reply to post by thomas_
First of all, not all slaves were whipped or lived in horrible conditions, as were prevalent in Africa. What you hear on the popular media and
grade-school textbooks is hogwash for the most part or over-exaggerated instances that have been blown out of proportion for political interests and
related to the issue as a whole. For the most part, things like that didn't happen.
Think about it... Do ranchers beat their animals today? No of course not. Does it happen at all? Sure, but it's the exception as opposed to the rule.
On high priced animals such as horses, they are treated very nice and still not the accommodations we would want or expect, though it isn't the
horrible picture painted for us in the popular media. With that said, of course their were your sadistic clowns who did not know how to effectively
manage workers. Most slaves were simply unpaid workers who worked for room and board instead of currency and as 2nd class citizens.
To give you a mindset of the average person's outlook on Africans during the early 19th century, they saw them as godless savages who couldn't care
for themselves if left to their own devices. Slavery was actually seen as a favor to them, as in America and under the care of whites, they had food,
shelter and sanitary conditions, all things that were lacking in their home country (for the most part). It's in this mindset that slavery was
ignorantly accepted by the common man. It's also important to not that rarely would a slave owner manage the slaves and instead someone would be hired
to take this role, especially on bigger plantations and this makes the mindset of the "average joe" more than relevant.
So, they were still seen as god's children, just incapable of caring for themselves. In fact, slavery was always foolishly justified by this notion.
Contrary to popular belief, most slaves weren't locked down and thrown into a cage when they weren't working. On the larger plantations, their would
be whole "towns" of slaves who lived in shacks - without locks on the doors - and maintained their families within these homes, where they would forge
friendships with not only whites, but other slaves too. For the most part, it was like having workers who worked for room and board only. This train
of being was
If you had large groups of physically fit men and treated them bad, then rebellion would be the name of the game, as happened on a couple of
occasions. Those rebellions were the hallmark of mistreated slaves and were rare, relatively speaking.
In fact, after the EP of 1962, Northern armies would march through the South notifying slaves of their new freedom and most slaves who could stay, did
stay. Generally speaking, they only did leave their "masters", when the US Army either killed the owners or burned their property, thus disallowing
the owner the proper means to feed and house the slaves. Furthermore, after the war when slavery was abolished in the Southern States, many slaves
continued to work for their former masters. Also, many slaves actually fought in the armies of the CSA, with evidence to suggest that the numbers were
in the thousands.
If the grisly picture that is painted for us today were true, none of the above would be true. There comes a time when you have to make reparations
with yourself and come to the fork in the road. "Do I continue to buy the history that was written and provided for me, or do I seek the truth, as it
Here is the truth that pretty much all objective scholars agree on, for the most part, slaves were unpaid laborers, not prisoners who lived in
as the popular media and special interests would like us to believe.
As far as the "contract issue", I don't know what to tell you, other than to suggest that you do your own research and know when to pick out biases in
bringing you that information. Most sources that aren't biased in a way that affects the data, is correspondence between people of the day. For the
most part, these people had no political agenda mixed in with their letters, journals, diaries and chronicles. Also take a look at the surrounding
circumstances to get a good picture of the variables contained within. They usually don't lie and are a dead give-away to the truth.
Another thing to consider, is that many of the slaves who were born in Africa, were actually sold into slavery in lue of death or dismemberment of a
crime. So, in effect, slavery saved their lives. Whether they were captured by Africans for alleged criminal activity or whether they were captured as
a result of warring tribes, hardly ever Africans just kidnapped outside or inside of their villages for no apparent reason.
It's also important to note the amount of people who were given the opportunity to volunteer was small in proportion to the number of slaves, as many
slaves were born right here in the US and if you were born to a slave, you in fact were a slave.
In Africa, times were tough. Lack of food and adequate shelter as well as turmoil with warring tribes. Many Africans were dying of starvation so a
contract to come to the promised land and work without pay for 10 - 20 years didn't sound like such a bad thing. This and the fact that Africa didn't
even have a currency past trading jewelry or something of the sort. Working for pay just wasn't something they were used to anyway.
There were a good number of "free blacks" here in America and that was due to a couple of reasons. One being a slave who finished his/her contract.
The other reason being a released slave. Slaves were freed for number of reasons, either because they were bought for that purpose, or as a reward
for hard work. Another reason is if they showed responsibility (and conversion to Christianity), keeping in step with the mindset of the average joe
at the time.
All in all, the chances that a slave was treated bad, are very slim. If you were a slave back then, you were most likely a laborer who worked for room
and board and as a 2nd class citizen of course. Given the social climate of the time, it would be much better than the same situation today, as there
weren't too many leisure activities back then and even non-slave whites (yes, whites were slaves too back then) didn't have leisure time to go on
vacation or a nightclub.
You have to throw out the notion that slaves were constantly beat and kept shackled in their cages until it was time to get beat again, only to plow
the fields before going back in their cages. This is inherently false and exaggerated for political motives. Hence the thread.
edit on 15-9-2010 by airspoon because: (no reason given)