African Americans In Slavery Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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form of physical and mental torture that men in slavery would never have to endure. One religious aspect for these poor girls is if they were to get pregnant during one of these meetings with their masters they were told they are viewed as impure in God’s eyes. Even the girls own family would look down upon them if they were to get pregnant. Worse still is that when the child was born by law they follow the mothers status in life. Thus these children although half white were forced into slavery by their own fathers often to be sold on the auction block. One would think these slave girls would receive some type of sympathy from their mistresses who might understand from a female standpoint of the torture endured by these poor girls. One would be extremely wrong. Many mistresses

viewed these illegitimate children as a source of great jealousy towards these young girls. No white woman wanted to even consider that her husband would have affection for a black woman over herself. Women who got pregnant in slavery were forbidden to ever speak the name of the child’s father so that they would not implicate the white male in this despicable crime. This rule was also used to hide the truth from the mistresses. Most of the time the mistresses kept their mouths shut form their husbands but they made sure the children were ripped form their mother’s care and sold as soon as they could profit. No human love is stronger than a mother’s love for her child. No pain is greater than if that child is torn away from its mother and never to see each other again. If

the slave girl was lucky she might be sold with her children as well but this was a rare case. Harriet Brent said it best, “ I admit that black man is inferior. But what is it that makes him so? It is the ignorance in which white men compel him to live; it is the torturing whip that lashes the manhood out of him; it is the fierce bloodhounds of the South, and the scarcely less cruel human bloodhounds of the north, which enforce the Fugitive Slave Law. They do the work.” ( “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” page 68) How can a man become intelligent if he is never taught? At the very least black men were allowed to learn a trade, which would enable them to benefit the white families they served. Since it was illegal for slaves to learn to read or to teach each other

many slaves were forced to teach themselves if they wanted to gain knowledge. Women in slavery were persecuted even more severely for learning how to read because it was viewed as trying to make their masters look inferior. It is absolutely mind boggling to think of what African-American women were forced to go through to read a book or teach their children to read all in the quest for knowledge so that one day they could escape the awful grasp of slavery. According to a web site called African American History, (http://www.wvu.edu/~ghacad/africa/history2.html) African American men were often castrated or brutally beaten and murdered if they were found to have had any relation with a slave master’s daughter. Yet there is a double standard, for if a slave master’s son were to

take advantage of a slave girl no penalty and sometimes-even praise would be administered. Treatment of female slaves was so bad that many girls upon becoming pregnant would immediately pray for a boy or pray for a miscarriage. According to another website on slave experiences (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/slavery/) many slave masters intentionally got their female slaves pregnant so that they could not escape from their plantations. This is another clear disadvantage for women in slavery because pregnancy could be used as an invisible chain for the slave masters to keep them from escaping. If these pregnant girls decided to run away in order to save their baby they almost always were caught because they were unable to travel long distances just out of a lack in strength. For

men escape could occur with “no strings attached,” so to speak. Women with children, on the other hand, have a maternal obligation to their little ones whom they have been nurturing since the womb. “ I was dreaming of freedom again; more for my children’s sake than my own. I planned and I planned. Obstacles hit against plans. There seemed to be no way of overcoming them; and yet I hope.” ( Harriet Brent “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl” page 126) One thing both women and men in slavery learned and learned fast was that no matter what the cost (short of death) an education and faith in God were the strongest elements in surviving for them. Richard Wright writes in his autobiography, “ Was I always to hang on the fringes of life? What I wanted was truly