In, conclusion the experiences of Equiano’s servitude in Africa differed from his experience in England. The African slave trade primarily was based upon providing jobs to families or punishment to real criminals. Many times the cruel example of being kidnapped from your village and forced into this way of life was also prevalent. This narrative contains the terrifying events of a young a child being held captive. The sources we have of the truth from this period of time are limited and hard to obtain. Servitude still exists to today in many parts of Africa and will remain a common part of their
The point of view of slavery is going to be substantially different than from the previous views discussed coming from the slaves themselves. On January 18, 1773, a letter was written to Robert Pleasants, a Quaker; from Patrick Henry, a Virginian who was discussing the enslavement of African Americans in the colonies and his position on the matter. Henry being a white man in the Revolutionary era held power, was educated, and was able to articulate on the matter of slavery. Since Henry is discussing slavery from the view of the Quaker’s belief systems, his point of view is from a non-Christian standpoint. This opposes the discussion that gives any relationship of white colonists and African American slaves through the unity of sharing and worshiping the same
For example, Equiano frequently recalls feelings and emotions that he experienced throughout his life, especially while a victim of the slave trade. Equiano was able to fully experience the horror of slavery and the depth of the trauma he experienced. In addition, Equiano is an excellent example of the absurdity of drapetomania; he purchased his own freedom from his master and went on to be an extremely successful and flourishing person. Lastly, Equiano himself wrote a large, impressive autobiography that has become a cornerstone of African American literature. Life simultaneously pulled misconceptions to pieces and contributed to the culture that Africans were creating in the New World and
Slavery was one of the most disturbing acts to ever happen to African Americans. It was considered inhumane to the abolitionists in the North. Slave owners and the people of the South would use the Bible to justify their despicable actions. It all began when slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia to help with the production of crops such as tobacco. Slaves endured many hardships such as being raped, beaten, and overworked by their slave masters. They were hardly considered as people to the white Americans.
Slavery in America was a problem. Most people did not see it but there was a select few who saw through the veil and into the evil of slavery. They hesitantly proposed that slavery be abolished. Soon they became increasingly loud about their complaints. Their main argument was that it said in the constitution that “all men are created equal.” Slavery was against the constitution that America was founded on and should be abolished. These people were called “Abolitionists.”
...ing the general public to view their fellow men, as less than what they truly are, their equals. The institution of slavery has blinded the clergy and churches of America, causing them to sit idly by as an injustice is being brought upon God’s people, a god that all men share. Christianity has become a tool in which the separation of whom receives liberties and whom does not becomes its clearest. As Douglass says “ At the very moment that they are thanking God for the enjoyment of civil and religious liberty […] they are utterly silent in respect to a law which robs religion of its chief significance, and makes it utterly useless to a world lying in wickedness.” Christianity has become a tool of oppression for the elite; used to deny unalienable rights to their fellow man, the same rights their own fathers had fought so valiantly for during the founding of America.
Christianity in the context of American slavery took on many faces and characteristics. As a religion, it was used as a tool of manipulation for slave masters to further justify the institution, and particularly assert authority over their slaves. In the slave community, Christianity was adapted in the slave community as a means to shape an identity and create a sense of dignity for an oppressed people. Christianity in the context of the slave community was a means to uplift and encourage the slaves, a way in which to advance the interests of slave-holders, and in some cases, a means used to justify freedom.
Equiano begins his autobiography with his experiences of slavery at a young age in his village and on the middle passage. For example, in chapter 1 Equiano reveals that his village also had slaves, who became as such by being a prisoner of war, as a punishment for adultery, or being kidnapped. There was no systematic slavery and the slaves from this village were treated as human beings rather than as property. Equiano claims their treatment of slaves was not nearly as terrible compared to the slavery of the New World. Based on this insight, Africans were not new to the idea of slavery, but were shocked at how horribly different they were treated. Despite this insight, there is a limitation because Equiano wrote his autobiography as an older man, meaning that his childhood memories were not easily recollected. In addition, in chapter 2 Equiano was kidnapped and made his way to the coast and aboard a slave ship. Equiano felt astonished and scared in the new situation he was in with the strange men. Below the decks, he saw the dejection and sorrow on the faces of other slaves. However, the slaves tried their best ...
