Bianca Hammaker Professor Page AMH 2010 25 November 2016 Paper Two (Abolition) Abolitionists preached to the public people on how slavery was unjustified, cruel, immoral, and inhumane. A widely accepted thought was to degrade colored people to that of the thinking capacity of apes and to treat them as animals. Most of the states were slave-holding at this time in history with slaves being the ones under the direction of the owners. Buyers (whites) of slaves sought for cheap labor and gave no credibility to anything the slaves accomplished. Whites had slaves work their mines and farms, the two most important jobs at the time.
Though slave rebellions, and opposition to authority were common in the antebellum south, slavery would have lasted for a greater length if the South had been victorious in the Civil War. If the South succeeded in victory, one can believe that this would have been a great downfall for the slaves and abolitionist who worked relentlessly to free the slaves. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave portrays the mounting tensions of the slaves on Frederick Douglass’s
The Freed blacks and slaves dis not like the upper classes or even the poor whites. They felt oppressed by the upper class and despised the poor whites for taking their jobs. Some of the freed blacks would flee to the north to be protected by the Emancipation Proclamation, but even in the north there was hostility regarding African Americans. So, many freed blacks stayed in the south because they had the chance to finally own their own land and could sign labor contracts to work for actual wages. Except, sometimes they would be kidnapped and forced back into slavery because many upper class whites felt they were not worthy of being in a social class nor free.
Frederick Douglass’ Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl discusses how slavery dehumanizes and breaks down an individual to no worth. Douglass’ and Jacobs’ accounts are similar because they lecture against slavery with the work and obstacles they went through. Jacobs says, “For years, my master had done his utmost to pollute my mind with foul images, and to destroy the pure principles inculcated by my grandmother, and the good mistress of my childhood. The influences of slavery had the same effect on me that they had on other young girls; they had made me prematurely knowing, concerning the evil ways of the world.” (827) Jacobs explains that slavery has attempted to take a toll on her life with its physical, emotional, and mental abuse. Women in slavery were mistreated sexually as well, and in this case, Jacobs faced sexual oppression at a young age.
After the Civil War, African Americans had finally gained their freedom following years of being forced into an inhumane slave system that dehumanized their entire race. Even though the 13th Amendment abolished the institution of slavery, that did not change people's views of African Americans; whites still viewed blacks as inferior to them. As the African Americans were starting to finally build lives for themselves without the help of their former masters, whites’ resentment of African Americans grew because of their growth in America both economically and politically. Even as African Americans faced discrimination because of their race, Native Americans also faced discrimination from white society because of their culture. Natives overall
Racism has been, and continues to be, an issue in our American society. Multiple government and social issues have stemmed from hateful bigotry, including Mr. Dred Scott. He was seen as ¨property” not as a ¨person¨ just because of the color of his skin, and that he was not a free man, even if he resided in a ¨free¨ state. This caused an outrage in abolitionists nationwide and changed America forever. Dred Scott was a slave, owned by John Emerson in Missouri (a slave state).
The most outstanding difference between the two is that James is a Native American and James an Afro American. This shows how the owner was willing to pay more to get the Afro American slave back than to get the Native slave back. Showing how even though the status of the Native was higher than the Afro American, the worth of the Native was less than the Afro American. Runaway slaves were looking for hope. Both Native slaves and Afro American slaves saw their situation as unhappy as the Europeans treated them without any respect.
Their masters would say to not give them any information of their childhood whatsoever. For this reason many slaves didn’t know when or where they were born or who were their parents at birth because they would get separated. I believe slaves were kept ignorant of such information because their masters would not want to them to know anything because if they did, then they would ask for more and start to think critically about freedom. If slaves were to know about where they were born, they would then ask an abundance of questions related to that. As stated in the Narrative of Frederick Douglass, he was never told even the slightest thing of knowing his birthplace.
Douglass, with realization of his wretched state, does become miserable, and it is true that a slave who acknowledges the unfairness of slavery is undesirable to masters. In fact, this statement conveys a sense of fear regarding the slave’s literacy; this man seems to know that a literate slave would cause the rebellion against the whites. Douglass’s literacy would enable him to have “an increasing awareness of and control over the social means by which people sustain discourse, knowledge, and reality” (Royer) and inspire him to work against such society. Indeed, Douglass has escaped slavery through his personal realization. His Narrative uses the literacy acquired during his slavery to recollect the brutal treatment that he has received, and even takes a step further to inspire others, even the whites, to acknowledge the injustice of slavery, so that they may work towards abolition together.