The Importance Of Slave Narratives

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The Importance of Slave Narratives The year 1965 set to rest the existence of slavery in the United States of America, arguably the last significant era of slavery in history. This end was brought about through the bloodiest war to be fought on US soil since the Revolutionary War and the aftermath that led up to the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Not unlike eras of slavery in the past, abolishing this unjust form of labor took time and effort from black and white men alike. One of the most useful ways of raising awareness to the injustices of slavery laid in the hands and minds of those who wrote slave narratives, telling their tales of woe and struggle. Illiteracy was high among slaves, mostly due to white owner’s fear of education leading slaves to revolt. Those who were capable of reading and writing made use of newspapers, poetry, pamphlets, and other forms of literature to spread their message. Not only slaves, but abolitionists of all kinds used this method and some of the most famous anti-slavery publications were made available thanks to them. Two famous anti-slave narratives are Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, penned by Douglass himself and Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, like most other slave narratives was written by a former slave himself, however Uncle Tom’s Cabin was written by a white abolitionist and a woman. Both pieces of literature are very poignant, but it is interesting to look at either of them whilst knowing who wrote them. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass and Uncle Tom’s Cabin were both credited in helping fuel the abolitionist cause of the mid-nineteenth century and later the American Civil War. While both of these pieces of literature can be credited with giving the country a much needed push away from slavery, they

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