It is easiest to believe that free blacks experienced the most freedom in commerce. In the South free blacks were most likely to work as farmers. Those who could not afford their own land worked on the fields of others. In North Carolina, for example, counties with large free black populations often saw free blacks working on large plantations. There they worked as field hands, drivers, and all around laborers. This was perhaps the easier type of work for a free black to obtain simply because it was no different from the work of a slave. It was menial labor which provided no social mobility for free blacks. As for those who did own land, much mo...
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...ely right to feel threatened by free blacks. Many free blacks took advantage of the few rights they had and maneuvered through the limitations placed upon them to further themselves and climb the social ladder. Although they did experienced no more than a quarter of the rights whites did, they used the few rights that they did have to become something greater.
Lofton, John. Denmark Vesey’s Revolt. Ohio: Kent University Press, 1983.
de Tocqueville, Alexis. Democracy in America. Translated by Henry Reeve. New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange, 2003.
Bracey, Meier, and Elliot Rudwick. Free Blacks in America, 1800-1860. California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1971.
Gold. “English Grammar”. Freedom’s Journal Volume 1 No. 49. Nov. 16 1827
Bibb, Henry Heglar. Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb: An American Slave. Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 2001.
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