Set Free Research for the Land-Mildred D. Taylor

A diagram informing you on what it might have been like to be a slave before, and after the Civil War.

When slavery comes to mind, it is often thought of in the south, however many people do not know that slaves were commonly set free there, ensuring their freedom.

This is a photograph of an enslaved family from Georgia. Most likely this family has been working for hours on their master's plantation, from what we can see they have picked many baskets of cotton. Hopefully, they are freed from their master soon, and will not be treated in an intolerable manner, and live many years beyond this photograph.
Here is a group of newly freed black family from Richmond. This photograph was taken in June, 1865. Thankfully, this family no longer has to go through the labor, and backbracking work they used to.

Before the Civil War, many African American Slaves were able to be given their freedom before slavery was abolished by the war. Free blacks lived in various parts of the United States, although some were still enslaved in southern states. A great justice was served in history when 1.5 million slaves living in the south were freed by 1860.

A drawing of a slave master aiding the family he owns. It can be inferred that he is aiding them to go on a trip, or to move locations after they are being set free. There also is another man who is sitting down on a crate box, that may own the slaves as well. Hopefully these slaves can roam the colonies wherever they please without being snatched by a slave snatcher.

Receiving freedom was a very detailed, and sometimes complex procedure for the slaves, that became less common as the 1800s progressed. One way slaves could earn their freedom was buying it from their master. Also, slaves became free from manumission, the voluntary emancipation of a slave by a slave owner. A slave might have been given their freedom for some reasons including the well built relationship of them and their master, their master letting them go due to great impact of the abolonist movement, slaves were often set free in their master's lifetime, and more commonly their master's will. A great amount of African Americans soughted to escape their plantations, and other locations. Sometimes Americans of African heritage came to the United States as immigrants, many times in the New Orleans sea area.

The hands of a slave, tied together, and chained until set free.

It is shameful, and should have never occurred that people of different colored skin did not have the same rights as white skinned people in our country. Looking back to the 1830s a law was created in Virginia preventing slaves to learn how to read and write. Laws in the south prevented slaves from possessing firearms, and having a religion to practice. Terribly, slaves could not justify themselves in court. An example of why this law was so unbearable was that if a slave catcher claimed that a free African American was a slave, he or she could not defend his or her self in court.

A sign warning newly freed slaves to take caution, preventing them from being snatched, and having their freedom taken away.

Attending church, and practicing religion was a very crucial component in the lives of free slaves. The creation of the African Methodist Episcopal Chruch spread from Philedalphia, to Charleston, then later into many southern areas, despite the laws that forbade blacks from worshiping their religion. Conflict resulted into the law challenging the exsistence of these churches, and countless abolitionists stood up for their rights.

A black church made in the 1800s, the people in this photograph are courageous leaders, fending for their right to worship freely.

Occupations free blacks prospered were being artisians, business men and women, educators, writers, planters, musicians, tailors, hairdressers, and cooks. Many African Americans invented very useful methods to implement in the everyday lives of Americans living in their time. Thomas L. Jennings came up with a method of drying clean clothes, and Henry Blair Glenn Ross, patented a seed planter, thus contributing to the advancement of science. An amount of freed slaves had owned property and kept boarding houses. Sadly, some former slaves owned slaves themselves as time continued on.

Freed blacks could be educated, and practice their religion after they were freed in South Carolina. Eventually, white laws became less antagonizing on the blacks, and they earned more rights over time.

Other examples of advocates for the freedom of people of color were Fredrick Douglass, Richard Allen, Abasalom Jones, and Harriet Tubman. Originating in 1619 on American soil, slavery began when the first African slaves were brought to the colony of Jamestown to do farm work, and produce crops such as tobacco. After two unbearable, and unecessary decades of this ruthless process that once was “justified” in our land, slavery concluded on December 6th 1865, the day the 13th Ammendment to the constitution was further changed.

Frederick Douglass was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman. He made history for African Americans everywhere in his time period. Many years later, his hard work paid off with more great leaders like him defending the rights of colored people.

In conclusion, slavery was a long, bitter, and cold road, although it ended, and those negatively impacted by it broke away from it, and have descendants that are free today. It will be intriguing to see how the freeing of slaves will be in the text The Land by Mildred D. Taylor.

With all of the hard work from uncountable people in history, we no longer have slavery, and unfair treatment of those who are colored. We are united as a world, and diversity is appreciated for its great differences, and unique characteristics, and the love of our people.

Works Cited

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Julia Paskale

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