What Is The Portrayals Of Slavery In 'Caloya' And Frederick Douglass?

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We are living in an era where media depictions of reality can be far from the truth. This is evident in the portrayals of the Black Lives Matter movement, as major news stations have polarizing views. With these portrayals comes underlying agendas, and with the current state of media, it is crucial to recognize these underlying purposes and portrayals to ensure that social change within the United States continues to progress. While the United states struggles with the depiction of African Americans, it is nothing new as it has been evident in literature for hundreds of years and seen in both “Caloya” and Narrative. These texts draw parallels to the current state of media; both use a common channel to express differing portrayals. Simms’s “Caloya” and Frederick Douglass’s Narrative both utilize the antagonists, Mingo in “Caloya” and slave owners in Narrative, however, “Caloya” focuses on Mingo’s race and supposed natural tendencies to represent black men as sex hungry, while Narrative focuses on slave owners’ abuse of power to gain sexual favors to represent white men as sexually crude. Through these representations, each author creates an underlying portrayal of slavery: Simms portrays slavery as a necessary system to humanize slaves, and Douglass portrays slavery as an atrocity that dehumanizes both slaves and slave owners. Throughout “Caloya”, Simms details Mingo’s life as a slave under Colonel Gillison and follows Mingo’s quest to woo a Native American woman. In

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