“Dictatorship naturally arises out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty,” a man by the name of Plato once spoke. Slavery is a topic commonly spoken about through the years of school, however, though commonly reviewed, we still manage to learn something new about the topic every year. There are those like James Oglethorpe who believed slavery was an issue that went against his beliefs, and he spoke out, “[s]lavery is against the gospel, as well as fundamental law of England. We refused, as trustees [of colony of Georgia], to make a law permitting such a horrid crime,” (Source H pg. 280). Nonetheless, there still remained a few who struggled to find the light at the end of the tunnel, few such as Isabella, “When we all gits free, they’s the long time letting us know,” (Source H
To many of us, the history of slavery revolves around African Americans who were forced into to labor for plantation owners. However, there were those abolitionists many of us are familiar with, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, and Rosa Parks. Nonetheless, there are those who have eradicated the issue of slavery. Though they aren’t the most recognizable names in history, the works of Mary Ellen Pleasant, James Armistead, and David Walker helped abolish slavery (along with the untold slave revolt), that once surrounded our country.
Slavery is older than the first human records. Slavery was not based on race and not until the 15th century associated with people of African descent. (Source G). In learning about the history of slavery, we can only go so far in looking through our textbooks. However, often times, if you look hard enough you can find witnesses who have been there in slavery. We receive insight into the life of slavery and the change in language as Isabella in Campbell, Empire states, “When we all gits free, they’s the long time letting us know” (Source H). Not just in quotes, but in poems we decipher the meaning behind slavery and what writer, George Moses Horton composed, A Slave’s Reflections the Eve Before His Sale. He captures the reader, hooking you in with his words, “[s]oon either with smiles or with tears, will be the end of our course be completed. The progress of long fleeting years, triumphant or sadly regretted” (Source N).
Known as the Mother of “Civil Rights” in California, Mary Ellen Pleasant used her identity to an advantage during the times of slavery.Due to her fair complexion, she was legally identified herself as “white” so she could remain safe from slavery once she arrived in California. Her ability to play with racial identities, not only prevented her from being sent back to slavery.When she went back to her black communities, she used her powerful connections to set them up with jobs (Source A).Upon the arrival to California, Pleasant legally changed her race to black and emerged from behind the scenes. Mary Ellen sued the North Beach and MIssion Railroad Company in San...