They claimed that slavery was “supported by the authority of the Bible and the wisdom of Aristotle” (p 353). Setting aside the cruelty and the doubts of the morality of slavery, the southern Christians believed they had blessed the Africans, “who were lifted from the barbarism of the jungle and clothed with the blessings of the Christian civilization” (p 353). Evidently, Christian slaveholders believed they were “saviors” in a sense, because they had given these people “luxuries” that they would not have received in Africa. Looking at this standpoint today, one can argue that these slave owners were not entirely incorrect: Do African Americans have more today than many people who live in Africa? Yes. But was what the slaveholders provided for their slaves better than what they could have had back in Africa? Most likely not. Regardless of the morality of the situation, in their eyes, some slaveowners were truly convinced that God wanted them to “do this” for the African people, and their “graciousness” was given to the African people by God’s will. With this set mentality of slavery being what God would want and the slaveholders being providers for their slaves, if slavery were to be taken away, it would be like going against God. Taking away slavery would take away the “support” given by the slaves’
Black Christianity in the South came into being "not only because of white missionaries and pastors but also in what historians have called the
Jacobs was disturbed because the Christians did not practice what the Bible taught. For instance, her mistress had promised to allow her freedom before she died, but after the reading of the will, she found out the contrary. Jacobs had been transferred to the daughter of her mistress’ sister. As per the Fugitive Slave law, Jacobs was tormented by the fact that it sought to maintain the slave economy. She stated that she was against the thought that, “women were articles of traffic,” (Jacobs 790). The lack of freedom and continued hypocrisy among the Christians were the main things that appeared to disturb Jacobs.
In 1844, there was great division over the issue of slavery. The Baptists of the South felt that the Northerners’ position that “‘slaveholding brethren were less than followers of Jesus’ effectively obliged slaveholding Southerners to leave the fellowship” . There was also disagreement between the Northerners and Southerners over the number of missionaries being supported and sent to the South (probably because of
Black religion was no longer regarded as exemplary or special. During a time of growing segregation and violence, some black leaders attempted to counter this perspective seen by whites by embracing the romantic racialist notions that “blacks possessed peculiar gifts.” These gifts being directly connected to the importance of black churches in a time of direct exclusion of blacks from other pieces of society.
During the slavery period a number of African slaves wrote stories, and poems about their daily hardships that they had to withhold by being a slave and everything else that happen throughout their life’s. Not many Black writers had the resources or support from their owners to publish what they wrote or anyone to care about what they wrote, lucky slaves did reach success when they published their work. Knowing where they came from or where they grew up from is important, the type of work that each individual accomplished when they published their work to the public. The massive impact that Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglas, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Abraham Lincoln had in the black community and how they helped change the way they were being treated completely.
Since the arrival of African Americans in this country blacks have always had differing experiences. Consequently, African-Americans have had to forge a self-identity out of what has been passed on to them as fact about their true selves. History has wrought oppression and subjugation to this particular race of people and as a result, certain institutions were formed in order aid African-Americans, culturally, spiritually and economically. The African-American Church has served of one such institution. From the time of slavery, though outlawed, many slaves found ways to congregate and form their own "churches", away from the one-sided and bias lessons about the bible that they were being taught in the white church. The white ministers and
To begin, Harriett Jacobs carefully formulates a narrative that depicts the lives of slave girls and women as it truly was lived. Rather than conform to the readers' tastes and avoid the horrible gruesome details of the lives of female slaves, Jacobs grasps these events and passionately depicts them to her readers in hopes of some form of compassion. She knows her readers are never going to completely understand what women in slavery went through (it would take living it to comprehend) but she feels to protect them from these truths is only greater blurring the understanding of these issues. Jacobs details her life in hopes that her audience will begin to understand the hardships undertaken by innocent black women in the south and no longer sit quietly by and watch. Jacobs states that slavery is far more appalling for women; "they have wrongs, and sufferings, and mortifications peculiarly their own" (825). In order to truly touch her intended audience, she brings up topics that all women, free or enslaved, can understand - adultery, family, love. She hopes that by creating a piece that touches the personal lives of women, she will make it difficult for them not to stand in her shoes, even if just for a moment.
