What Case Can Be Made To Demonstrate That Communities Developed In The Slave Quarters Of Plantations Located In The Southern States Of The United States?

1673 words - 7 pages

What case can be made to demonstrate that communities developed in the slave quarters of plantations located in the Southern states of the United States?Communities exist in all areas where people live and congregate. The definition of community has frequently been debated among sociologists as each sociologist has his own interpretation of what a community should consist of. Sociologists seemed to agree that the definition of community involves people. However, some sociologists believe that the definition of community include the social interaction of people by being self sufficient, having common lives and possessing common ends, norms and means. It may also consist of a social system with totality of attitudes and processes. Marvin Sussman said that communities exist when people interact for the purpose of meeting the needs of individuals. These social interactions include the gratification of physical, social and psychological needs within a limited geographical area. This is true in most communities including the slave quarters of plantations located in the Southern states of the United States.Slaves were brought to America from the African continent unwillingly, tearing the African slaves away from their family, culture and homeland. They were all at the mercy of their white masters and slave drivers and were constantly subjected to sexual abuse, beatings, and the threat of being separated from their loved ones through sale and isolation. It was through hope and resistance that slaves learnt to survive their cruel treatment. Slaves in each plantation shared similar experiences and hardship. They stuck together and developed their own community, keeping to themselves and had different personalities in front of the white and among their own. The slaves tried to keep their lives as free when possible from their master's control. Their living quarters some close to their master's house, whereas, others like the plantation slaves lived some distance away from their owners. They were like small villages with huts sometimes organised in a circle or in roles and in some quarters huts popped up sporadically. This relative isolation gave slaves some independence on their lives. From sunrise to sunset they were slaves to their masters but from sunset to sunrise, they were themselves, 'free' to express their thoughts, their needs and their culture. They developed their own community stemming from common values and interest as well as from collective responsibilities. The community functioned as a world away from white control, having parties, prayer meetings and spending quality time with their families and friends. But it remained limited in its function and undeveloped.The slave community as in any community had social norms. They were freer in their premarital sexual activities compared to the whites, but many abided to clear behaviour codes. There were procedures ones had to follow with regards to courtship and they took the issue of marriage and...

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