Although not every African American was a slave, slavery came to only be limited to people of African descent. Throughout the time of slavery, white people were worried that the slaves were going to rebel. Fearing that the slaves were gonna cause more trouble colonial authorities wrote slave codes. These slave codes prohibited slaves to own their own weapons, leave the plantation without permission and even meet in large groups. The slave rebelled up until slavery ended in 1865.
After escaping slavery and seeking freedom in the North, former slaves would often write their testimonies of the cruel life on the southern plantations. One of the best and most recognizable examples of this genre is “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” whose author, Frederick Douglas, became an important figure not only in literature but also in history of fighting for civil rights. He was born into slavery and raised by the grandparents because his mother was assigned to work in a field far away and was not allowed to stay with her son. Life at the plantation was full of abuse and cruelty, which he could witness from a young age by seeing his aunt being whipped. He described slaves’ fear of their masters that often took pleasure in punishing and whipping their property; the hardships of fieldwork where blacks would work all day with only few breaks for meals or how the owners were impregnating black women in order for them to produce more, free laborers.
Lottie Jones Hood’s approach starts off by introducing herself to the International Congregational Journal and giving her reasons of interest in this topic. Hood begins by stating: “ There would have been no Underground Railroad in the United States had there been no Trans Atlantic Slave Trade in the global economy of the world”, (Hood, 48). Historical background on the Transatlantic Slave Trade is then provided by Hood in which she addresses that the Europeans and African nations engaged in an economic practice that enslaved many millions of Africans between the years 1441 through 1888 (Hood, 49). She also addresses that voyage for those enslaved and taken by the British; the famous Middle Passage took around six to eight weeks and slaved who survived the horribly described voyage were sold off in the markets as slaves (Hood, 50). More historical context is the provided by her in which she states that the first Africans were brought to North America to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619.
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 northern states prohibited slavery between 1770 and 1804, but it was still prominent in the southern states.
When slavery was abolished, Jim Crow laws were put into effect to keep African Americans and Whites separated. During these times black slaves were to receive 4 acres of land and a mule from the slave owner to repay them for the incarceration as slaves. Due to the split labor market, blacks had a harder time retaining their jobs, and the jobs that were approved for blacks were low paying. Despite the these societal disadvantages against the African American people, some slaves like my great, great, great grandfather, Wesley A. Settles who built the first school in Edgefield, SC where he taught African American children how to read and write, were able to rise and prosper.
A year before 1820, the U.S. annexed East Florida, which used to be a refuge for fugitive slaves. Also, Virginia banned all mulattos and blacks, including the free ones, from assembling for educational purposes and made it illegal for them to be able to be taught how to read and write. In South Carolina, slaves, and even free blacks were required to wear identification tags. In that state, there were penalties for anyone introducing any written anti-slavery documents and later on, Denmark Vesey organized an immense slave uprising. About forty slaves, and Denmark Vasey were executed while the others were sold out of the state.
Frederick Douglass, known as the father of civil rights, was an abolitionist anti slavery writer who played a very big part in the civil rights movement of 1854 to 1868. Born into a world of slavery,Douglass drove himself to escape slavery and stop any others from going through it. His escape was planned for September 3rd of 1838. After taking freedom papers and a sailor suit from an African American seaman, he would hop the train to freedom and adventure. To escape Douglass knew he would have to pass by the conductor with his papers.
How Does Frederick Douglass Argue That Education Makes It Difficult To Be A Slave? Is Your Education Freeing You? Frederick Douglass was born a slave on colonel Lloyd’s plantation and later became the nineteenth century most famous black leader, author, orator and an African-American social reformer, after escaping from slavery in Maryland (Warnick 3). He wrote a narrative portraying his life in slavery and how education brought him to freedom. Born to a slave woman, Frederick narrates how he was separated from her at a tender age, and only got to see her a few times before she died and was buried in a funeral that he wasn’t allowed to attend, he also never got to know who his real father was (Douglass 3).
When he was twelve, Douglass read “The Columbian Orator” and learned about emancipation (1199). 4. How is the white man a victim of slavery, according to Douglass? Slavery, particularly owning slaves, had a negative effect on a person (Douglass 1198). As an example, Douglass describes the differences he witnessed in his mistress, Mrs. Auld (1198).
This barbaric treatment of the native people is ultimately what caused the “Starvation Time”. (C&G 29) Jamestown settlers continue the trend of disregarding human life and became the first colony exposed to the slave trade in North America. Indentured servitude was becoming too expensive, because there was not enough land to distribute once the servants completed their seven years of work. The answer to this dilemma was slavery. In 1619, Africans arrived and were sold in the colony and during the 1960's slavery was made official in Virginia.