Slave Narrative and Black Autobiography - Richard Wright's "Black Boy" and James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography
The slave narrative maintains a unique station in modern literature. Unlike any other body of literature, it provides us with a first-hand account of institutional racially-motivated human bondage in an ostensibly democratic society. As a reflection on the author, these narratives were the first expression of humanity by a group of people in a society where antediluvian pseudo-science had deemed them to be mere animals. Taken together, the narratives of former black slaves in the Antebellum South provide us with one of the largest bodies of literature written by former slaves in history.
Although these narratives remain but a perspective of slavery, it is important to note that their reception upon publication was divided and, prior to emancipation, extremely partisan. Without exception, former slaves had their accuracy and their intelligence called into question by a…… [Read More]
Slave narratives and abolitionist books share much in common in terms of their descriptions of the institution of slavery, how slavery is entrenched in American society, and how slaves struggle to overcome the psychological humiliation and physical degradation that slavery entails. Frederick Douglass's (1845) Narrative in the Life of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs's (1861) Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl both capture the daily cruelty and overall theme of slavery. These two slave narratives present a poignant picture of what it was like to live as a slave, showing also how slaves attempted to escape. Douglass and Jacobs also show how slaves managed to keep their families as together as possible, struggling against all odds to do so because of the systematic means by which whites enabled and even encouraged the dismantling of African-American families.
However, there are some core differences between Douglass's (1845) and Jacobs's (1861)…… [Read More]
" (Fort, 1)
To an extent, freedom could not be experienced until it was understood. And yet, the utopian multiracialism that we might like to attribute to the post Civil ar era would hardly be accurate. Instead, the period of Reconstruction bred hardship for the nation, for the South and especially for freed slaves. As Fountain Hughes tells in his narrative, "we had no home, you know. e was jus' turned out like a lot of cattle. You know how they turn cattle out in a pasture? ell after freedom, you know, colored people didn' have nothing." (Fort, 1) This is a compelling point to close on as it dispels the myth that slaves were immediately granted opportunities comporting to those of their white counterparts. The end of the Civil ar would be the beginning of a new struggle for identity and a foothold in the context of freedom. The…… [Read More]
Internal Struggle for Identity and Equality in African-American Literature
The story of the African-American journey through America's history is one of heartbreaking desperation and victimization, but also one of amazing inspiration and victory. Any story of the journey that fails to include these seemingly diametric components of the African-American journey is incomplete. However, African-American culture reflects both the progress of the African-American community, its external struggle to achieve equality, and its internal struggle to acquire identity after displacement and forced deprivation of access to native culture. This is particularly true in African-American literature, which, taken as a whole, paints a broad portrait of African-American life, encompassing struggle, strife, conquest, sacrifice and triumph. African-American literature has been a way for African-American authors to express their own feelings about identity and struggle, but, perhaps even more importantly; it has provided a catalyst for broader discussion about those feelings on a cultural level.…… [Read More]
slave narrative maintains a unique station in modern literature. Unlike any other body of literature, it provides us with a first-hand account of institutional racially-motivated human bondage in an ostensibly democratic society. As a reflection on the author, these narratives were the first expression of humanity by a group of people in a society where antediluvian pseudo-science had deemed them to be mere animals. These works, although they provide us a keen insight into the nature of the period, all but disappeared following emancipation and the end of the Civil War. As black liberty was thought to be a vindicated cause, the accounts of former slaves lost their general appeal and were party only to a cultural heritage attended to only by other freed black slaves. However, black writers of both fiction and non-fiction in the 20th came to reflect the work of Frederick Douglas and others in the style…… [Read More]
Not only does he capture the essence of India, he gives the reader an idea of the people, their food, and their culture, all together. In this, the language of his work is like a travelogue, and so, it combines many diverse types of literature into one compact and yet compelling whole.
Equiano fills the book with descriptive language like this, and powerful language, too.
In conclusion, this slave narrative is extremely special for a number of reasons. Equiano's language and experiences are vivid and compelling. Not only do they urge the reader to turn the pages and find out more about this remarkable man's life, they make the reader take a long look at their own lives and what they may have accomplished. Equiano was truly a self-made man who rose from the humblest beginnings to make a great and quite successful life for himself. In addition, he left…… [Read More]
Classic Slave Narrative of Olaudah Equiano
The narrative of the former slave Olaudah Equiano may seem unfamiliar in its construction and ideology to many readers familiar with only popular slave narratives, such as the narrative of Frederick Douglass. Unlike the narratives of slaves who came of age only within the institution of bondage, Equiano was born free, in the land of Africa. Equiano himself was born as an upper-class member of an African royal family, and knew what it was like to be of a privileged caste, and even to regard himself as superior to other Africans and to whites with which his tribe came into contact with.
