Summer Reading Essay
Slavery By Another Name focuses on the Emancipation Proclamation and the resentment it created from white Southerners. Written by Douglas Blackmon, the main focus is the highly neglected treatment of African Americans after their freedom of slavery. The mid nineteenth century was a time full of racism and prejudice towards African Americans. The south was essentially ripped apart by this conflict between the two races. While the Emancipation Proclamation sought to dispel slavery that existed in the south, it was unsuccessful because, while it made slavery illegal, racism still continued to be a prevalent part of Southern culture. African Americans escaped one type of slavery but fell captive to indentured servitude and forced labor, which was just as restrictive and binding as traditional slavery had been. Despite the best efforts of the Emancipation Proclamation, it ultimately would fail in its attempts to rid the south of its culture identity and racism.
The Emancipation Proclamation made African Americans living in the south legally free, but southern racism proved to be too powerful to escape from. A majority of slaves were cut loose, but were then forced back under the white’s power because of lack of jobs, no place to live, and ultimately no money. Former slaves were brought into indentured servitude and forced to work to earn money. Eventually by earning enough money, indentured servants could gain their freedom. However, often workers could not make it to the end of their working terms because of the overwork, lack of nutrients, and disease. With the devastation of the civil war still affecting the southern economy, African American were now subject to work on different varying terms in ways that could benefit the struggling Southern government. “The concept of reintroducing the forced labor of blacks as a means of funding government services was viewed by whites as an inherently practical method.” (Pg.53) Whites quickly learned new loopholes to keep African Americans under their control and use them for their benefit.
AMERICAN SLAVERY AMERICAN FREEDOM -Edmund S. Morgan THE ROAD TO SLAVERY In the book, American Slavery American Freedom, Edmund S. Morgan believes and supports ... the Dutch, whom also colonized Barbados had more African American slaves in Barbados than Virginia, Virginia used white servants ... Barbados was, as in Virginia, tabacco, the labor force was mainly composed, as in Virginia, white servants. ...
One way the whites kept the African Americans under their control was to rig the court system by placing unjust laws against former slaves. African Americans were convicted of minor transgressions, unable to pay judgment fines and ultimately were sentenced and sent to convict camps. Slavery by Another Name gives us a clear example of this type of undue law when, “ A black man living in Montgomery, Alabama was charged with assault and battery. He was convicted only 1 dollar for the assault, but was unable to pay the weapon charge of 50 dollars, and eventually forced to work in labor for 188 and a half days.” (Pg.82) Whites still controlled the law in the south, and any decisions that were made could not be overseen by the Government. Many coal and mine companies paid the counties for the bail of convicted felons and brought them s under the company’s control. One coal company developed extensive mines by placing more than 150 forced laborers into work. Workers brought in under forced labor were kept in horrible conditions and treated as slaves. State inspectors recounted on one private prison, “It was totally unfit for use, without ventilation, and without adequate water supplies.” (Pg.73)
Perhaps the most needed use of enforced labor came in the form of working on farms. The conundrum of farm labor management, the need to satisfy radically spiking demands for labor, and the absolute peril of failing to do so had been the most compelling impetus for slavery in the 19th century. It was the particular boom of cotton production that required absolute access to armies of laborers and ultimately slavery a superbly successful economic mechanism. Whites continued to use slave laborers in four decades since the emancipation, “White farmers in the South had evolved only negligibly in their abilities to manage enterprises with free labor. Concepts such as fixed hourly wages remained foreign to most late 19th century southerners.” (Pg.120) White farm owners treated forced laborers as criminals and slaves, often putting them in shackles after their working hour.
The life of the Black South Africans was miserable under the White rule. The history of Black South Africans is replete with a long tale of ... to live under perpetual slavery and apartheid (Hahn). Mathabane does not refer to the traditional belief of African Humanism but his ‘life ...
White farm owners enforced strict rules over their workers. If workers were caught not obeying the overseeing law, then ruthless punishment would wrath. The beating of disobeyers was to create a specific disincentive not to break the law. In addition, the whites enjoyed to show their dominance and power not only by causing pain to the African Americans, but to force them to bear profound humiliation. The helpless men stood their awaiting their sentence, “I stood their naked, my hands fastened under my knees. I was bent over and whipped on the naked back.” (Pg.154) Often beatings were carried on past the point of punishment and into greater health related problems. Bleeding to death by whippings was a major cause of death in the 19th century for African Americans. The treatment of African Americans in the south was brutal and ruthless. It persisted through the end of the 19th century and much of the present day racism is derived from the time of slavery.
Blackmon writes about the most shameful periods in American History. He uses first hand documents that recount the period. Stories of slaves and their descents describe the thought of rejoicing freedom, and then slowly slipping back into the black hole of white dominance. Historians often seem to neglect the south during these times because of the embarrassment of our country and also deny the existence of enforced labor and bias court systems of in the south. Blackmon compiles story on top of story of the poor treatment of African Americans during in the 19th century and states his resources and cites each statement he tells. The story highlights the tragedies that struck the south as well as how society developed and transformed into the new south social order. During the 75 years after the Civil War, neo-slavery continued, human labor trafficking went on, the whites benefited, and the persistence of racism towards African Americans was worse than ever.
Native American Storytelling Culture (Trickster stories) The character of Trickster in the Native American Storytelling is very difficult to define or categorize. ... have been when first told. His contribution to Native American Mythology is critical to any understanding of the culture ... Ellis L. Trickster: Shaman of the Liminal, Studies in American Indian Literatures, Series 2,Volume 5, Number 4,Winter ...