The Slavery Experience

By: Arielle Payne

Fredrick Douglass - The Hypocrisy of American Slavery

" Fellow citizens, pardon me, and allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here today? What have I or those I represent to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us? And am I, therefore, called upon to bring our humble offering to the national altar, and to confess the benefits, and express devout gratitude for the blessings resulting from your independence to us? Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions. Then would my task be light, and my burden easy and delightful. For who is there so cold that a nation's sympathy could not warm him? Who so obdurate and dead to the claims of gratitude, that would not thankfully acknowledge such priceless benefits? Who so stolid and selfish that would not give his voice to swell the hallelujahs of a nation's jubilee, when the chains of servitude had been torn from his limbs? I am not that man. In a case like that, the dumb might eloquently speak, and the "lame man leap as an hart." But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you, that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation (Babylon) whose crimes, towering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin. Fellow citizens, above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions, whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are today rendered more intolerable by the jubilant shouts that reach them. If I do forget, if I do not remember those bleeding children of sorrow this day, "may my right hand forget her cunning, and may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth!"To forget them, to pass lightly over their wrongs and to chime in with the popular theme would be treason most scandalous and shocking, and would make me a reproach before God and the world. My subject, then, fellow citizens, is "American Slavery." I shall see this day and its popular characteristics from the slaves' point of view. Standing here, identified with the American bondman, making his wrongs mine, I do not hesitate to declare, with all my soul, that the character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker to me than on this Fourth of July. Whether we turn to the declarations of the past, or to the professions of the present, the conduct of the nation seems equally hideous and revolting. America is false to the past, false to the present, and solemnly binds herself to be false to the future. Standing with God and the crushed and bleeding slave on this occasion, I will, in the name of humanity, which is outraged, in the name of liberty, which is fettered, in the name of the Constitution and the Bible, which are disregarded and trampled upon, dare to call in question and to denounce, with all the emphasis I can command, everything that serves to perpetuate slavery -- the great sin and shame of America! "I will not equivocate - I will not excuse." I will use the severest language I can command, and yet not one word shall escape me that any man, whose judgment is not blinded by prejudice, or who is not at heart a slave-holder, shall not confess to be right and just."  Frederick Douglass - July 4, 1852


Fredrick Douglass is talking about how America isnt really as free and equal as everyone makes it seem. The white man and woman celebrate their freedoms while slaves cannot. They are stuck under slaveholders and have no rights. They arent free to vote for who they want like the white man, they have no rights at all. The slaves are not independent even if they wanted to be. The Fourth of July isnt a time of independence for them its basically a time of mourning. I chose this because it showed a strong point of view of a slave and their rights.
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Autobiography of Rev. Josiah Henson

Chapter 5 of An Autobiography of Rev. Josiah Henson "Uncle Tom"         THE difference between the manner in which it was designed that all men should regard one another as children of the same Father, and the manner in which men of different colour actually treated each other, is well exemplified by an incident that happened to me within a year or two from this period; that is, when I was nineteen or twenty years old. My master's habits were such as were common enough among the dissipated planters of the neighbourhood; and one of their frequent practices was to assemble on Saturday or Sunday, which were their holidays, and gamble, run horses, or fight game-cocks, discuss politics, and drink whisky and brandy-and-water all day long. Perfectly aware that they would not be able to find their own way home at night, each one ordered his body-servant to come after him and help him home. I was chosen for this confidential duty by my master; and many were the times I have held him on his horse, when he could not hold himself in the saddle, and walked by his side in darkness and mud from the tavern to his house. Quarrels and brawls of the most violent description were frequent consequences of these meetings; and whenever they became especially dangerous, and glasses were thrown, dirks drawn, and pistols fired, it was the duty of the slaves to rush in, and each one drag his master from the fight, and carry him home. To tell the truth, this was a part of my business for which I felt no reluctance. I was young, remarkably athletic and self-relying, and in such affrays I carried it with a high hand, and would elbow my way among the whites,--whom it would have been almost death for me to strike,--seize my master and drag him out, mount him on his horse, or crowd him into his buggy, with the ease with which I would handle a bag of corn. I knew that I was doing for him what he could not do for himself, showing my superiority to others, and acquiring their respect in some degree, at the same time.
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Explanation of Biography

I chose this excerpt from Josiah Henson's story because it showed that black slaves didnt just work the fields and were whipped all the time by their masters. This shows how Henson's master trusted him enough to come get him from the bars when he was drunken or in trouble. Henson would go straight for his master in the midst of a fight punching, shoving, and kicking his way through. Im assuming Josiah Henson's whole book was written to let people get a view of slave life. It basically says that slaves shouldnt be slaves in the first place, they should be free and equal like everyone else. 

