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Analysis Of In Search Of The Promised Land : A Slave Family In The Old South

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In Search of the Promised Land: A Slave Family In The Old South by John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger outlines a very unique African American family living in Nashville, TN accounting tales of the trials and tribulations that Sally Thomas, the mother, and her sons had to go through; and how in the end she accomplished her goal. The authors excellently executed the life of this family in an informational and intriguing text by explaining and comparing the different lives and classes of slaves back in that century through Sally and her son’s stories.The detail and the historical pictures in the text help give life and a sense of “realness” and credibility to the situations given to help breathe life into the story, making the story easier to understand and believe. Sally Thomas and her family were an atypical slave family in the antebellum South. Sally herself was a “quasi-free” slave, owned as property with personal benefits and liberties, by “[hiring] herself out as a laundress, a practice common among urban slaves.” The “quasi-slave” title was not uncommon in the South, where the blacks outnumbered the whites and the whites allowed the blacks to have mediocre peasantry jobs, however, they performed the job better than many whites, and allowed for them to earn money and make their own profit. All three of Sally’s son were born into bondage, Henry, James, and John. Even though their fathers were free whites, the slave title was heretical under their mother’s name
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