“My Brothers And Sisters Were Bid Off First, And One By

1582 WordsApr 7, 20177 Pages
“My brothers and sisters were bid off first, and one by one, while my mother, paralyzed by grief, held me by the hand.” 1 Her turn came. She stood on the block striped of her clothing, unable to cover her private areas and her body glistened in front of hundreds of white men ready to buy her. The auctioneer began to poke at her and touch her in a way that I could not bare to even watch, he then began to bid until she was eventually bought. She was taken to another room for further inspection by her buyer. In there she touched, rubbed, and felt on even more with no regard or respect. A routine that not only my mother went through, but every black woman went through during the auction block Each. And. Every. Time. Many women were…show more content…
The room where the auctions were held consisted of rough benches for the slaves who were waiting to be sold and chairs at the opposite end of the room for the buyers. Slaves sat with fear and faced their potential buyer, their enemy thinking of the trouble that awaits them; the out come of their future. In some cases slaves were put behind auction houses in yards and pens where they were held and waited to be sold, “these were often called slave jails.” 5 Slaves usually would not stay in these jails for long periods of time so the conditions were often bare. A platform or 1 Henson, Josiah. "Excerpt of Father Henson's Story of His Own Life." The Civil War. Woodbridge, CT: Primary Source Media, 1999. American Journey. U.S. History in Context. Web. 30 Oct. 2014. 2 "A Slave Auction in South Carolina." Family in Society: Essential Primary Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth Lerner, and Adrienne Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 398-401. U.S. History in Context. Web. 30 Oct. 2014. 3 Joy, Mark S. "Auctions and Markets." Gale Library of Daily Life: Slavery in America. Ed. Orville Vernon Burton. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2008. 14-17. U.S. History in Context. Web. 30 Oct. 2014. 4 Lee Learner “A Slave Auction in South Carolina” 5 Joy, Mark S. "Auctions and Markets."

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