However, all of this changed once Equiano was sold into slavery. Equiano was subject to the same privations upon the Middle Passage as those individual Africans who came from less privileged circumstances. In fact, Equiano endured some of the most rigorous conditions…… [Read More]
Equiano (Benin, 1745-1799): Travels ( slave Narrative). eport written Ductive format. Also research
In many ways large and small, Equiano's Travels: The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, is a remarkably fascinating read. This autobiographical account of a African slaves triumph over the forced bondage of chattel slavery that eventually results in his becoming an internationalist abolitionist of both slavery and the slave trade that propels it is intended to be a read as a victorious story of survival against odds that were decidedly decimating. Yet despite the fact that Equiano was able to extricate himself from such inauspicious beginnings to eventually aid others who have been entrapped in such noxious circumstances, there is a subtle undercurrent that runs throughout his Interesting Narrative that is also supported by the text and as widely important as, or perhaps even more important than, the aforementioned motif. In…… [Read More]
To illustrate his point in the speech, Douglass also uses narrative techniques similar to the ones he uses in his autobiography. Douglass tells a story of how a minister had all the black members of the congregation stand by the door while the whites received the communion. The minister implied that it was God's order that blacks be treated in that way. In another anecdote, Douglass explains that to racist Christians the Kingdom of Heaven is "like a net," that leaves out those with "black scales." Douglass describes a story of a young black girl who received holy Communion. The deacon reluctantly passed the cup to the black girl, but the white woman next to her stormed out of the church. "When the cup containing the precious blood which had been shed for all, came to her, she rose in disdain, and walked out of the church. Such was the…… [Read More]
Christianity Upon Mary Rowlandson's Captivity Narrative And Frederick Douglass's Slave Narrative
Both A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass are first-person nonfictional accounts of the individual's encounter with an 'other' that captures them and holds them hostage. Rowlandson's 17th century narrative tells of her abduction by Native Americans during King Phillips' ar and her eventual return to white civilization. Douglass was born a slave in the 19th century American South and inhabited the 'double consciousness' of African-Americans. Unlike Rowlandson, he had no memory of a world in which he was a social equal, rather he was told virtually from birth that he was inferior and belonged to another human being as property, not to himself. Both authors use religion as an important connecting thread in their narratives but Rowlandson views her captivity and release as an example of…… [Read More]
What was surprising or affected you in the book?
The most surprising aspect of the book is that it highlights the challenges that are impacting everyone. This is accomplished through showing the brutality and the sense of unconcern about what is happening. For example, in one section Douglass illustrates how female slaves are often victimized by their slave masters or relatives. This is taking place through showing how many are often brutally raped and forced to deal with these abuses continuously. These areas are shocking, as it is showing why slavery must be destroyed at all costs. This is surprising as Douglass will talk about these issues in great detail. (Gates)
Comment about the incidents related to slavery in that book.
The incidents related to slavery are illustrating how the slave master and society have a sense of indifference. This is because they do not care about what happens…… [Read More]
In conclusion, these narratives paint a vivid picture of slave life from the 17th and 18th centuries, and illustrate why slavery was such a vicious and evil institution. Without these narratives, a historical view of slavery would be incomplete, and they illustrate a distressing and immoral element of American history. Slavery differed between the North and the South, but it shared many common characteristics, as slave narratives continue to illustrate.
Abdur-ahman, Aliyyah I. "The Strangest Freaks of Despotism": Queer Sexuality in Antebellum African-American Slave Narratives." African-American eview 40, no. 2 (2006): 223+.
Barrett, Lindon. "African-American Slave Narratives: Literacy, the Body, Authority." American Literary History 7, no. 3 (1995): 415-442.
Bland, Sterling Lecater, ed. African-American Slave Narratives: An Anthology. Vol. 1. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001..
Bland, Sterling Lecater, ed. African-American Slave Narratives: An Anthology. Vol. 3. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001.
Clayton, onnie W. Mother Wit: The Ex-Slave Narratives…… [Read More]
This book is important because so much of black history centers on the experience of being a slave, rather than the experience of living together with others slaves and the development of culture and tradition. This book shows how black American culture really originated, and that the lives of slaves were incredibly hard, but enriching in their own right. The author's exhaustive research gives the reader a real glimpse into the everyday life of slaves, and indicates that they had a rich culture, appreciated their families, hoped desperately for freedom, and lived desperately hard lives. Even though their lives were difficult, they held on to hope and faith, which gave them the courage to continue. His research brings the slaves to life and makes the reader appreciate just how strong they had to be to survive.
This is a very interesting and adsorbing book. eading a slave's autobiography is one…… [Read More]
He was not just some compassionate liberal advocating freedom for the oppressed, he was an actual victim of the system who had risen above it. This strengthened his leadership abilities even further because he was able to use his personal experiences to relate the horrors of slavery to those who had only read about it.
When he tells about the cruelty of the slave overseer Mr. Gore, stating "His savage barbarity was equaled only by the consummate coolness with which he committed the grossest and most savage deeds upon the slaves under his charge" (p. 356), one cannot helped but be moved and outraged. There is no denying that his experiences were as horrendous as Harriet's. But there is also no denying that the male and female experiences of slavery were different. The fact is, the male and female experiences in just about any walk of life are different, no…… [Read More]
The American government was directly complicit in slavery and passed a number of laws that supported the institution. One of the most severe and notorious of those laws was the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. The Fugitive Slave Law highlighted the vast gulf between the slaveholding and free states of the union, leading eventually to the Civil War. However, the law also impacted the lives of countless people who attempted to escape slavery or those facilitated their passage. In her memoirs, Harriet Jacobs writes about the Fugitive Slave Law. The author calls those who enforced the law "cruel human bloodhounds" who were no better than slave owners themselves (Jacobs 68). To properly understand slavery, it becomes essential to comprehend the entirety of the system that supported it.
In Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Jacobs does not spare the North from its participation in the subjugation of…… [Read More]
Mary also remembers the days of the war, when they heard stories about being set free and prayed for their freedom. Then one day all the slaves were asked to come to the Grand House. Here they were told by the master and his wife that they were no longer slaves. They were now free. "The Yankees will soon be here." The two of them then brought their chairs to the front of the house on the porch and waited. In about an hour, the Yankees arrived and repeated: "You are now free." The slaves and Yankees ate and drank together in celebration, while the owners continued to "humbly" sit on the porch and watch. This story by Mary was indeed very different from the movies, such as "Gone with the Wind" with the fires and mayhem. It is actually as if the master and his wife were glad --…… [Read More]
Yet even when Douglass is the slave of a good white woman who treats him well physically by satisfying his bodily appetite for food and he is "better off in the regard" that he always has bread with him, unlike "many of the poor white children in the neighborhood," he does not regard himself as a happy child and envies the free white boys. In fact, "I used to bestow upon the hungry littler urchins," this bread of slavery, for the poor white boys, "in return, would give me that more valuable bread of knowledge."(1898, Chapter IIV)
Beasts can eat, but only human beings can think and learn. After Douglass gains literary knowledge, "I envied by fellow-slaves for their stupidity. I have often wished myself a beast. I preferred the condition of the meanest reptile to my own. (1899, Chapter IIV)
But slaves true higher nature that they possess as…… [Read More]
The trans-Atlantic slave trade shackled together persons from disparate cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Forced contact and communion, pervasive physical and psychological abuse, and systematic disenfranchisement became the soil in which a unique subculture would be born. Slave subcultures in the United States were also diverse, depending on geography, the nature of the plantation work, the prevailing political and social landscape of the slave owner culture, and factors like gender and ethnic backgrounds of the slaves. Presence and type of religion in the community also impacted the evolution of slave culture. Common factors that link disparate slave subcultures include religion, music, crafts, food, social norms, and political philosophies. In spite of the tremendous variations in theme and tone of slave cultures, such as those in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, or the Carolinas, there did emerge some consistencies that draw attention to commonalities. The forced bondage of slavery created the means…… [Read More]
Slave, Not Born a Slave
The Making of Slavery
The sense of proprietorship of slave traders, owners, and other propagators of chattel slavery that was prevalent in the United States until the middle of the 19th century would be absurdly laughable -- were it not steeped in a legacy of perversion, of anguish, of tragedy and of perniciousness. The notion that one had the right to actually own another, the latter of whose sole existence would be to serve the former in any way, shape or method which the "owner" deemed appropriate, has been disproved as largely imaginary, and not something based on any sense of right or morality (no matter how such a historically ambiguous term was defined) numerous times, both during the tenure of slavery in the United States and well afterwards. A casual examination of the wording of the Declaration of Independence confirms this fact (McAulifee, 2010,…… [Read More]
Both religion and the law purport to advocate human rights, freedoms, and liberties. Yet neither religion nor the law can offer any justification for the dichotomy of slavery. No logic can sustain the argument that slavery is humane or just, and the brilliance of Jacobs' and Douglass' lsave narratives is their mutual ability to expose the fallacies in both religion and the law. The optimism with which the authors express their views does not negate their overt critiques. For instance, Jacobs and Douglass are both deeply religious. They do not criticize Christianity but only the way Christian doctrine is distorted to support slavery. Neither author criticizes the United States but only the way American law and values are distorted to support slavery. Their incredible ability to overcome a lack of formal education to write their stories bears witness to the power of the individual to transform defunct social norms and…… [Read More]
slavery is all about power and exploitation, it makes sense that the women depicted in the 2013 Steve McQueen movie Twelve Years a Slave are systematically abused, even the white women. In the film, Eliza, Patsey, and Harriet were all sexually abused by white men, revealing the intersectionality of power. However, it is also important to point out that Mistress Epps is also abused by Master Epps, showing how white males wield power in a hierarchical social system in which women of color are at the bottom. The role of women in Twelve Years a Slave is complicated because some understand that they need to submit and even pretend to enjoy the sex in order to stay alive and protect their own children.
Question 1: Did the male slaves defend the women and children, why or why not?
This question is difficult to answer because some men do try to…… [Read More]
At which point, he would escape and settle in New edford, Massachusetts. This would mark the beginning of the long fight that Douglas would have in the abolition of slavery and campaign for civil rights. This awakening would lead to the publishing of the book, The Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, An American Slave. Where, he would print the different speeches on the abolition of slavery. This would become a best seller and make Douglas famous. However, he was wanted by southern slave hunters and began to campaign in ritain against the evils of slavery. This allowed for sympathetic friends to buy Douglas's freedom, which helped him to return to America.
