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When I arrived, I would hand over all that was left of the woman who had spent 56 years as a slave in my family’s household. She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us.No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived.After the Civil War, freed slaves themselves took the initiative to push education beyond religious instruction.
In the Stono Rebellion of 1739, more than 20 whites were killed by slaves attempting to escape to Florida.
In 1842, the revolt led by Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, cost the lives of 55 to 65 whites and more than 100 slaves.
But some slaves found ways around prejudice and law to satisfy their hunger for knowledge.
Their main antebellum sourcebook for literacy was the Bible.
In the United States, slave masters were intent on keeping their slaves illiterate.
Essay On Slavery Apa Format Research Paper Outline
Two events drove Southerners to discourage literacy.
They always tell the slaves dat ef he be good, an’ worked hard fo’ his master, dat he would go to heaven, an’ der he gonna live a life of ease. You see, they didn’ want slaves to start thinkin’ ‘bout freedom, even in Heaven.” The Second Great Awakening (1790-1840) changed the educational calculus, by putting at the forefront the belief that all men and women from every race were in need of salvation, and that all redeemed individuals were to be “useful” in God’s kingdom.
The efforts to reach African American slaves for Jesus resulted in the “planation missions” movement of the 1830s and 1840s.
Some masters permitted it, because they saw the Bible as teaching slaves their “divine” role as servants.
Beverly Jones, a former slave in Virginia, would write: “Always took his text from Ephesians, the white preacher did, the part what said, ‘Obey your masters, be [a] good servant’ …