This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Slavery: Negated Familial Ties Essay

1911 words - 8 pages

Even though slavery is a state of bondage, it has to do with relations between people. Most scholarly discourses that exist surrounding slavery recognize that bondage leads to a loss of identity as it curtails the ties of the slaves to their heritage. Sociologist Orlando Patterson’s definition of Slavery is applicable here, as he delineates slavery as "…a permanent, violent domination of natally alienated and generally dishonored persons." Thus, Slavery banned slaves from all formal, legally enforceable ties of “blood,” and from any attachment to groups or localities other than those chosen for them by the master. Slavery at the rudimentary level erased basic factors that defined one’s identities. The slave was always at the mercy of his master and was disposable at any moment in time. Keith Bradley’s definition of slavery further supports this claim as he contends, “By definition slaves were kinless and were permitted no legally sanctioned familial bonds.” Here the slave is socially dead as social ties between slaves are almost non-existent. Slavery radically disrupted kinship relations for the slaves uprooted from their communities. This is clearly the case in the studies of slavery in West Africa, the Ottoman Empire, and Rome, where the slave’s identities were inhibited by systemic means of isolating these individuals from all aspects of heritage, in a manner such as stripping away of their names, distancing them from their families and ancestors, and gendered control of women’s bodies. Restrained interactions of all aspects of the slave’s heritage are at the heart of social death.

A necessary pre-requisite to enslavement was the distancing of the slaves from all aspects of their heritage. This often manifested in the physical isolation of the slaves from all aspects of their traditions and norms through their physical removal from their ancestral home lands. Buyers moved slaves from the area in which they captured them for fear of escape. Bradley states that slave captives often suffered from “shock of cultural disorientation as they journeyed from a familiar to an alien environment.” The African slaves in the Ottoman Empire were uprooted from their homes in Ethiopia, Sudan etc, which meant that they were disconnected from their lineage and traditions geographically inhibited any chances of access to their birth place. Furthermore, even within the slave society familial relations hardly existed as members of were sold to different buyers to ensure complete loyalty to the master alone. The Circassian agricultural slaves in the Ottoman Empire are a good example of this because their masters split them from their families to ensure the slave girls’ undivided loyalty. Furthermore, the slaves’ interactions within one another even within one home were extremely surveilled and reprimanded to hinder interactions between them, often through threats and violence (such as flogging).
A slave’s new generated name also...

Find Another Essay On Slavery: Negated Familial Ties

Confronting the Past, Living the Present, and Enjoying the Future in Toni Morrison's "Beloved"

1906 words - 8 pages came back to me of her own free will." The manner in which Sethe makes this statement suggests that she considers her child's return as a positive event because she fails to recognize Beloved's sad and violent history. Furthermore, the fact that Sethe suggests that Beloved will readily understand simply because of their familial ties emphasizes that a failure to reflect on the past ultimately leads to a misinterpretation of present occurrences

Middle-Eastern Women Essay

972 words - 4 pages , their primary associations and ties always remain with their original home and the familial ties to their father lineage. However, if she has sons and they live to adulthood, she has established enough of a blood tie with that tribe that if her husband should die, she would assume the role of head of the household (Abu-lughod 54). One of the least understood topics regarding Middle Eastern women and the Western mindset is relative to the topic of

Power in Mary Shelly's Frankenstein

1672 words - 7 pages creature begins to encompass Victor with his power of raw natural electricity, encompassing him in a circle of fear. The ties of misfortune become handcuffs of slavery as the creature dictates the power over Victor. His reminiscence of a "domestic circle" becomes lost in the raging brush fire of power. Thus resulting in isolation, which in the end slowly strips away Victor’s former identity to become an unidentified slave. The mutual bonds between

Is the Black Family Only A Myth?