During the years of slavery in America, slave associations were of great concern to slave owners. Many members of white society saw Black religious meetings as a threat to white existence. Despite this, slaves relied heavily on the churches, as they offered a kind of therapy for them, and as the slaves retained their faith in God, they found protection within their churches. Although the slaves practiced their religion, the white community did not always accept the slaves as Christians. An unknown slave said, “The white folks would come in when the colored people would have prayer meeting, and whip every one of them. Most of them thought that when colored people were praying it was against them.” The Church has long been the center of Black communities, and it has established itself as a great source of religious enrichment and secular development for African
She emphasizes that the life of a slave woman is incomparable to the life of a slave man, in the sense that a woman’s sufferings are not only physical but also extremely mental and emotional. Whether or not a slave woman is beaten, starved to death, or made to work in unbearable circumstances on the fields, she suffers from and endures horrible mental torments. Unlike slave men, these women have to deal with sexual harassment from white men, most often their slave owners, as well as the loss of their children in some cases. Men often dwell on their sufferings of bodily pain and physical endurance as slaves, where as women not only deal with that but also the mental and emotional aspect of it. Men claim that their manhood and masculinity are stripped from them, but women deal with their loss of dignity and morality. Females deal with the emotional agony as mothers who lose their children or have to watch them get beaten, as well as being sexually victimized by white men who may or may not be the father of their children. For these women, their experiences seem unimaginable and are just as difficult as any physical punishment, if not more so.
In Douglass’s story, he describes how his master would watch the slaves while they worked. He describes Mr. Covey, his master, was referred to as “the snake” by the slaves, as he would “crawl on his hands and knees to avoid detection, and all at once he would rise nearly in our midst, and scream out, ‘Ha, ha! Come, come! Dash on, dash on!’” This kind of treatment caused the slaves to be put into a mental state of constant fear as if they were being watched. When Jacobs’s story provides evidence of mental abuse, her topic is much more oppressive. Women in slavery are bound to have children to produce more slaves, but this is where it becomes disheartening. Eventually the slave children are taken away from the mother so that they may be sold. The last thing a parent would ever want is to be separated from their child and never be able to see them grow up or be a part of their childhood. Jacobs explains how a weeping mother that had all of her children taken away from her was in anguish, exclaiming “Gone! All gone! Why don’t God kill me?” Between the two works, a male has not felt the same way this woman has and has not been in a similar
South Carolina had the largest exports of African slaves in 1715. “Church authorities urged missionaries to pursue African Christianization in their parishes, despite planter’s opposition.”(202). Majority of South Carolina’s population was Africans and Indians. Thomas Hasell sat aside once a week to catechize Africans whose masters allowed participating. “Between twenty and thirty Negro men and women constantly attend.” (202). Many Africans went to Francis Le Jau seeking baptism but he required slaves to take oaths first. To make they were doing it for the right reasons and to make sure they would follow all of the rules. Many ministers had to deal with resistance, like when a “white man in his parish who declared that he would not take communion so long as Africans were received at the table.” (204).
Slavery was a horrible institution that dehumanized a race of people. Female slave bondage was different from that of men. It wasn't less severe, but it was different. The sexual abuse, child bearing, and child care responsibilities affected the females's pattern of resistance and how they conducted their lives. Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, demonstrates the different role that women slaves had and the struggles that were caused from having to cope with sexual abuse.
Jacobs creates a connection by demonstrating her horrible experience as a slave and her humiliation in her choices to escape it: “Pity me, and pardon me, O virtuous reader! You never knew what it is to be a slave; to be entirely unprotected by law or custom; to have the laws reduce you to the condition of a chattel, entirely subject to the will of another” (919). This shows that Jacobs attempts a draw an emotional response from free women so they will her understand of not only her experience as a female slave, but of many enslaved women that were subject to the same abuse as she. Nudelman states that on the title page of the first edition “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,” there is the Scripture Isaiah 32:9: “Rise up, ye women that are at ease! Hear my voice, ye care less daughters! Give ear unto my speech.” This illustrates Jacobs’ motive of mobilizing free women to look upon enslaved women, pity them, and strive to free them. Continuing, Jacobs also uses her time in her grandmother’s crawl space to establish a connection with her female audience with a motherly dilemma. She is able to see her children, but she is unable to speak to them, nor give them the knowledge that she is directly above them (923). Mothers could sympathize with Jacobs wondering how they would respond if they were separated from their kids.