Research Paper Slave Resistance Through Culture When slaves were brought from Africa to the United States, they were stripped of their human rights and forced into a life of oppression. The conditions of harsh labor led them to resort to different forms of resistance to help them cope with the reality of the situation. One of the ways the slaves found resistance was through their culture. Culture helped the slaves stay resilient because it was all they managed to hold on to after they had been removed from their home in Africa and were forced to develop in their new home. Besides this, culture was a way to secretly protest and criticize slavery without having the slave owners punish them.
In conclusion, Slavery in American Society is successful in providing critical evidence on the significance of the world the slaves made for themselves. The slave community was able to withstand many of the master's schemes to convert the slaves into more loyal and obedient workers. Also, the master was unable to stop the slaves from forming close personal ties within the community, however, the slaves were punished for such action if they were caught. The slaves managed to preserve their African culture to some extent as well.
Some slaves were determined to be free, even at the expense of their own lives. Franklin describes the different ways of how slaves would try to escape, and the main reasons why they were not submissive to the system or content with their condition of having security from their slave master. 2. What is the book’s thesis (the author’s main argument or interpretation of the theme)? The book’s thesis is that the overseers and slave masters had a difficult time of managing slaves on the plantations.
Northern abolitionists began organized efforts to end the practice of slavery in the 1800's. But much of the American South, believed that slavery was vital to the continuation of its livelihood and lifestyle and therefore defended the institution of slavery. As the abolition movement picked up, southerners became organized in their support of slavery in what became known as the proslavery movement. Some southerners involved in the movement maintained the position that slavery was like "the law of nature" which allowed the strong to rule the weak. Thus is was appropriate for whites to own blacks as slaves because they believed whites were the dominant race.
By attending church, slaves created a Christianity that emphasized salvation for every race, including slaves. To avoid over work slaves tried to work at their own pace and resist speedups. Some of the techniques they used to prevent work were to fake illness or pregnancy, break or misplace tools or fake ignorance. Unless slaves lived near free territory, or near a city where they could blend into a free black population, they knew that permanent escape was unlikely. Only rarely, did a large group of slaves attempt a mass escape and maintain an independent freedom for long periods of time.
In the narrative Douglass shows us how slave owners and their sympathizers described blacks in terms of negative stereotypes to justify treating them as property. These stereotypes provided the foundation for the mythology of the plantation. Slave owners liked to think of themselves as the masters and even father-figures of a class of inferior, childlike people who could not survi... ... middle of paper ... ...her former slaves struggled hard to reclaim the right to define his own identity. To name himself was a huge accomplishment, carrying with it the right to tell his own story. Therefore, by him establishing his own identity on his own terms he catapulted his career as an abolitionist and his own claim to freedom.
However, within the framework existed a small amount of fluidity which acted as the motive power for African Americans as they transitioned from a long freedom struggle into the Civil Rights movement. The rigid social framework coupled with the small amount of fluidity acknowledges the harsh realities awaiting Blacks daily during the Jim Crow era while suggesting the opportunities afforded to Blacks indicates an overall improvement in quality life as opposed to the institution of slavery. For many blacks in the postbellum South, the only thing they possessed was their “freedom”. Litwack personifies the collective struggle through the stories of individuals like Charlie Holcombe. Charlie, growing up in the period following slavery, was confident in his ability to succeed in a period characterized by hope and possibility.
Instead, they said things they thought their masters wanted to hear, and they conformed with the rituals that signified their subservience." (Stammp, 266) Also when northern visitors would ask a slave how he or she felt about being a slave, they would respond with something along the lines of, "No massa, me no want to be free, have good massa, take care of me when I sick, never 'buse nigger; no, me no want to be free" (Stammp, 266). These ideals set forth by the slaves were not always looked at as something to be suspicious of; in fact most masters believed their slaves were content in the current situation. For the plantation owners to think that a slave would have no concept of what it means to be free was a gross misconception, says Stammp. Stammp uses the example that simply the slaves were not blind, they could see the advantages of be a freeman.
Without any evidence, and actual proof o... ... middle of paper ... ...ern states offered freedom if a slave was able to reach borders undetected. Also the ability to have an owner with compassion afforded the slave to have a better life. Not all slave owners treated their slave as subhuman. Their role in the master’s home was more of a servant than a slave. Through slave revolts, the whites were forced to see that slaves were never going to be satisfied with life as it was.
Christianity was used as a tool for keeping the slaves docile and obedient to their master. They were only taught passages that emphasized submissiveness and learned only their master’s words. Throughout their narratives both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs expose the hypocrisy and moral contradictions between the religion slaveholders preach and true Christianity. We learn that having a religious master is one of the worst things as a slave because masters feel a certain entitlement to commit these horrible crimes and that God is behind them. Separating the Christianity of the South and true or Godly Christianity became essential in realizing that religion could be used as justification for freedom.