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Slavery in the History of America - Book Report/Review Example

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Name Institution Course Instructor Date Slavery in the History of America Historians consider slavery in the United States as an inhuman act, which has caused many authors to document on the happenings and the effects as well. Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave in the era when slavery was so rampant in the United States wrote his biography to enlighten the world on the suffering of slaves ion his era…
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Slavery in the History of America

It is after this initiative that he got involved in trying to better African Americans life. Frederick was a native of Maryland (Douglass 11). He was the offspring of a white father that he never got to know and a black mother. During those times, a child assumed the status of the mother. Frederick was soon to become a slave since his mother served a master all her life. According to his autobiography, he spent the first years of life with his grandmother who offered maternal love and guidance since his mother served a master far away (12). In that slavery system, mothers moved away from their children to work far off. He missed maternal attachment since he only happened to see his mother a few times. His grandmother offered to take care of children separated from their mothers until they came of age enough to work on their master’s plantations. He wrote his story and the autobiography describes slavery in black and white. From Douglass’s description, it is evident that the slave system in Maryland denied children their basic rights. Children took the footsteps of the mother. Children born to slaves had no choice but to become slaves. The slave system had its roots on racial basis. All colored people were subject to becoming slaves. Mothers did not have the opportunity to nurture or have bonds with their children as evidenced by Douglass example. The slave system did not protect the rights of little children and from a tender age, children worked and stayed in the farms of their masters (16). Douglass example of moving to a plantation at the age of six serves as an illustration of the agony children faced in the slavery era. These children faced mistreatment, harassment, and abuse at a tender age. They survived on inadequate food supply and led miserable childhood lives. In most plantations where slave system existed as explained by Douglass, there was a great difference between the lives of blacks and whites. The whites received a lot of respect and enjoyed the privilege of being free. On the contrary, blacks were slaves as and human property to their masters. White children went to school while the black children worked as slaves and grew up with their ignorance. The slaves respected their white masters and co-existed among fellow slaves. Slave overseers whether black or white received respect from the slaves (25). The white masters cooperated with fellow masters to keep the slave system alive. Being a slave meant that one was too low in society and had no rights to protect him and he was to work diligently. There were ranks in the slave system (25). There was one general master who owned several farms according to his affluence. The master put in place overseers to watch over the slaves in each farm. In addition, there was a chief agent to the master, who took charge of all transactions and operations of the farms. All overseers reported to him on all issues concerning the farms. The opportunity to address the master was a preserve for the chief agent only. Overseers exercised cruelty to the slaves, and this was a way of maintaining absolute obedience. Cruelty involved thorough whipping of the slaves. The cruelty created two distinct levels of human beings. The general master was unreachable while the slaves were too low. Slaves turned against fellow slaves in cases presented to the chief agent or overseer to ... Read More
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