A Struggle For Freedom

743 Words2 Pages
A Struggle For Freedom In 1831 in Southampton county, a slave named Nat Turner did something so revolutionary that to this day it is still an uncomfortable subject for a small town in Virginia. With very little documented history, Stephen B. Oates tells how one slave turned the entire south upside down on one hot August Sunday. Oate's own struggle in finding the truth about the past was something that this small town of Southampton was tying to forget. As a child Nat, allowed to play with the white children, didn't fully understand what it meant to be a slave until he was a teenager and was separated from the white kids. As the white kids were going to school, Nat was going to the fields to labor. At this moment in his life, Nat came to realize what the word slave meant. When holidays would come, the slaves would celebrate the day with dancing and drinking. Nat on the other hand, took this time to read the bible. With the markings of a prophet on his face and his ability to read and write, all the slaves knew that Nat was very special. While reading the bible more and more, Nat began hearing voices. "Seek ye the kingdom of heaven and all things shall be added unto you". Nat felt he had been chosen for some purpose but was not quiet sure what this purpose was. About this time Nat started holding praise meetings and seeing visions of a revolution. Keeping these visions to himself and his loyal followers, Nat waited for a sign to start the revolution. In 1831, an lunar eclipse occurred, Nat took this as the sign he had been waiting for. July 4, the day for the revolution came and went. Historians are not quite sure why, but it is believed that Nat was unsure that this was the sign he had been wa... ... middle of paper ... ...w up a plan to wipe out every white person that they came across including women and children. Oates was very graphic with the details of what the slaves did to the white families to let the reader understand how brutal these slaves were with the whites. He made sure the reader understood that these slaves were not out just to take revenge on their masters but to take revenge on the whole white race. Stephen B. Oates wanted to give recognition to a revolutionary that had been removed from mainstream history criteria. With only scattered documents, and controversial confession, Oates attempted to give a fair interpretation of what happened in Southampton county in 1873. Though doing this might have not been what the people in Southampton wanted, but Oates knew it was necessary and it revitalized a time in history that had not been fully researched.
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