Slaves in the United States were completely under their master’s control. They had no sense of identity and were expected to live their life according to their master’s commands. In The Shaping of Black America it said, “It was a crime…for a slave to read and write. It was a crime, punishable by summary lashing, for an African to stand up straight and look a white man in the eye…Slaves could not congregate in groups of more than two or three away from the home plantations. They could not beat drums, wear fine clothes, or carry sticks or weapons” (Fairclough 147). Slaves were constantly being held down by the white race in the United States. The fact that blacks were not allowed to read, write, or even look at their master in their eyes exemplifies how they were constantly dehumanized and degraded, as if they were not worthy enough. In addition, no matter how hard slaves worked, they were always being punished by their slave-owners: “It is the literal, unvarnished truth that the crack of the lash and the shrieking of the slaves, can be heard from dark till bedtime” (Fairclough 148). It was a sad reality for the slaves that there was no way for them to escape punishment and frequent beatings from their master. Their shrieks were not just of pain, but desperation to escape this life that they were trapped in. On the same note, the quality of life for slaves outside of America had the same bleak reality.