The different events that were described by Frederick Douglas were a testament of his desire to obtain his freedom at any cost. Where, he would endure suffering and brutality at the hands of slave masters. These incidents…… [Read More]
Why a]re the dearest friends and relations now... prevented from cheering the gloom of slavery with the small comfort of being together and mingling their sufferings and sorrows? Why are parents to lose their children, brothers their sisters, or husbands their wives? Surely this is a new refinement in cruelty, which, while it has no advantage to atone for it, thus aggravates distress, and adds fresh horrors even to the wretchedness of slavery... I have even known them gratify their brutal passion with females not ten years old; and these abominations some of them practised to such scandalous excess, that one of our captains discharged the mate and others on that account." (Vol. 1 p. 206)
On the other hand, there is a paradoxical problem that probably undermines that hope: awareness of how much worse slaves were treated earlier in their lives could have also allowed some of…… [Read More]
They may not be overtly trying to keep blacks down, but I have noticed they it is important in this company to keep whites at the top of the ladder.
For example, my manager, a Caucasian, has been with this company for 20 years, he earns a salary in six figures and has no college experience. It shows. In fact under his supervision our department is collapsing. There is a supervisor who is African-American who tries hard to cover up for his boss's errors of judgment and wrongheaded decisions. He should be the one running our department, but he hasn't been promoted or compensated -- or even given credit for the yeoman's work that he does. The black supervisor has been with the company as long as the white manager, and the black supervisor has two master's degrees, but he can't catch a break in the company pecking order. The…… [Read More]
For Marie, there is a consistent struggle towards upward social mobility. This struggle is a reflection of her desire to be both a good wife at such a tender age and to advance her husband's station. At the same time, her husband, a young and ambitious tradesman is attempting to validate himself through business success. Their struggle within the colonial society is a reflection of the struggle for survival and upwards social mobility. The defiance of their character to conventional norms and their driving ambition are both representative of the individualism that is evident in this society.
For Charles Renaut, the struggle of being a fisherman is evident in his letter. Moore carefully portrays Renaut's life as a reflection of the both the classicism within colonial society as well as the holistic portrayal of the fisherman's lifestyle. Renaut feels himself caught between the middle as he fears to leave Louisbourg…… [Read More]
Sacred orld of Slaves
Based upon the reading of Sacred orld of Slaves explain 3 ways in which slaves used artistic expression (music, dance, narratives) to cope with being enslaved and move them in a direction of Liberation.
From slavery times, far more records about black spirituals have survived than for secular music, and the most common religious themes always involved freedom, an escape from bondage and Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt. Black slaves may have had the evangelical Protestant religion of their masters imposed on them for purposes on control, but they also appropriated it and made this religion their own -- and the black church was one of the very few institutions that they did control before recent times. In essence, black theology was always a version of liberation theology, compared to emphasis that white evangelicals placed on individual sin and personal salvation, and…… [Read More]
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave recounts the horrible conditions that led to Douglass's contempt for slavery. Douglass suffered poverty, brutality, separation from family, and civil injustice all for what he believed to be for the financial benefit of white slave owners. Fear and educational and religious controls were instruments used to keep slaves in their place. But, with his strength and determination, Douglas would rebel against and overcome these controls. And, in the end, Douglass would find the accumulation of material wealth used to justify the atrocities of slavery was an illusion.
As a child, Douglas was underfed and forced to eat cornmeal must from a trough as though he was a pig. The only clothing the slave children had were two linen shirts per year which hung to their knees. When these failed them, the children were forced to go naked. In…… [Read More]
It is not necessarily that Douglas's stories reach the reader's heart because of the intensity with which they are narrated, but it is because the reader immediately relates to how it is very probable that the horrors related by the author are actually real-life events. This proves that real life is often more surprising than fiction.
The society contemporary to "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas" was in point of fact taught to believe that slavery was absolutely normal and necessary, even though most agreed that it was immoral. Most people believe that background is not of extreme importance, given that the individual is primarily the principal factor who can shape his or her life. However, if one is unaware of his or her background, the respective person basically has nothing to relate to and is thus more likely to be unable to create his or her individual…… [Read More]
Douglass did not have those options and he had to locate ways to become free that involved saving money and escaping. In the end they both used similar methods to escape but the initial decisions were gender based.
The final similarity in the lives of the two was what they chose to do with their lives following their escape. They both worked to help free slaves who had not been able to get away and they both worked to help those who had been freed to set up their lives.
hile Jacobs and Douglass started out as slaves they worked hard to escape and then used their abilities to help others who had been enslaved. Instead of turning bitter and inward they both penned their experiences to help the world understand the true ramifications of slavery.
Harriet Jacobs (accessed 10-26-06) (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/JACOBS/hj-site-index.htm)
Harriet Jacobs (accessed 10-26-06)
Hariet…… [Read More]
primary source written by slave have picked ewis Clarke and his book Narrative of the Sufferings of ewis Clark. In my opinion, excerpts from this book give a clear account about the condition of a slave in the South in the first half of the 19th and a revelatory story of a fugitive slave and his experience as he ran for freedom.
