Downward Spiral Documentary Essay Slavery in America

667 Words3 Pages
The documentary that I chose to watch was the first part of the series Slavery in America titled “Downward Spiral.” The setting takes place in the early 1600’s, and it tells many different stories about the hardships that enslaved people had to endure. The documentary was unique, because it allowed us to see into the lives of slaves, which was at times was hard to watch. It captured the way slavery in America began, and how greed and the want for fast growth brought forth the inhumane treatment of African slaves. It also described how slavery was the beginning of racial discrimination in our country. However, at the end of the documentary, we were reminded of how much hope and strength these poor people had regardless of their horrible experiences. While watching this documentary, I learned many things. One of the stories that really stuck out to me was the double standards that indentured workers faced. For example, the story of John Bunch who plotted to escape his owner along with his two indentured friends due to the harsh treatment and humiliation at his hands. While they were able to flee, they were caught a few days later and went to court for a hearing against their crime. John’s two other friends were added years to their working contract, while John was mandated to servitude for life. All three were indentured workers, but John Bunch was the only one of the three whose punishment was the most severe. It is thought that the reason for this is due to the fact that he was African, while his friends were white. Not only was this a double standard, since he was an indentured worker, but it also was the beginning of racial discrimination. Another thing that caught my attention was the fact that freed slaves ended up in poverty, often having to resort back into slavery. The story of Francis was hard to watch and hear. She was the daughter of a freed indentured
Open Document