4118 words - 16 pages labeled unfavorably is based on the connection between slavery and familial ties. The actual concept of slavery itself is a direct contribu tor to the problem that black families face today. According to W.E.B. Dubois, slavery not only affected the size of the Negro family but also their familial ties. Dubois believes that slavery created a great dispro portion among the sexes. He states: ". . . such social derangement due the effects of

Essay on Personal Freedom Song of Solomon

1641 words - 7 pages point, Milkman is only concerned with drinking, sex and hanging out with his buddies. However, he eventually realizes that money will not satisfy what is missing from his life. He therefore, begins his search for his sense of self. Milkman metamorphosizes after his journey into his ancestral history which gave him the means to become personally free.   A second element essential for personal freedom is the ability to break familial ties that

Carol Stack’s Call to Home

1657 words - 7 pages families had in the areas reported is probably the reason a hospital was closing, otherwise what other good reasons are there why a hospital would close? It was evident that the economic and racial inequalities experienced were frustrating, nonetheless it was the kin ties and familial obligations is what really influenced all to return home. The bonds between families in the South were present. Whenever there was a family in need, another family

A History of the Freedmen's Bureau

2290 words - 10 pages from their families because they were viewed as solely property without any familial ties. These different factors would soon cause issues for slaves in their transition to freedom, and the new challenges they would face. The American Civil War had led escaped slaves to flow into the Union military, which the Union was not prepared for. Union commanders sought direction from Washington, but even Lincoln could provide little advice as to how to

Developmental Differences between the US and Mexico

1952 words - 8 pages life in the two countries. From the very beginning, America was in every sense of the phrase a genuine "melting pot." With inhabitants coming from all over Europe, the United States had ties to an entire continent; Mexico on the other hand was founded entirely by the Spanish and as such, could only legitimately turn to that empire for aid. As such, when Mexico decided to break away from Spain and fight for their

African American Culture: Repression, Assimilation, and Compliance to Anglo Saxon Group Norms

1274 words - 5 pages the traditional and nontraditional cultures is a means of understanding the roots in the identical traditions. African American and Ibibio cultural values Since their arrival in the Americas, African-American’s have maintained a strong cultural link to their American past as well as their African descent. These cultural ties are deeply embedded in the African-American culture and are often times passed down through parents and grandparents

Changes in American Family Life from Colonization to the Civil War

1492 words - 6 pages longer lived under the threat of losing a land inheritance. This gave them less of an imperative to follow the demands of their fathers. Fathers had previously exerted an incredible amount of control over their children's lives well into adulthood. This was taking place within a context of a cultural reassessment of the family resulting in a new emphasis on familial love and affection. The family dynamic changed, with mothers keeping charge of

African Culture

3420 words - 14 pages Contrary to popular belief, slavery of minority groups remains to be abolished in the US today; psychological slavery that is. This is especially true of the most marginalized group in society for the majority of history; women of the African Diaspora. Although the thirteenth amendment did technically make slavery illegal, it failed to dispose of, or even amend, the very political and social systems that thrived on the very oppression of the

Similar Essays

Narrative Of The Life Of Fredrick Douglass

3437 words - 14 pages according to this article can be traced to slavery and the unhealthy relationships formed. The broken familial bonds experienced by Douglass began the unnatural formation of a slave. In one chapter of Douglass’ life, he realized that most children that grow up in a home developed a bond and sense of security warranted by the same support system. Slaves were not permitted to gain a sense of stability or comfort from within the homes they

Frederick Douglass: The Psychological Approaches Used To Maintain The Institution Of Slavery

1612 words - 6 pages restrict and control slaves more than physical violence was needed. Therefore in able to mold slaves into the submissive and subservient property they desired, slave-owners manipulated them by twisting religion, instilling fear, breaking familial ties, making them dependent, providing them with an incorrect view of freedom, as well as refusing them education. Slave-owners forced a perverse form of Christianity, one that condoned slavery, upon

The Dehumanization Process In The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave

2294 words - 9 pages slavery imposes on slaves and slave holders. The dehumanization process of slaves results from a deliberate attempt among slave holders to deny slaves familial bonds, education, and fundamental liberties in an effort to keep them content and in “mental darkness” (Douglass 1860). Starting from a slave’s birth, this cruel process leads to a continuous cycle of abuse, neglect, and inhumane treatment. To some extent, slave holders succeed because they

The Influence Of Slave Life On Motherhood And Family Interaction Explored In The Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, And Beloved

3376 words - 14 pages that attachment. The destruction of family does the most damage to intra-racial relations when a slave is a child. Slave children are left alone, dazed and confused trying to comprehend their lack of familial relations. The children of slaves feel the effects of slavery the most because they usually grow up without the family structure. Most children usually don't get to interact with their mothers and fathers. The destruction of family works to