ewis Clarke was born in 1812, in Madison County, Kentucky, as the son of a Scottish emigrant and a black mother. As such, he was a slave, owned by William Campbell. Upon his death, ewis Clarke was sold to Betsy Branton and spend his years without his mother, who had been sold at a different plantation, several tens of miles away. Escaped from the plantation in 1841, he lived the remainder of his years, until his death in 1897, in Canada, where he published his book, Narrative of…… [Read More]
Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Jacobs relates to the readers her experiences as a slave girl in the Southern part of America. Her story started from her sheltered life as a child to her subordination to her mistress upon her father's death, and her continuing struggle to live a dignified and virtuous life despite being a slave. Her struggle involves her constant degradation from her master; the danger of being sexually exploited by her mistress' husband, Dr. Flint; her broken relationship with a free colored man; her pregnancy to a man named Mr. Sands; and her fight for her and her children's freedom from slavery. All of these experiences helped Linda learn to fight justly for her right to become a free individual, but most of all, to be subordinated to Dr. Flint, the man who wanted so bad to exploit her, yet, was not able to because of…… [Read More]
life of slaves in Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and the lives of the mentally ill in Victor LaValle's Devil in Silver
The theme of freedom and escape was common in antebellum literature written by former slaves -- and is also common in narratives of the lives of the mentally ill today. Both Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl and Victor LaValle's Devil in Silver chronicle unjust imprisonments: in Jacob's case, the narrator's life as a slave; in LaValle's novel, the horrors perpetrated upon the mentally ill. These texts indicate that those who are marginalized in our society are selected in an arbitrary fashion based upon categories such as race or class rather than have intrinsic properties that make them uniquely different. Over the course of the narrative, both protagonists overcome the societies of fear and tyranny that are created by their…… [Read More]
Life of a Slave Girl
"Incidents in the Live of a Slave Girl" is a moving story of one black woman's struggle in early America. Jacobs shows how she became part of the families she lived with and who held her as a slave, but shows how her own family came first. She saved her children from slavery, but white people also used and abused her. She shows she was a strong woman who knew right from wrong, but could not help but "sin" at times because of her background and her circumstances. Black slaves had very little choice except to submit to their masters' wishes or run away. Jacobs did both at times in her life, and they were the right choices at that particular time.
Jacobs wanted people to understand what she went through, and her story does that. Her grandmother loses a loan to her owner, her…… [Read More]
Voice & Identity in "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass"
This essay discusses the book NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS, AN AMERICAN SLAVE: WRITTEN BY HIMSELF, by Frederick Douglass, John W. Blassingame, John R. McKivigan (Editor) and Peter P. Hinks (Yale University, 2001).
Frederick Douglass was an early-19th century American slave who escaped the South and found freedom in the North. Seven years after his escape, Douglass published "Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave," his story of his life under the brutal system of American slavery, as well as his ability to prevail under and escape such difficult circumstances. It has become an American classic.
Narrative of the Life," published in 1845, was the first book of Douglass' writing and journalism career. He went on from "Narratives" to become an accomplished speaker and journalist, arguing passionately for the abolition of slavery, and describing…… [Read More]
e learn that art can indeed reflect life but it can also inspire it beyond what the human mind can dream.
Bailey, Thomas, et al. The American Pageant. Lexington D.C. Heath and Company, 1994.
Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. New York: Penguin, 1982.
Levernier, James a. "Frederick Douglass: Overview." Reference Guide to American Literature, 3rd ed. 1994. GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed August 3, 2006. http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com
Norton, Mary Beth, et al. A People and a Nation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990.
Richard Powell. African-American Art. 2005 Oxford University Press. http://www.aawc.com
Rodriguez, Junius P.. "African-American Experience: Art." African-American Experience. 12 September, 2008. http://aae.greenwood.com
Norton, Mary Beth, et al. A People and a Nation. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, (1990). 278.
Bailey, Thomas, et al. The American Pageant. Lexington D.C. Heath and Company, (1994). 69.
Norton, Mary Beth, et al. A People and a…… [Read More]
Edward Ball chronicles his family's slave-owning history in the compelling historical narrative Slaves in the Family. Ball traces the lineages of his white relatives and their slaves and where possible recreates life as it was on the Ball plantations in South Carolina. Descendents of the Englishman Elias Ball bought and sold enough slaves to populate a city. By no means singular in their treatment of the Africans, the Balls prove nevertheless to be a prime example of a Southern plantation dependent on the blood, sweat, and tears of families and individuals ripped from their homeland and bought and sold as commodity. Cruelty was meted out equally among black males and females, but it is worthwhile to contrast the unique experiences of enslaved women on the Southern plantations. If nothing else, motherhood and childrearing set the women apart. They watched their newborns emerge into a world of shackles, often completely losing…… [Read More]
Creation Myth Analysis
Case Study of the History of iblical Creation Narratives
What Is Myth?
What Is History?
Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 Myth?
Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 History?
Is Genesis 1:1-2:4 oth Myth and History?
An Analysis of the iblical Creation Narrative of Genesis 1:1-25 and Egypt's Possible Influence on the Historical Record
God created the world in just six days, and rested on the seventh, but scholars have not rested at all over the millennia in their investigation of its account in the historical record, particularly Genesis 1:1-25. Given its importance to humankind, it is little wonder that so much attention has been devoted to how the universe was created and what place humanity has in this immense cosmos. Indeed, the creation of the universe and the origin of mankind are the subject of numerous myths around the world, with many sharing some distinct commonalities. According to S.G.F.…… [Read More]
Celia, a Slave
The historian uses both primary source material, such as the papers of Jefferson Davis, and secondary source material, such as other books and histories written on the time and place under discussion in the book. Thus, there is a good combination of the two that gives the story an overall accurate feel to it. For example, the author is able to convincingly recreate the world of the South before the Civil War and what it was like to be a slave in that territory. Even when missing pieces of the puzzle for lack of documentary evidence, the author does not invent "facts" to plug the holes but simply acknowledges that some portions of the narrative are unknown. This does not in any way diminish the story or its believability, though it may leave the reader wondering at some points.
