Where is the Dignity in Slavery? History has a deeper meaning than just facts. The repetition of the same knowledge of history learned is not to make sure that we know the correct dates but to understand why the past and current events happen. There is a psychological meaning to human nature in the past and how it was affected by society, and still is today. Slavery, which was a major uproar from colonial America to the civil war, is the racial epidemic of the enslavement of people for money and cheap labor with extensive abuses.
The book opens in the year 1873, after the Civil War when everyone is trying to forget about slavery, the middle passage, the slave plantations and the physical and emotional destruction that accompanies slavery. The Middle Passage was a systematic process of capturing Africans for the purpose of forcing them to work in the Americas. These slaves were transported to slave factories and were held captive against their will. During the period prior to the American Civil War, and the subsequent abolishment of slavery, slaves were sold from one white man to the next and their worth could be expressed in terms of money. This system of slavery was a system of oppression.
According to Davis, slaves and peasants were perceived and subjected to common stereotypes regarding the color of their skin, the customs many of the enslaved peoples had before they were conquered, and how the elite upper classes and literate people looked down on them as a dehumanized object. To support this theory, he looked into the role that color symbolism and how physical appearance had a large impact on this misconception. (Davis 50, 57) Another sample he looked and discussed was Islamic and Christian geographic expansions and conflicts that led to the creation of the term Racism that is linked to historic events involving slavery. (Davis 54, 60) Winthrop argues that Slavery and Racism was created at the same time. He supports this argument by looking closely at the meaning of the symbolism behind the color black.
From the very first time they were brought to American till the abolition of the bonds and manacles of slavery, the American blacks went through a hard struggle for equality and pursuits to emancipate themselves from segregation and agonies that engrave their history with pains and sufferings. Men and women , alike , were savagely discriminated and subjected to different kinds of abuse and offensive wrongdoings of the hardhearted owners of plantations who exploited the American Blacks to the extent they violently dehumanized and intently deprived them from the simplest right a human being could benefit from. All these hardships and mistreatment threw their light and influential impacts on the whole panorama of the black community and culturally affected it to the welfare of the Blacks. From the womb of anguish and yoke of oppression, men and women started their everlasting struggle to seek their own liberation and fought all kinds of gender and racial segregation through literary texts and works which vehemently let cries in the face of dehumanization and tyranny and call for reformation. Gender and racial problems call for a social critical attention because they pervade and permeate society and form predominant burning issues in the contemporary global scene.
Goodbye Uncle Tom In Goodbye Uncle Tom, there has been several depictions of slavery and the interactions with their masters. The images of slavery was coherent in this film by the reflection of the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Harriet Beecher Stowe Formed a universal analysis of black slaves. In her analysis she stated that blacks were inferior to all other races and she intended to enlighten white Americans on their behavior and the conditions of slavery. One of the features that was taken from this book that was constructed in the film to be evident was masculinity.
African-American author Toni Morrison’s book, Beloved, describes a black culture born out of a dehumanising period of slavery just after the Civil War. Culture is a means of how a group collectively believe, act, and interact on a daily basis. Those who have studied her work refer to Morrison’s narrative tales as “literature…that addresses the sacred and as an allegorical representation of black experience” (Baker-Fletcher 1993: 2). Although African Americans had a difficult time establishing their own culture during the period of slavery when they were considered less than human, Morrison believes that black culture has been built on the horrors of the past and it is this history that has shaped contemporary black culture in a positive way. Through the use of linguistic devices, her representation of black women, imagery and symbolic features, and the theme of interracial relations, Morrison illustrates that black culture that is resilient, vibrant, independent, and determined.
While telling his story, he concludes that ignorance is slaveholders’ means of making slaves remain slaves. He tells how slave owners would deprive slaves of basic knowledge about themselves. The purpose of this was to rob slaves of their sense of individuality and self-determination. They separated them from their families at a young age to keep them from developing attachments. This would keep slaves from protesting when others were being whipped in order to protect their family members.
Few people brought attention to the evil and immorality of slavery like Frederick Douglass. In his autobiographical narrative, A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Douglass described the effect that slavery had on not only slaves, but also slave-owners. “That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage” (Douglass 160), wrote Douglass in reference to his slave-owner’s wife, Mrs. Auld. What was a moral lady with a sense of conscience at first, was now a “demon” deprived of it. Slavery gave owners and white men a false sense of superiority, a sense of power, which blinded any vision of justice and equality.
Douglass has no “respect” because he is thrown into a world of slavery where he must tolerate the disrespect being shoved at him. It isn’t until his fight with slave-breaker Edward Covey that the beginning stage of “respect” starts to make its way to him. The fight is where I can see Douglass start to transform. He writes "You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man" (47). Brewton also brings to my attention that Douglass “devotes greater space in his first autobiography to the portrait of Covey than to any other character, black or white.” I think this is because the fight with Covey is a pivotal turning point for Douglass.
Aj Tucker Mrs. Gena Messersmith English Composition II January 31, 2011 Justice, Equality, and Inhuman Conduct Slave owners and the Nazi party lacked pity and compassion on human beings because of this Arendt shows how the Nazis treated the Jews, Blacks, homosexuals, and all other minority groups in her essay, Total Domination. Though Fredrick Douglass does not talk about the Nazi party, he talks about slavery in his essay, From Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass, an American Slave. In his writing he stresses the treatment he and fellow slaves endured. Although the time periods are dramatically different, the concept of inhumane acts is still the same. Arendt acknowledges the treatment of slaves and compares it to genocide of the human race.