US History 211-05
April 19, 2012
In the Slave Community, John W. Blassingame gives insight on the slaves’ life that we normally do not get to see. He starts off by discussing the horrific enslavement process. He then goes in to depth of the African heritage, cultural, family, acculturation, behavior, religion, and personality. He supports his story with the evidence such as slave narratives, autobiographies, and historical data.
Chapter one begins by explaining the process that the Africans had to go through to get to America. Some scholars try to argue that Africans did not suffer much during the enslavement process by stating that the Africans were already accustomed to the work that they were expected to do. However, in this book Blassingame gives great evidence to prove otherwise. Blassingame used the stories of Olaudah Equiano and others to describe the enslavement and resistance processes. The enslavement process was described as “…unbelievably painful and bewildering for the Africans” (4). The first horrific act was the kidnapping. Blassingame stated that, “On the record it does not seem that the Africans submitted tamely to being carried across the Atlantic like chained beasts” (11). Africans could not have taken kindly to being snatched from their native land and forced to work where they had no familiarity with anything. It is clear that the Africans didn’t agree with this because, “Many of the Africans resisted enslavement at every step in their forced emigration” (10). Trying to escape by any means, Africans went to great lengths. Sources tell us of mass suicide attempts, refusal of food and medicine, and runaways. However, the arrival of the remaining Africans would leave the United States with many acculturations from the Africans and the Europeans both. “The similarities between many European and African cultural elements enabled the slave to continue to engage in many traditional activities or to create a...