"The Slave Community"
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This paper looks at how John Blassingame's work "The Slave Community" provides a description and analysis of what life was like on the Southern plantations from the slaves' viewpoint. It discusses how Blassingame demonstrates that slaves were definitely active and not passive victims of the traumatic life they lived and how he demonstrates the importance of hearing about one's life directly from the person involved, rather than second-hand from those who already have biased opinions.
From the Paper:"Previous to The Slave Community, the experience and life of the African American slave was mostly seen through the eyes of the white Anglo-American. Scholars relied on information from the opposite point of view--the plantation. They looked at plantation records and the writings of nonacademic travelers who observed the relationship between the slaves and their owners. Through such one-sided reports concerning the psychological effects of being enslaved, historians began to portray slaves as very submissive and loyal to their owners or as continually rebellious and critical. Either, they had totally accepted and adjusted to the different norms and values of the white society or were completely dissatisfied with this life and fighting to break away from their masters. Ulrich B. Phillips, stated clearly in his books based on plantation records, that the ex-slaves' narratives were inauthentic and biased and did not give genuine testimony to what their lives were really like. "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Blassingame, John W. The Slave Community. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.
- Berry, Mary Frances and Blasingame, John W. The Black Experience in America. New York: Oxford Press, 1982.
- Genovese, Eugene. "American Slaves and Their History." New York Review of Books December 3, 1970, 34-43.
- Harris, Robert L. "John W. Blassingame: March 23, 1940-February 13, 2000." The Journal of Negro History (2001) 86: 422-423
- Phillips, Ulrich B. Life and Labor in the Old South. Boston: Little Brown & Co., 1929.
Cite this Book Review:
"The Slave Community" (2007, October 25) Retrieved March 29, 2015, from http://www.academon.com/book-review/the-slave-community-98947/
""The Slave Community"" 25 October 2007. Web. 29 March. 2015. <http://www.academon.com/book-review/the-slave-community-98947/>