As is the case with gender, racial, and marriage equality, the struggles of the United States are often mirrored in the church. Few issues have the church struggled more with than the debate over racial equality. Slavery was birthed in the American way of life before the United States were actual one nation. Slavery itself is a product of racism, the rawest form of racial inequality. It was so engrained into society that the early church was convinced of its complete lack of moral malpractice. An early 19th century Baptist minister, Dr. Richard Furman would use the New Testament scripture as evidence for Biblical support that the concept of slavery was not morally corrupt. He would claim that “masters are not required to emancipate their slaves; but to give them the things that are just and equal.” This reasoning asks the question of what the Ephesians author intended when writing
The transatlantic slave trade paved the way for mass distribution of the human civilizations strongest labor force. The thought of using other humans as a means of production was first internal only within Africa but as other nations began to witness the degradation of one race, they saw an opportunity to tap into the weakened morals of one race which in turn allowed the Africans to fall into a lower class. Thus began the dispersion of slaves to other nations needing to fill the labor gap. An event that represents the beginning moment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade within the readings arise when Equiano was on watch with one of his sisters and was kidnapped by a group of people. Ever since Equiano was kidnapped, he was sold numerous times through different masters and traveled coast to coast. Equiano also witnessed the first time in his life a slave ship that was filled with black people of every description chained together with dejection and sorrowful expressions, and it was then that he realized the future that awaits him. Through the descriptions and Equiano’s wish for his former slavery in preference to the present condition he was in, we can imagine how awful and dehumanizing the slaves were being treated on shore. According to Equiano, many of the African slaves had the unpleasant personalities and traits that were similar with the white slave owners on the ship because of the close interaction that they had with each other. According to Gomez’s Reversing Sail, the beginning moment of the trans-Atlantic slave trade occurred because “Muslim forces in al-Andalus were never in control of the entire Iberian Peninsula and were continually threatened by Christian enemies during their nearly 800-year rule” (Gomez 59). As a result, “in both Iberia and the
Most African Americans of the early to mid-nineteenth century experienced slavery on plantations similar to the experiences described by Frederick Douglass; the majority of slaves lived on units owned by planters who had twenty or more slaves. The planters and the white masters of these agrarian communities sought to ensure their personal safety and the profitability of their enterprises by using all the tactics-physical and psychological-at their command to make slaves obedient. Even Christianity was manipulated in a way that masters communicated to their slaves that God had commanded them to obey their masters. People like Frederick Douglass who preached abolition of slavery, only had to nurture the already existing spirit within slaves to strive for freedom.
Abolitionism was an anti-slavery act carried out by those who believed holding slaves in a household was either unjust or a sin. Abolition had been present in the United States for years and had been the cause of many debates between the North and South but the Second Great Awakening added fuel to the fire urging even more people to join the cause. Before this, Northerners did not concern themselves with the issues of the south because of the great distance between them, but once the issue became intermingled with religion the North became deeply involved. Slavery was seen as sin because of the abuse and ...
Hard labor, and deprivation of both physical and spiritual necessities, defined slavery in the south. Frederick Douglass struggled throughout his youth to keep himself amply fed and, in optimum physical condition. He struggled throughout his life, searching for some rational belief. Through his potentially lifelong struggle of slavery, he was forced to use his reasoning to overcome internal as well as external obstacles. Separated from his family and loved ones, Frederick Douglass was deprived of past cultural and religious beliefs. He also had the burden of watching his masters use religion as justification for the treacherous conditions of slavery. The ambiguous picture that he received about religion developed a question of God's benevolence. If my master has God's approval for all of his wrongdoing, how can religion be developed through good will? If God condones such appalling behavior, how can I follow such lead? Despite the hardships entailed, Frederick Douglass was surprisingly able to use his cognitive thought to effectively search for his worldly niche. He began to accumulate his own thoughts, values, goals and opinions and he began his journey towa...
Slavery was a dominant part of the political and social arenas of 1800’s America. However, it was not homogenous as it divided America into two distinct groups: those who supported it and those who did not. Traditionally, the states in the north had been anti-slavery while the states in the south had been pro-slavery. Southern life and economy depended on slavery and therefore staunchly supported the continued legal status of slavery. The northern states on the other hand recognized the inhumane nature of slavery and campaigned to establish equality for all citizens. In order to establish solid reasoning for their stance, both pro-slave and anti-slave groups turned to theological inspiration for their actions. The Bible inspired both pro-slavery advocates and anti-slavery abolitionists alike. Religion was used in order to justify slavery and also to condemn it.
“I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.” Frederick Douglas’s infamous quote was used to explain how slave masters seem to value a different form of Christianity than he was used to. Slave masters would explain to slaves and slave families that Christianity wrote it into their bible and laws that they were meant to be slaves and pick out particular passages that they would manipulate to support their views. For centuries, slave owners have looked for way to justify the need for slaves and a way to manipulate slaves into believing that slavery was their true calling. They would use Bible stories such as the Curse of Ham as well as the Mark of Cain in reference to African Americans to legitimize slavery to their slaves. Slaves often spoke on this in their narratives of the time as slaves. Harriet Jacobs was another enslaved child that spoke on this misuse in her narrative “Incidents in The Life of a Slave Girl”, Jacobs spoke from a more domestic view of slavery. She often questioned religion for this very reason, how can something so cruel possibly be of God? Olaundah Equiano was different from Jacobs in the respect that he never doubted his own religion, simply believed that he worshipped a different Christianity than Whites did. Just as education is presented as a paradox in “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas” so too is the issue of religion and Christianity. On the on...