Slavery in America Research

by Charles Corrado, Austin Haring, & Sean Dewhurst

The Family

  • Africans family were separated when brought to America. Also the option for slaves to have families changed a lot.

  • In the original 13 colonies the slave trade was slow, only taking a handful of slaves to America at a time. Black men were not allowed to marry black women.

  • Enslaved Africans tried to provide for their family, financially and spiritually. They did whatever they could for their family

  • When slavery was made it into the law, the slaves couldn’t take care of their families after the slaves laws were passed.

  • The slave masters soon realized they could make a lot of money if the slaves have families.

  • The amount of slaves in the north increased, and they didn’t care about slaves having families.

  • The Revolutionary period is when the north banned slavery. The freed africans in the north were making communities while the south slaves were having a terrible time.

  • The chance that slaves families could be split was a very present threat.

  • On small plantations, mothers took their children to work with them.

  • On larger plantations, mothers had to leave their children behind to be taken care by old slaves.

  • Some parents of slaves wished that their children will die so they don’t have to deal with the hardships of being a slave.

  • Slaves took risks to maintain a relationship, sneaking out and visiting their partners on the other plantation.

The Living Conditions

  • A slave’s conditions were determined by status. Slaves were denied the right to earn a wage and own property.

  • Slave owners justified themselves by saying that they were taking care of a less evolved people.

  • Slaves’ living quarters were as basic as possible for them to survive.

  • Slaves who lived in urban areas generally had better living conditions than those in rural areas.

  • Slaves in urban areas were generally treated nicer because their masters were in such close proximity with other people that everyone would know they were inhumane.

  • In Charleston SC the slave population was ⅓ of the population at 40,000

  • Urban slaves could be rented or ‘hired out’ to other people to do work for them. The temporary owner was legally supposed to refrain from hurting the slave because they were property. Slaves could earn a little money from this to eventually buy their freedom.

  • Most slaves were on farms with 20-30 others, not on plantations.

  • Lunch & later meals were usually prepared by an older slave who could not physically do manual labor.

  • Most slaves were not properly fed and some resorted to stealing from their master.

  • Clothing was given out once a year and usually at Christmas

  • Sometimes slaves were supervised by a black overseer who would carry out what the master wanted.

Education, Culture, Arts

  • They brought more than folktales over to the americans

  • they made drums, banjos, rattler

  • the woman made plastic rugs

  • in south carolina the slaves made baskets

  • if they did run away they became really good blacksmiths and other craftsman

  • during their relaxing periods of their day they sing and dance

  • in 1739 it went so far they banded the beating of drums because they thought the beat might think will start a reit

  • rural and urban south slaves found alternative ways to be edumacated

  • they hired tutors or the masters to teach them

  • the slaves didn’t remain silent during the slave years

  • They spoke their minds and their feelings

  • slaves crafted a rich musical tradition that heavily impacted the country