Nonetheless, the sources are used well to explain…… [Read More]
St. Patrick of Ireland: A Biography. Philip Freeman. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2005.
The book by Philip Freeman takes the reader deeper into the life and times of St. Patrick of Ireland than any previous publication has been able to do. Freeman's thesis is that there have previously been many unknowns about St. Patrick and the author was determined to solve those mysteries as thoroughly as he could. The work was written based on Freeman's passion to truly understand and share his knowledge of St. Patrick to readers around the world. Bringing St. Patrick's fascinating life into a well-thought-out narrative was a valuable historical service for Freeman. The purpose of this book review is to present a realistic portrait of St. Patrick, the saint after whom a special day is designated -- and while millions of people celebrate St. Patrick's Day, very few are likely to know anything at…… [Read More]
33). Slavery was an institution, and as such, it had become outmoded in modern society of the time. Elkins feels slavery could have been viewed less emotionally and more realistically as an institution, rather than an ethical or moral dilemma, and this is one of the most important arguments in his book, which sets the stage for the rest of his writing.
In his arguments for his theses, Elkins continues, "To the Northern reformer, every other concrete fact concerning slavery was dwarfed by its character as a moral evil - as an obscenity condemned of God and universally offensive to humanity" (Elkins, 1959, p. 36). Slavery was a moral evil, and it is still seen as such. Elkins indicates society was becoming disillusioned with it at the time (at least Northern society), and that the institution needed to change or disappear.
Another of the important points Elkins attempts to make…… [Read More]
Important to note as well is that the slave narratives had many things in common with the captivity narrative. In general, those that create slave narratives suffer from being in a society that they consider alien, try to balance the desire for freedom against the danger of trying to escape, and grow both spiritually and morally as a result of the torment and the suffering that they have had to go through. This helps to provide the realism that slave narratives possess, and this realism is also showcased in much of the artwork that comes from that time period where African-Americans and slavery are concerned. Because of the realism that is seen in these slave narratives they were immensely popular during the time that they were written, and they often remain popular with schools and other groups today.… [Read More]
hile still not free, Linda secures a degree of autonomy even in her master's house, which in turn manifests the confidence to make plans to flee that house for good.
Unfortunately, the clutches of slavery go far beyond the boundaries of a house, a state, or even an entire country. Though Linda succeeds in her escape to the North, she is still legally the property of Mr. Flint and his family, as she will remain until she either buys her freedom or it is bought for her. As Linda continues to put space between herself and her oppressors, however, she finds it increasingly difficult to stomach the thought of paying for own freedom -- a thing she believes she has a right to. Even when her dear friend, Mrs. Bruce, offers to purchase her freedom for her, Linda graciously refuses, saying:
The more my mind was enlightened, the more difficult…… [Read More]
Life of a Slave Girl
Harriet Jacob's autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is a traditionally fashioned slave narrative printed around 1861. In it, one sees a fascinating and tragic personal view into the American past that both parallels traditional histories and also highlights elements of those histories that might otherwise escape notice. If it were not for such slave narratives, the dominant literary discourse of the era might have remained in the hands of those who were responsible for slavery or supported it economically in other ways. While one can see in this story a definite sense of bowing to overwhelming white preconceptions and moralities, particularly in terms of the expected behavior of a "virtuous" unmarried girl, there is also a large amount of what must have then been controversial condemnation of many of the aspects of American culture. Through providing this alternate perspective to the…… [Read More]
The book, 'Aren't I a Woman?' explores the challenges that women faced in the antebellum America. The author has focused to address the challenges of sexuality and racism that affected many women of this age. The author, Deborah Gray is a Professor at Scott University, who has focused her study in examining the issues of justice and social inequality in society. She is interested in this study as she attempts to explain the challenges of sexuality and racism that has affected the women from minority races in the United States. Her focus is to lead the readers of her work to begin understanding the challenges that women have faced from the antebellum America to the current day. Through a better understanding of these issues, better remedies may be developed to help the affected women in the society. Indeed, without an in-depth understanding of the issues of sexuality, and racism,…… [Read More]
Toni Morrison's Beloved
This story works to capture the essence of slavery's aftermath for its characters. It tells a truth created in flashback and ghost story. It aims to create mysticism only memory can illustrate. "The novel is meant to give grief a body, to make it palpable" (Gates, 29). The characters are trapped in the present because they are imprisoned by the horrors of slavery. They are literally held hostage in their home, isolated from the outside world. In many ways Beloved represents a geographically realistic neo-slave narrative by presenting in flashback the experiences of Sethe. This story also has the fantastic element of a ghost who later becomes flesh and bone. The paragraphs below explore the characters memories and the magical realism of a ghost.
