Slavery: African-Americans Stereotypes (Essay Sample)
What stereotypes do these documents promote about African-Americans?
How do these men justify slavery? Or what points do they make about the need to abolish slavery? Should the emancipated slaves remain "on-soil," that is, in the United States?
How do these men envision civilized society and slavery's place in it? What remarks do the abolitionists make about the conditions under which the slaves worked and lived? The pro-slavery writers?
What are your impressions about the attitudes these men had about slavery, whether they were slavery proponents or abolitionists?
In what ways are the arguments of these men reflective of racial prejudice?
For your essay, you must read the primary sources listed above and examine the descriptions of, and defense or attack of slavery offered in the documents. After selecting one side of the debate, you must write a two to three page essay (between 500 and 750 words) that addresses the focus questions. Your essay should have an introduction, supporting paragraphs, and a conclusion. In the supporting paragraphs, you should include specific examples or support of your position (quotations or paraphrases) from the primary sources for this activity.
In the 19th century, there were increased calls for the end of slavery in America, but there was also growing opposition to abolition. There were prominent African-Americans and white Abolitionists who supported the end of slavery, and through literature and public speaking, they drew attention to the suffering of African-Americans living in slavery including using religious teaching to show that oppression was unjustifiable. While there are those who saw slavery as simply backward, most abolitionists supported granting similar rights and privileges to African-Americans. Stereotypes about African- Americans, conditions under slavery, the case for abolishing slavery and arguments to end racial prejudice are explored.
African Americans were seen as inferior and were denied many of the fundamental rights that were granted to whites. Even though, the slaves were at times classified as property, Abolitionists identified strong arguments to support the end of slavery practice. ’’For the crime of having a dark complexion, they suffer the pangs of hunger, the infliction of stripes, the ignominy of brutal servitude” (Garrison). Even when African-American abolitionists wrote literature in support of abolition, there was skepticism on whether they could produce eloquent literature. One of the arguments for continuing the practice of slavery is that whites were the superior race, and it was justifiable to keep slaves who served their masters to support them and offer services in their households and farms.
In Frederick Douglass's classic speech, he highlighted how African-Americans did not enjoy freedom and independence on fourth July like white as they were still slaves. “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me”. David Walker’s ideas were more radical as he called for a revolt against the white masters and even highlighted that Negroes were not created as slaves and they needed to be more proactive to end the practice despite being considered inferior. “Has Mr. Jefferson declared to the world, that we are inferior to the...
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