The Slave Community
The Slave Community Slavery has existed among humanity since the beginning of time. It has shaped many nations throughout the vast lands of the earth.
Arabs enslaved Europeans and later Europeans would enslave Africans. Europeans enslaved Africans and brought them to the Americas to work for them under brutal conditions on the plantation of the New World.
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This is where our story begins.Throughout this essay, I will discuss how and why African-Americans survived he institution of slavery as well as the impact that they had on the white Southerners, through my reading Of John W. Bleariness’s book, “The Slave Community’. Cultural identity, Religion, guilt, the ability to adapt, and other things enabled to African Americans to survive the brutal institution of slavery as well as enabling them to have a profound impact on the white slave owning population in the South. African-Americans were able to adapt very well to their new conditions that they found themselves placed in, in the New World.
In most cases, they adopted the culture, belief in God and language of the people who now controlled their fate, “Africans enslaved in the Americas had to make the kind of adjustments the white slaves for life did in Africa: learning their captors’ language, adopting much of their culture, and accepting their God”. Africans assimilated quickly into American society and way of life because of how influential the church was in the South. The church, although controlled by the white planters, were the biggest agent in support of slave rights, freedom, and humanity.Slaves were attracted to Christianity because it had similar life to that of their original beliefs and values. Africans were easily able to identify with Christianity from the get go, ‘there were enough congruencies to allow the Africans to recognize and accept some Christian tenets and practices from the outset”. Although, Africans were beginning to accept the ideas of Christianity, Christianity was still trying to figure out if slavery was a necessary commodity or a “horrid evil”.Until the late eighteenth-century, most religions in the South never questioned the morality of slavery but now people were asking those questions and here we see the beginnings of the abolitionist movement.
During the early nineteenth-century many people were now arguing in favor of the slaves, even slaveholders themselves realized the sin they were committing. “Kentucky slaveholder and irrepressible abolitionist Cassias M. Clay wrote to the New York Tribune in 1843 that slavery was “the greatest evil that ever cursed a nation..It is clear that a lot Of the slave owners in the South knew what they were doing was wrong but never did anything about it because the gains were too lucrative. The fear of an abolitionist rebellion led he plantation owners to launch a massive propaganda campaign to convince the whites at home and abroad that slavery was a “positive good. ” For now, they had quelled the abolitionist movement but they abolitionists had ingrained the belief that slavery was a sinful act and this idea was never forgotten.
This guilt enabled the African-Americans to survive in their brutal world and began laying the foundations for freedom of slaves in the New World. The plantation was a place of work for the slaves but also the source of their greatest escape from the terrible day-to-day lives that they lived. In the lamination, the slaves were able to form groups, which allowed them to have a social life away from their masters. African cultural identity was greatly expressed when these groups would meet.The slave’s grasp of their original culture separated him from that of his masters, ‘ ‘The more his cultural forms differed from those of his master and the more they were immune from the control of whites, the more the slaves gained in personal autonomy and positive self-concepts. ” Typically, the slave owner did not care about the extra-curricular activities of his slaves as long as it did not affect the lamination. Slaves were able to perform recreational activities in these times away from the plantation.
Recreational activities brought all the slaves closer on an emotional level, “Slaves spent their Sundays fishing, hunting, wrestling, running races. But it was the slave music that gave the slaves their greatest escape from the deprived lives that they lived. Their songs sang of their homeland, their slaves’ owners, their families, and their hope for the future. These meetings and displays cultural identity helped slaves survive the cruel restraints of slavery. The impact slaves had on the white slave owners is still visible in the modern society that we have in the South today.African culture crossed the Atlantic with the slaves that came from Africa and very quickly, the Southern States became Africanized. Slaves dealt so closely with the plantation owners family and affected them massively.
“Southern whites not only adapted their language and religion to that of the slaves but also adapted agricultural practices, sexual attitudes, rhythm of life, architecture, food and social relations to African patterns. Africans knew that they had to work at a slow pace to be most efficient because they were used to working in the tropical heats of Africa and the led to the slow and laid-back way of life in the South.African music contributed to the soul and blues music that we have here in the South and especially in Memphis. African ways of cooking soon spread across the tables of all plantation owners because they preferred the herbs and spices used in African style of cooking, to that of the bland British style of cooking, “they also used them to prepare savory stews and rice dishes for heir owners quite unlike the lightly seasoned English dishes they had known. ” The greatest of all the aspects of African life, given to the South, was the African way of speaking.The Southern drawl came about because of the assimilation of African way of speaking into the American way of speaking. It is to this day, the clearest evidence of Fractionation we have in the United States.
In conclusion, African-Americans have survived the institution of slavery because of a number of factors including the church, their strong ability to adapt, their abilities to hold onto their cultural past, and their willingness to fight through adversity.The United States we know today was built on the backs of the slaves. They were shipped there during the slave trade and it is a testament to the character of these people, who came thousands of miles from their homes to be a slave in a foreign country. They made it out the other end and it doing so left an ever-lasting impact on the lives of whites in the South, in terms of way of living and the cultural changes that they made.