Slavery is still a concept that the horror and brutality that is learned about in books become just another set of facts to be assimilated impassively to continue working through large course loads of material to be memorized. Dispassionate and clinical summations of the lives of the allowed for the harshness of the existences of those in bondage to become words on a page since modern society is not exposed to those experiences any longer. However, first-hand recollections by former slaves, such as Mary Prince and Olaudah Equiano, somehow make the realities conveyed to become less opaque and more tangible. Mary Prince and Olaudah Equiano were both subjected to being slaves based on the color of their skin.
By using this reference, it illustrated the severity of the alienation of blacks in the Southern United States. In 1619, a Dutch ship “introduced the first captured Africans to America, planting the seeds of a slavery system that evolved into a nightmare of abuse and cruelty that would ultimately divide the nation”. The Africans were not treated humanely, but were treated as workers with no rights. Originally, they were to work for poor white families for seven years and receive land and freedom in return. As the colonies prospered, the colonists did not want to give up their workers and in 1641, slavery was legalized.
The Underground Railroad was a network of secret routes and safe houses used by 19th-century enslaved people of African descent in the United States. It was in efforts to escape to the Free states and Canada with the aid of abolitionists that showed sympathy towards them. The Underground Railroad was not “underground” and it wasn’t actually a “railroad.” The reason it was called “underground” was because of how secretive it had to be and it was called a “railroad” because it was an evolving form of transportation.
Douglass’s descriptions of the slave trade were extremely vivid, from the details of how American’s viewed slaves, to the sounds of whips cracking and how a woman was encumbered by the weight of the child she carried and the chains that she wore. These details would bring readers to know what it was like to be in a slaves shoes at that time. His speech is driven by first had accounts of the degradations of slavery and would not be credible if it wasn’t for this fact. I believe that Douglass’s tone throughout the speech was hopeful, he enforced the cause of the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society with the hopes of making the United States more complete when slavery ended.
The Impact of the Underground Railroad in American History To begin, when the topic of American history is brought up, people do not tend to bring up slavery and how it has impacted our country by once splitting it into two. Instead they bring up how our country gives independence and freedom to its citizens. This was not always the case, though in 1619 the first slaves were brought to Virginia by the Dutch to help boost production of tobacco and other important crops. These African American people were kidnapped and made to join the impoverished European people of the colony in working for wealthy colonists. The agreement when slavery first began was that if you worked for seven years you would gain freedom along with your own plot of
Literature is often credited with the ability to enhance one’s understanding of history by providing a view of a former conflict. In doing so, the reader is able to gain both an emotional and logistical understanding of a historically significant event. Additionally, literature provides context that can help the reader develop a deeper understanding of the political climate of a time period. Within the text of The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead’s, the use of literary elements such as imagery, metaphor, and paradox amplifies the reader’s understanding of early 19th century slavery and its role in the South of the United States of America. Throughout the novel, Whitehead utilizes a girl named Cora to navigate the political and personal consequences of escaping slavery, the Underground Railroad, and her transition
The Underground Railroad was a system of abolitionists that assisted runaway slaves on their path to freedom. The Underground railroad was started by abolitionist and former slave, Harriet Tubman. Once Tubman obtained her freedom, she decided to go back into slave states and help other slaves achieve freedom. On the railroad were conductors, or people that aided slaves on the railroad by providing them shelter and safety. Abolitionists, such as William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass, wrote about the Underground Railroad and spread awareness of the hardships slaves face.
In the 1700-1800’s, the use of African American slaves for backbreaking, unpaid work was at its prime. Despite the terrible conditions that slaves were forced to deal with, slave owners managed to convince themselves and others that it was not the abhorrent work it was thought to be. However, in the mid-1800’s, Northern and southern Americans were becoming more aware of the trauma that slaves were facing in the South. Soon, an abolitionist group began in protest, but still people doubted and questioned it.
The Underground Railroad of the United States of America was a complex system of knowledge and experience that made it possible for slaves to escape the harsh realities of laboring for the opportunistic region of the North. With this in mind, all fugitives faced tremendous odds, displaying unimaginable amounts of courage in order to bypass themselves from the conditions they lived under in the South. Similarly, there were many directly opposing ideas making their way through the minds of those in the legislature, in essence creating a social divide that would arguably continue until the end of the civil rights movement. Although today it is known as a singular concept, the Underground Railroad was composed of several independent organizations that in turn collectively had goals of abolishing slavery.
The narrative of Frederick Douglas breaks down the very mechanisms used to enslave African Americans; from the deprival of education to an over use and desensitization of violence. What also occurs: is the realization that slavery as a system is able to damage those who are in power and use slavery. Corrupting the morals and empathy of white Americans who come in contact with the societal structure of enslavement. The same cycle which keeps African Americans from breaking free also keeps slave owners on a continuous path of cruelty. As an industry slavery seeks to survive and to do so it must have full support and no opposition; by both parties being changed to fit their roles it is able to do so.
The detailed descriptions included in primary sources, along with the descriptive and emotional illustrations included in graphic history are crucial elements in studying and understanding the process and history of the transatlantic slave trade. Rafe Blaufarb and Liz Clarke tie both of these together to help readers truly understand this historic tragedy in the book, Inhuman Traffick: The International Struggle Against the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Although different than the standard book that may be used, that simply spews information out in an uncreative and somewhat boring way, this book is a tool that can be chosen in classrooms to teach different aspects of the slave trade. Working together, the primary sources and graphic history
American society before the Revolution was in many ways dependent on slavery. This institution would seem to contrast sharply with the aura of enlightenment and “unalienable rights” that surrounds our nation’s founding. However, slavery had an economic role that is impossible to ignore. The story of Venture Smith’s life, a man who was born free, then enslaved, and finally earned his freedom, reveals the financial opportunities behind slavery’s that encouraged white members of society to prolong its existence despite the rallying cries of freedom and independence that were the basis of the American Revolution. Venture, originally named Broteer, was the eldest child born to Saungm Furro, a “Prince of the Tribe of Dukandarra” in Guinea (para.
The Underground Railroad gave Africans the ability to run away from the distress of slavery. Becoming free allowed slaves to build their own institutions. They began building churches, schools and mutual aids. “In the antebellum decades, the black institutions that had appeared during the revolutionary era in urban areas of North, Upper South, and – to a lesser extent – the Deep South grew in strength, numbers, and variety. This was the result of growing black populations, the exertions of the African American elite, and the persistence of racial exclusion and segregation.”
The novel The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead is full of ahistorical elements. In a book about slavery in America, his use of ahistorical elements results in a commentary on racial discrimination and abuse in a unique, narrative way. He portrays every state differently, using each of them as an example of a different type of discrimination. South Carolina is represented as a “progressive” and modern state, with new and innovative ideas on how to treat slaves. It even has the Griffin Building to represent its modernism, even though that wasn 't built historically until 1910.
I attended the trip to the Underground Railroad Museum and Freedom Center. This trip took place on Thursday, March 1st, 2018. The location of this trip was Cincinnati, Ohio. This trip was for us to learn about the stories of those courageous heroes who were apart of the era of slavery. I choose to attend this particular event because this event lines up with the requirements needed for my Experiential Learning Assessments for my humanities course.