by American government to southern states with a purpose to protect the African Americans and their newly won freedom. Even though, they were partially free, most of them couldn’t escape from poverty and in very unpleasant conditions. In the South they cultivated land and could possess some part of growing crops because they worked like sharecroppers, and farmers in the white people’s farm. However, whites continued to discriminate the African Americans. Which unfair condition for them were blacks cannot attend the same schools or church as white people, also they expelled from voting.
Douglass was exploited throughout his experience as a slave. He worked majority of his life without receiving any monetary benefits. Douglass worked hard everyday as a slave and so did every other slave. Slaves received little clothing, food that lacked the proper amount of nutrients. Douglass’s experience is the perfect example of “ overworked and underpaid.” Ehrenreich chose to be exploited.