The Injustice Of Slavery A Peoples Resistance

Posted on

The Injustice of Slavery: A people’s resistance The history of the United States is filled to the brim with an abundance of significant events. Over the course of this nation’s young history there have been numerous social institutions. Many have been a necessity in our development. However, the US was home to one of the greatest atrocities committed on mankind. The institution of slavery is not only the most embarrassing but most sever infraction on the natural rights of man. At times there were in excess of three million black Americans enslaved in this country.

It was not the dismal living conditions nor the bleak existence they lived that led them into a resistance of slavery. It was the theft, the unlawful striping of their right to life, liberty, and happiness that justly encouraged their resistance. The dehumanization of the black population in the US during the 19 th century was a gross moral departure from the so called equality our nation has always strive d for. No true American can find any sort of conflict in sharing the opinions of our forefathers. The US has its foundation built in the words of the Declaration of Independence. We live in a nation where “all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights-among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In supporting slavery, masters dehumanized themselves and denounced the goals of America.

A natural right had been violated and slaves were not going to stand for it. Wendell Phillips highlighted this when he wrote to Fredrick Douglas. “I was glad to learn, in your story, how early the most neglected of God’s children waken to a sense of their rights, and of the injustice done them” (p. 36).

There were courses of action that slaves took to denounce slavery. The most publicized forms of resistance were running away and acting out in physical violence toward masters. This being said, there were other actions that may have been even more influential in the abolition of slavery. In order to assert their humanity and independence’s slaves resisted in many ways. Slaves understood their imperative role in the prosperity of the plantation system. Realizing this they were able to sabotage the success of the plantation through the destruction of tools and crops.

Many slaves would take a more passive role in their resistance to work. Others would pretend to be injured, sick, blind or insane. The greatest and most wide spread form of resistance was that of song. The power of song helped slaves through their dehumanized lives.

They created unity in songs of religion and denounced the power their masters held over them. They were going to rebel in all facets of life. Slaves knew “that a happy slave is an extinct man” (p. 33). The meanings of these songs can not be overstated. One who knew the importance of song was Frederick Douglass.

“They told a tale of woe… they breathed the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish” (pg. 47). Moreover, these songs were a denunciation of slavery where “every tone was a testimony against slavery” (p. 47). “In rejoicing these people were able to make a prayer to God for deliverance from chains” (p.

47). All things told most slaves would not have survived in the world they woke to everyday with out the inspiration and guidance of song. Furthermore, these songs were integral in keeping the spirits of the slaves up in hopes of a total emancipation. Other courses of action had a more assertive nature coiled throughout them. Slaves were notorious for the sabotage of tools and thus crops. Without physically harming their masters slaves were able to injure their economic well-being.

Although a small victory, it was another step toward freedom and unquestionably influenced the decisions of many slaves holders. Actions such as sabotages worried possible and greatly helped to prevent the spread of slavery. There were more ways of resistance that were even more malicious. Slaves set fire to the plantations. This caused many slave owners to be denied insurance. In turn, without insurance the masters were taking a great risk.

Many would-be slave owners decided paid laborers would be a better investment than an uninsured slave labor plantation. This again helped prevent the spread of slavery. There is no denying nor ignoring the past mistakes of this nation. However, the US will forever be remembered for its theft of natural rights.

What occurred less than 175 years ago must be remembered so it is not allowed to repeat itself. Mistakes of the greatest magnitude can be made and we must learn how these mistakes were allowed to occur. The Bible even speaks of people ruling over other people (1. Sam 14: 47). However, it goes on to talk about the weakness’ people share in allowing sins to rule over them.

Everyone can learn a lesson from the Bible. However strong we as a people may be if we allow sins to rule over us, unalienable, immoral, and fundamental wrongs will be committed. I will have faith that the creator will “direct my footsteps according to {His} word; let no sin rule over me” (Psa 119: 133).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *