Shadows of Slavery
In Shadows of slavery, Leslie Harris’s expounds on the struggles that the black American encounters in their efforts to fight against slave trade. Leslie Harris’s gives an account of a sailor by the name of Rodrigues, an African American sailor who married into an Indian ethnic group and thus acting as a symbol of unity between the Dutch and the blacks in the year 1613.
This paper makes relation between Harris’s writing in the shadow of slavery with the David walker’s book about the colored citizens. Social injustices are the root cause of slavery in America. Thus, the paper will show how social injustices accelerated the act of slavery. African American were the victims of this animosity as outlined by Harris and David.
David Walker, the author of the colored citizens of the world concur with the definition of Leslie Harris’s on blacks abolitionists the city of New yolk (Harris 2). As more settlers began to settle in New York, the demand for the slaves increased. In the year 1664, New Netherland changed to New Yolk after England took control of it. There was increased demand of cheap labor for developing the colony. England was as a consequence, the key player in the slave trade industry. In new yolk, the number of slaves’ inflow increased at a very high rate as compared to the whites. In the year 1702, Edward Cornbury, who was the governor of New Jersey, requested to British authorities to make the flow slaves constant at affordable prices.
The slaves were composed of the Negros. The number of slaves increased to a substantial number where they even used to congregate. Due to the oppression that the black people experienced, they started to rebel, which raised fears among the whites. In the northern part, some of the slaves’ masters started to allow slaves to own property, inherit property, and cultivate. These slaves would even sell the farm outputs for money. The slaves were however, forced to work hard for long hours. The slaves even died in their line of duty due to overload and were replaced. The slaves worked in the sugar plantations, Caribbean, and the southern plantations.
The slaves in the north gained trading skills, carpentry and tailoring skills. The northern region had many factories including fishing, iron, and tanning industries. Some were even allowed to visit their relatives. During this era, there was the emergence of the human rights group in the northern and the southern region. One of the slaves’ traders named Franklin and some religious groups, started to appreciate the importance of the equality for all. In Philadelphia there was the rise of the revolution that aimed at abolishing slave trade. The slaves’ abolitionists were after justice, human rights, and the respect for humanity. David Walker however, views the white abolitionist as pretenders since there were also the same people that had enslaved them.
The main objective of the abolitionist was to put the slave trade to an end. The two authors agree that the abolitionist were trying to attain justice, equality, and respect for every man irrespective of the color of the skin (Walker 15). The passage of the legislation that abolished slave trade in the nineteenth century was hard on the slave owners who were not ready to let the slaves free. The abolitionist in one way or another boosted he black Americans fight for freedom.
David Walker’s Work on the Colored Citizens
David Walker refers the black people as the colored people who are wrecked. The black Americans were treated like objects and were highly degraded by their white counterparts. The white Christians treated the black Americans cruelly and this makes David Walker to refer to them as pretenders. Christianity is a religion of love and thus he did not find any reason for the oppression that the slave underwent. David Walker was however optimistic of nation that would treat all its citizens equally. Leslie Harris’s further proves the existence of mistreatment of the black Americas. The slaves were forced to work hard and for long hours. The African Americans were treated as objects and used to work in the settlers plantations. The slaves were also sold at a market place, which is a clear indication of the existence of inequality among the whites and the blacks. The white were superiors to the black Americans.
David Walker was in support of the abolitionist activities of abolishing slaves’ trade. The main reason behind this is because he was born of a slave father while the mother was free. Since he was one of the educated slaves, he was involved in the activities of the abolition movement and also used to publish freedom’s journals (Walker 20). David Walker even called for violence in the effort of the black Americans to liberate them. David’s walkers’ view of the abolitionist was that they were not doing enough and thus he wrote material that would have lead to violence. Most of the antislavery leaders including the blacks that were free were even against his call for violence.
David walker, a Male, Black American is the author of The colored citizens of the world published in the year 1829 and is the primary source. David walker was a citizen of North Carolina in the United States. He was one of the learned, free Black Americans. His utterances on the issue of slavery may have been affected by the fact that his father was a slave and was black. His mains argument was the establishment of a just society free from slavery and was mainly targeting the black community. The source of his content was the oppression that the black Americans were undergoing as slaves. The historical source is significant in that it deepens my understanding of social injustices and equalities that took place during the colonial periods. The unspoken assumption was that the dark skinned people were less human and thus making them inferior and less sensitive to pain.
Harris, Leslie M. In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626-1863. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2003. Print.
Walker, David. Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles: Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America, Written in Boston, State of Massachusetts, September 28, 1829. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library, 2011. Print.