The Doom of Slavery by Alfred Gibbs Campbell (Poem)

Slavery shall not reign for aye, Though exalted to the sky; Even now the doom is nigh, For a just God reigns on high. What though earth and hell oppose? Still the stream of Progress flows: Ever hath the Truth uprose From beneath the feet of foes, Brighter, stronger, fairer than When the battle first began; Forward, then!—lead on the van; Onward! Friends of God and man! Shackled millions call on you: "To yourselves and God be true:" There’s a vast work yet to do! Forward, brothers, put it through!  Not alone be Kansas’ plains Rescued from the clank of chains; But, wherever Slavery reigns, Every spot his foot profanes, Let your earnest efforts be Freely given to make free; Rest not until Liberty Wear the crown of victory. Slavery, Union, Compromise, (Foulest of all trinities,) Throned upon a tower of lies, Are the nation’s deities. Hurl these false Gods from their throne! Snatch from Slavery’s brow the crown! Tear the blood-stained Union down! Trample Compromises down! Long humanity hath bled; Justice far away hath fled; Truth seemed numbered with the dead; God is silent overhead!  But, Humanity shall rise! Justice (with unbandaged eyes) Shall avenge the blood which cries— Shall avenge Truth’s sacrifice! God shall triumph over Wrong, Though intrenched in fortress strong; He shall smite her guilty throng, Though his suffering seem long. Then, upon the side of Right, Let us ever stand and fight, Till the blackest hosts of night By the Truth are put to flight; Till the morning dawn, whose rays Force and Fraud and Fear shall chase, And fair Freedom take her place, Empress of the Human Race! 1856

Summary of the poem

This poem is basically saying that God is going to get rid of slavery. He's going to get rid of the people who think they are all high and mighty and the slaves will then become free and be treated fairly. I chose this because it was a strong poem on what the slave believed in. I believe the author of the poem was trying to get the point across that everything about slavery is bad and that it shouldnt have happened in the first place                                       

Wade In the Water

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Summary of Wade in the Water

I chose this song because it was one of the songs that the slaves used to sing when they were escaping using the underground railroad. It was written as a way to keep themselves from being bored, giving comfort, and entertainment.

The Slavery

The slavery ( short story ) A drop of sweat rolls down my cheek."Its not summer , yet , I sweat buckets. My name is Atsu Chibozo and I am an African. I work here , somewhere in the outskirts of Rio De Janerio. My work is to toil hard from dawn to dusk at the wheat and rice plantations. Its not more than ten minutes you can spare aside for both having our lunch , which is just  dried steak or stale meat and rest for sometime.  To talk about me , I am by origin an African but I have been bought by my master, Mr.Van Perso to work here , in South America. Mrs. Van Perso is a White......and I ...I am considered as *Black...."" How long do you take to rest , you slave? Dont you know that  you can't spend so much time for relaxing ? I too have to strain myself so much screaming at you for such a small amount of salary! Better get back to work ! " , screamed the keeper of the slaves. He was a stalky man with a rouge-like look. He illtreated the slaves a lot. He was least bothered about what the slaves and others thought about him...he just was the same old short tempered man.Atsu was a six feet tall man with a awsome built. Atsu always spent his sleepless nights , praying to God to send a man , with a kind heart to help all the slaves get rid of this treacherous slavery. During this time , November 8 , 1860 was when Abraham Lincoln was elected President. He came to know all about this slavery. He was put in into deep thoughts. In the beginning he did not know the cause.  But when he came to know about the cause , he was weeping bitterly to himself. The prayers of the slaves had been answered , the man who would free them from the clutches of racial discrimination.He first started to enquire quite generally about the Blacks to his administrators and other people he knew. Everybody just told cold and bitter words about them. They considered them as somebody , even lower than *night soil pickers. He starts to take steps...steps to imprison; Our Friends .  He had sleepless and thoughtful nights. He did not ignore this problem....he gave it the most prority.....It was during this time , 1861 when the American Civil war took place between North America and South America . He fought for the Blacks. He wanted to give them wings...and watch them soar gloriously in the sky.....This war finally ended in 1864....Mr. President was releived of all his worries. He had finally attained the glow on his face. He was so that he thought of watching a play. He was all dressed up...never knowing it is going to be his last dress up. He was in the front row.... and behind him was his doom man. He was John Wilkes Booth. An activist who was against Abraham Lincoln's campaign. He raised his hand. It carried a metallic black pistol. He shot him dead. It was the end of Mr. President.The Captain of the ship , sailed the ship across all the obstacles. He paved the way...but no more. While celebration was going on , all the people , including the Whites( not all ) were rejoicing. But he did not get a sight of The Americans.

Summary of The Slavery

  This story is basically explaining the everyday life of a slave and what they went through. I chose this because it let me get a view into the life of a slave and how everything was back in those days. It even gave some backstory on Lincolns presidency. This story was just written to inform people.
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