Themes in American History: Capitalism, Slavery, Democracy

Blog Post #2

Thavolia Glymph set a strong tone as she talked about slavery. Slavery is a hurtful topic for most people to talk about as Glymph explains it through her historic text. She takes account of many perspectives in her writing, which shared their own experiences through slavery. Glymph helps the reader understand how they dealt with the many cruel actions. Slavery was a time where African Americans were forced into labor. This reading opened up my mind to more information about why slavery was cruel and what type of impact it had on the people who were forced into it. 

               Glymph talked about the experiences of many other African American slaves who were a part of slavery. Lulu Wilson, a slave during the 1930s said that slavery was very cruel because of the way she and others were treated unfairly. They were told to do a lot of labor and it was often tiring. One slip up would mean they would have to hear from the slave master, which was the last thing they would have wanted. It’s hard to escape this harsh feeling about slavery. I was able to open my mind up to different points about slavery and see why it was so cruel. Wilson, the master was “jes’ mean,” but the mistress “studied ‘bout meanness”(Glymph 19). This helps understand the level of cruelty that was experienced with the brutal slave masters. The slave masters were freemen who owned property including slaves. Yes, the slaves were also identified as property that the slave masters would own. Without any sympathy or emotion towards the slaves, he made them work so much to take care of his house. Unlike the slave masters, the women are supposed to be delicate, but some are not. The slaves must have had a very rough time getting through this. 

This helps me see all the disadvantages of being a slave and having to do hard labor. Times were horrible and scary for adults and children because of the harsh treatments from the slave masters. Thavolia Glymph widened my thought process about slavery because I can imagine how they have felt. In other words, I can put myself into the slaves’ shoes and see that it was very unfair to have to be a part of those uneasy to forget events.

One thought on “Blog Post #2”

  1. I’m glad to see this reading resonated with you, but you seem to have missed the author’s main point. Rather than being about enslaved people or slavery generally, Glymph’s focus here is on the plantation mistress, the white women who were matriarchs of slaveowning families or who owned slaves themselves. How does Glymph suggest, in this introductory chapter, that previous histories, including by feminist historians, focusing on this topic have gotten it wrong?

    A more minor, but still important, point: Lulu Wilson, the woman quoted near the beginning, was not enslaved in the 1930s (at which point slavery had been over for 60-70 years), but her source dates to that period because that’s when someone collected or recorded it. This brings up an important point about historical sources and how historians use them as evidence. What are the difficulties historians may encounter in trying the recapture the voices and perspectives of enslaved people? How does Glymph rather successfully use these kinds of sources here?

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