Memory affects the character of Sethe in a way that illustrates the pain and grief of her past enslavement. Sethe is living with…… [Read More]
hen Jacobs was transferred to the Norcoms, the reality of slavery suddenly hit the author hard because prior to her being sold to them she enjoyed a relatively happy childhood in a secure home environment. Dr. Norcom frequently made advances on Jacobs and she was forced to find solace in the arms of a white lawyer to help resist Dr. Norcom. She had two children by the lawyer, and was separated from them. Being separated from her parents and then from her children is a poignant dimension of slavery that Jacobs explicates in the narrative. Moreover, Jacobs describes the insidious psychological abuse that many domestic servants endured.
Jacobs also explains what might be new information for many readers: the different types of slavery and different ways slavery manifested. Not all slaves were field workers and not all slaves were treated poorly. Some, like her parents at the outset of the…… [Read More]
Storni, Alfonsina. "You ant Me hite." The Norton Anthology of orld
Vol. F. Ed. Sarah Lawall and Mayard Mac. New York: Norton, 2002. 2124-2125
The poem titled "You ant Me hite" written by Alfonsina Storni explores the issue of women mistreatment by men. The women complain how men expect them to be virgins when they (men ) are not.
Atwood, Margaret and Martin, Valerie.The Handmaid's Tale . Anchor.1998
In this book the author portrays how women are only valued for their fertility and they are allowed access to education in the patriarch society. This work is important to the research since it shows how women were mistreated by being regarded as sex symbols as well as not being allowed access to education.
Staves, Susan. Married omen's Separate Property Rights in England, 1660(1833. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1990.
This work is a recollection of the actual case studies and examples of various…… [Read More]
South - Mary Chesnut & Fredrick Douglass
Prior to making a comparison between Mary Chesnut and Frederick Douglass, in order to present material which sheds light on the relationship between white southern women and slaves, it would seem appropriate to look closely at each of these two noteworthy characters from American history.
Mary Boykin Chesnut
Mary Boykin Chesnut was born in 1823, into the aristocracy of South Carolina, had all the privileges of wealth and power - including the benefit of an education at an exclusive boarding school in Charleston - and married into another very prominent family in South Carolina. She lived on a plantation with numerous black slaves, which was fairly typical for wealthy people during that period. What was not typical of wealthy people during those times was the fact that her circle of friends was political and social heavyweights - after all, her husband was a…… [Read More]
history of Missouri there is a strained and well-documented legacy of slavery and conflict over it. As the nation divided itself on the political/economic rather than moral issue of slavery, deciding status of statehood almost entirely on this one issue Missouri was caught in the middle. Yet, this reality had little if anything to do with the reality of life for black women in the state. Black women's lives both free and slave revolved around work and family. In many ways black women, and marginalized women in general are the first real example of a women's working class.
Black women worked in and out of the home either for themselves or for another and lived their lives almost unaffected by the political decisions, made to seem so important in retrospect. That which was important to real working black women was the economy and for that reason most free blacks lived…… [Read More]
Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God"- write about your response to Edward's sermon as a member of his congregation.
Edward's "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" is fascinating from a historical perspective but absolutely frightening from the perspective of someone who might have been listening to the sermon when it was delivered in 1741. The "fire and brimstone" approach to religious teachings is unpalatable. Religion should engender love and trust in humanity, not fear, anger, and near hatred. Edward seems angry, and is trying to encourage the congregation to join him by cultivating a sense of fear and self-loathing. However, I am reacting with my modern sensibilities. If I were a member of a New England congregation, I might actually be as mad as Edwards was, and receptive to his ideas. I might have come from a religious background that fomented fear of…… [Read More]
Reception, Perception and Deception: The Genesis of Slavery
Progress has a way of making itself known to the world, even in a situation where there exists resistance. Considering Olaudah Equiano's "The Interesting Narrative, the issue of slavery throughout the colonial world was as much about assimilation as it was oppression. The conflict between cultures is shown in the nature of the cultural assumptions each makes concerning the other. The British are caught in a tunnel vision that doesn't allow for any considerations outside the belief that their way of life is superior and assume that the tribal culture will logically want to adapt to fit into the more modern way of life. They cannot accept the natives as equals, even as they verbalize their intention as one of attempting to create a hybrid culture. The Ibo, for their part, assume that the British will recognize and honor the way of…… [Read More]
Artificial Intelligence / Robotics
Robot Outline Name: Complitar (aka the LoveBunny 3000).
Personal Statement: Greetings, human. I am the LoveBunny 3000, and I offer advice on relationships and also sex. You are here gazing at my glass containment because you are troubled in your relationship, or you seek advice for how to drive your lover wild, or perhaps you just need concrete advice for how to find a lover -- although in these days of social media and nonstop connectedness, if you can't find someone to sleep with you, you're doing it wrong. And that's where I come in. You can ask me any question pertaining to the relationship genre.
My form is that of a classic automaton -- a spooky sort of robotic doll that performs certain functions within a limited and circumscribed physical field. Some may recognize my appearance from a standard fairgrounds type fortune-teller or more specifically…… [Read More]
Although President Lincoln might have overstated the importance of Uncle Tom's Cabin as being a singular cause for the war, the statement does capture the fact that literature serves as a reflection for social values and norms. Abolitionism did become a major political force in the antebellum years, which is why Lincoln and the Union were willing to wage war for so many years and sacrifice so many lives. Of course, there were economic motives for the war (Tindall). Unionists were still mostly whites with racist beliefs, and their impetus for fighting was based as much on the need to retain access to Southern wealth and resources. Abolitionist views provided a convenient political foundation for the policies shaping Union efforts to prevent Southern cession. Read as a representation of abolitionism, Uncle Tom's Cabin serves almost as a piece of political propaganda.
