The Freedom Of Slaves By Tera W. Hunter

Decent Essays

“It is hard just to make freedom rhetoric; it has to be materialized, realized and actualized.” — Waldo E. Martin, Jr. As stated by Professor Martin, the idea of ‘granting freedom to slaves’ cannot solely be rhetorically established in the halls of Congress; it is a constant grapple for dignity and respect that needs to be actualized, impelled and perceived. A book named “To’ Joy to My Freedom,” by Tera W. Hunter, delineates how the process of “destructing slavery was accomplished with the participation of slaves themselves, not just by military maneuvers or decisions promulgated in the White House.” In the most thoughtful …show more content…

In the process of social transformation from the era of Reconstruction to the postwar period, African American freedwoman gained the ability to practice ‘everyday form of resistance’ to control their own ‘freed labor’ in the market. Hunter’s book primarily illustrates many ways by which African American freedwoman challenged both white employees and elected officials to negotiate the terms of their labor. Apart from their ability to protest in order to challenge officials for the wage increase, the most prominent challenge for white employers is the independent decision making of African American women in the new free labor system. In the world of free labor, quitting jobs became their thriving strategy mainly because it “could not be prohibited” in the system. The ability to make personal decisions based on their demanded terms of labor or to take care of their family contributed highly to the value of their freed labor. The movement in and out of the labor market evoked “servant problems” frustrating the nerves of white employers increasing the value of black labor and forming a theory of mutual dependency. Despite quitting jobs,

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