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African American Experience
Transcript of African American Experience
Whether free or slave
the lives of African Americans were shaped by racism
The law defined slaves as property.
Legally slaveholders could do almost anything with their slaves.
But in many states,
slaveholders could not legally set their slaves free
As property, Slaves had none of the rights that free people took for granted
Most slaves worked on farms and plantations across the south,
70,000 slaves lived and worked and lived in cities and towns and worked in factories, mills, or workshops.
The wages they earned belonged to their owners
Frederick Douglass observed, "A city slave is almost a freeman, compared with a slave on the plantation
Working Conditions of Slaves
Most on small farms, owners and slaves worked side by side
On plantations, planters hired
overseers to "care for nothing but to make a large crop
3/4th of rural slaves were field hands who toiled from dawn to dark tending crops.
Not all slaves worked in the fields; some were skilled seamstresses, carpenters, or blacksmiths
Most began work at the age of six and continued till they died.
African American Experience
Free Blacks in the North
Free blacks in the north experienced Discrimination, or unequal treatment, everywhere they looked
In many states, African Americans were denied the right to vote and a majority worked low paying jobs
In nearly every city,
free blacks faced segregation, in every public building
, and had to created separate schools their children
A New Yorker said, "Even the noblest black is denied that which is free to the vilest [worst] white."
Americans responded to discrimination by organizing to help themselves
In 1816, Richard Allen,
a former slave, became the first bishop of African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Allen created organizations to improve the lives of blacks such as the African Society for the Education of Youths
Other northern blacks started their own schools, churches, and self-help organizations
In 1853, free blacks formed th
e National Council of Colored People to protest unequal treatment
Most masters viewed slaves as they did land, as things to be "worn out not improved"
Slaves seldom went hungry, Most were fed cornbread, bacon and molasses
slaves wore clothing made of coarse homespun linen or rough cloth made especially for slave clothes
Once a year slaves received,
2 coarse linen shirts. 1 pair of linen trousers...1 jacket, one pair of trousers for winter made of rough cloth, one pair of stockings, and one pair of shoes.
hildren received 2 course shirts per year, when these failed they went naked until the next year
Slavery was a system of forced labor,
some slaveholders used harsh punishments
slaves had to endure, beatings, whipping, branding and other forms of torture
A slave who was beat badly couldn't work for a time and made slaves feel more resentful and rebellious
Slave owners preferred to make slaves totally dependent on them
by treating slaves like grown up children.
If a slave was considered "uncontrollable" were sent to "slave beakers" and received epically harsh treatment
Resistance to Slavery
Despite the efforts of slave owners,
slaves found countless ways to resist slavery
For most slaves, resistance took the form of quite or passive resistance. slaves pretended to be dumb, clumsy, sick or insane to get out of work
When pushed too hard, slaves refused to work, rejected orders, or struck back violently.
If slaves ran away, Slaveholders hired professional slave catchers and their pack of blood hounds to hunt down run away slaves.
Run away slaves
some slaves walked to freedom in the north, hiding by day and traveling by night
a few runaways mailed themselves to freedom in box's or coffins.
Thousands of runaways escaped to free states and to Canada with the help of the Underground rail road
Harriet Tubman, escaped using the underground railroad, and returned to the south to free other slaves over 20 times, saving over 300 men, women, and children
fear of a slave uprising haunted the slave owners of the south
In 1822 Denmark Vesey led an uprising of slaves in South Carolina, after being discovered all 30 conspirators were hanged
Nine years later,
Nat Turner led a bloody uprising against whites in Virginia
armed with axes and guns, they killed at least 57 people over a two day period.
These rebellions panicked white Southerners, In response southern states passed strict slave codes allowing for harsher punishments and control.