"The little woman who wrote the book…… [Read More]
Blassingame, John W. 1979. The slave community: plantation life in the antebellum South. New York: Oxford University Press.
The most overt explanation of the author's research problem is when he states: "To argue, as some scholars have, that the first slaves suffered greatly from the enslavement process because it contradicted their 'heroic' warrior tradition, or that it was easier for them because Africans were docile in nature and submissive, is to substitute mythology for history," (p. 4).
The struggles of African slaves are the topic for Blassingame's entire book, and it is impossible to indicate one page number describing all the travails that are detailed in the tome. However, the first chapter of the book does provide examples of the suffering of slaves in Africa, during the transatlantic voyages, and in the New World. Pages 6 and 7 describe in some detail the brutality of the slave boat…… [Read More]
Another interesting idea that is presented in the text is that of alienation. Dana recognizes on some level when she meets Kevin that they are kindred spirits in that they are basically alienated form the mainstream. She has developed the ability to identify this quality and use it to her advantage by drawing to herself those that would normally be on the fringe of whatever society they belong in. For example, she befriends Carrie, who is a mute slave. Because of her handicap everyone believes her to be mentally handicapped as well, but this turns out not to be true. Since the other slaves and the owners believe Carrie to be slow, they do not include her as an equal among the slaves. Also Dana befriends Alice, who is shunned because of her relationship with Rufus. This idea is reinforced in the modern world when Dana relates this to the…… [Read More]
She writes, "Here the slippage between animal and human invokes the Hegelian horror of slavery, a dialectic which finally reduces the master to 'brute' or a 'monster'" (Ginsberg 116). This is more than an analysis of the short story; it is an analysis of slavery and its effect on gothic literature at the time.
The significance of this article is clear. It shows that Poe was not writing simply horror fiction to shock and confuse, he was writing social commentary significant to the time. It illuminates this particular work and makes it more effective, but it is also a deep looking into other slave narratives and experiences, and how they relate to Poe's writing. The author proves her point by consistently citing other works, from texts on slavery to narratives, so the overall article is extremely effective.
Ginsberg, Lesley. "Slavery and the Gothic Horror of Poe's 'The Black Cat'."…… [Read More]
It will use historical evidence to examine the role of the church is a spiritual entity. It will examine the role of the church as a political entity throughout changing political landscapes. It will explore the role of the church as a social service provider with regards to the importance of this role in helping black people to redeem themselves in light of historical cultural atrocities that they have faced.
In order to examine that topics of interest un this research study the following research questions be addressed.
1. How has the black church served as redemptive force in helping the black people to heal?
2. What factors served as a redemptive force in helping the image of black people in the black church to improve?
3. How has a black church helped black communities to regain and maintain their self-sufficiency?
4. How has the black church served…… [Read More]
Berlin is not the first to assert that slave life in the early history of the country was far from what it became before the Civil War. Another author notes, "In his study of the poor in early America, Philip D. Morgan notes that some slaves in the Chesapeake region might have had more material benefits than some destitute whites. Nonetheless, Morgan reiterates the famous observation of the scholar, Orlando Patterson, that slavery was 'social death'" (abe). Here is where Berlin and other authors differ. Berlin acknowledges the evils of slavery at times, but his book is more like an account of social and racial class formation, and it glosses over many of the harsh realities that have been often repeated in slavery. In this, he seems to do a disservice to the black community, and to those slaves who suffered during this time. He shows how slaves were free…… [Read More]
rightly named: he was a cruel man. I have seen him whip a woman, causing the blood to run half an hour at the time; and this, too, in the midst of her crying children, pleading for their mother's release. He seemed to take pleasure in manifesting his fiendish barbarity," (Chapter 2). The shocking cruelty Frederick Douglass describes in his autobiography constitutes one of the first and most thorough slave narratives. Douglass and other former slaves revealed to readers the real face of slavery rather than the propaganda that allowed the institution to metastasize for centuries. Given the fact that slavery by definition entails treating people worse than animals while using psychological and physical torture and also denying them the right to extricate themselves from the situation let alone take part in the societies in which they live, there can be no possible justification for the practice. In fact, it…… [Read More]
Toni Morrsion Beloved
Is murder a better alternative than slavery for your children
Toni Morrison's novel "Beloved" presents readers with a terrifying account involving a mother having to choose whether to have her children become slaves or whether to have them dead. Torn between these two options, the central character in the novel, Sethe, makes a hasty choice and decides to kill her own daughter. The protagonist is obviously tormented by her past and it somewhat seems natural for her to take this decision when considering the suffering she must have experienced while being a slave. It would be wrong to consider rational thinking given the circumstances, as Sethe could not possibly take on an objective attitude. The main argument in this paper will focus on emphasizing the contrast between being killed and living life in slavery.
Surely, it would be absurd for anyone to consider the thesis of this…… [Read More]