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A Slave's Life
Transcript of A Slave's Life
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
…If You Traveled on The Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine Resources and Acknowledgments Freedoms………………………........................…14
Underground Railroad……………...………18,19 Index Slaves that did decide to escape had to carefully plan their trip to the North. Many chose to run alone and travel through the wilderness, attempting to avoid patrolmen. The Underground Railroad was developed as a resource for runaway slaves. White people, who were against slavery, created a link of houses for slaves to stay during their travel out of slave states. The Underground Railroad made escape more feasible, because there were white people providing support, shelter, and food to the runaways. (Problem and Solution) How did slaves escape? Slaves were controlled through fear and punishment. If a slave disobeyed his master (owner), he could be beaten. If you didn’t finish your work or do it right, then you could be whipped. Torture and even death might occur if you tried to run away. There were no laws protecting slave rights, so owners could do almost anything they wanted to their slaves. (Cause and Effect) What punishments were endured? Slaves worked from sunup to sundown. You might work in the fields, planting and harvesting, or in the house doing cooking, cleaning, and serving. Child slaves were sometimes used as servants to white children. You would be hungry and tired every day, because you did not get many, if any, days off. What kind of work was done? Once you were captured, you traveled 2-3 months to America on a slave ship. These ships were very large and held many, many people. The slaves were kept in the bottom of the ship, which was dark, damp, and hot. The ceilings were so low; you had to lie down, because you could not stand up. The air was thick, hot, and stagnant. People were chained on either side of you, so if they got sick, you had to hear it, see it and smell it. The ship reeked, and many became sick and died. (Description) How did you get to America? Slavery existed in many nations around the world. In America, slaves were needed to work the fields and vast land of the “New World”. Most of the slaves that were brought to America, especially the southern part of the United States, were Africans. Who were the slaves in America? Have you ever wished someone would do everything you told them to do? Someone to do your chores and homework for you ? In the early century of our country, there were people who did just that; they were called slaves. Many Americans believed that they could own another human being and force them to work. Now slavery is against the law, but it took many years before Americans realized that slavery was unjust and immoral. Today, many of us take our freedoms for granted. Sometimes we need to step in the shoes of a slave to realize how important it is that we have our freedom. Introduction Photographs by:
http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/082_slave.html Resources and Acknowledgments Now is Your Time! The African American Struggle for Freedom by Walter Dean Myers
The Struggle Against Slavery: A History in Documents by David Waldstreicher
Tell All the Children Our Story: Memories and Momentos of Being Young and Black in America by Tonya Bolden
http://www.historyforkids.org Resources and Acknowledgments Auction: a sale in which buyers bid how much they are willing to pay
Feasible: something is possible
Hostage: a person taken prisoner as by an enemy
Master: a person who has control or domination over something or someone
Reek: smell strongly of something unpleasant
Stagnant: something that has little or no movement Glossary Many slaves chose not to escape slavery. While remaining in slavery was difficult, life as a runaway was dangerous. Slaves had to obey their master and suffer the punishments that might arise, but they had a home. Runaway slaves lived in terror, because they had to hide from patrolmen, who watched the roads for escaping slaves. Also, once they made it to free states, they were not completely safe; they could still be caught and taken back to their masters for punishment, many times resulting in death. (Compare and Contrast) Why didn’t slaves escape? Once you got to America and were bought by white owners, you had little time to get used to your new home before work started.
Did you know that slaves were bought at auctions, where they were forced to stand as white men bid on them?
Did you know that many slaves lived in each slave quarter (house)? What were the first days like? If your parents were slaves, you automatically became a slave when you were born. How did you become a slave? The first African slaves were captured in Africa and then brought to the United States. Africa suffered many wars, and the warriors were often taken as hostages. Once you were taken hostage, you might be sold to another tribe as a slave. You could be forced to walk for several miles to your new village. Then, you might be sold again to white men. These men might take you away from your family and home to Europe or to America. (Sequence) How did you become a slave? Introduction Page 3
Who were Slaves in America? Page 5
How did you Become a Slave? Page 6-7
How did you get to America? Page 8-9
What were the First Days Like? Page 11
What Kind of Work was Done? Page 13
What Freedoms were Taken Away? Page 14
What Punishments were Endured? Page 15
Why didn’t Slaves Escape? Page 16
How did Slaves Escape? Page 18
Glossary Page 20
Index Page 21
Resources Page 22-24 Table of Contents By: Sarah Williams A Slave’s Life You could not learn to read and write.
You could not own
You could not marry who you wanted to.
Your spouse or children might be sold to someone else. What freedoms were taken away? Not everyone was allowed to go up to the deck for fresh air, but those who did could not escape. There were nets placed around the ship to catch anyone who tried to jump overboard. The trip the slaves made across the Atlantic Ocean was called the Middle Passage. How did you get to America?